Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well knee replacement fans, the pictures to the left are my "Zimmer" unicompartmental partial knee replacement x-rays. The far left picture is a front view and the other one is the side view. After two and one half weeks, I'm back at work without a walker or a cane. I have to be careful as I walk and I walk a little slower for now. There is still some surgical pain and tightness, but for the most part they feel fine.
I went in for surgery at 6:30 a.m. and was out and awake by 11:00 a.m. on February 2, 2007. They did a spinal on me with something in my i.v. to relax me. I remember them telling me that they were going to do that and I remember the Dr. coming in and explaining the surgery again and that was it. The next thing I remember is feeling alert and fine talking to my wife. They even gave me lunch that day too. I actually felt better after the knee surgery than I did after having wisdom teeth pulled out.
Don't get me wrong, the recovery is a lot more than for wisdom teeth. I spent three days in the hospital and then home. I was up and standing the same day and walking the next day. It's really quite amazing. They do about 5,000 of these per year in the US compared to about 266,000 total knees per year. My scar is only about 4-1/2" long compared to a total knee scar of about 10".
My leg was put in a "bending" machine for two hours every 8 hour shift. That made sure it would stay flexible. The machine bent it even if it didn't want to be bent. Many people call it a torture machine, but it really wasn't too bad. Yes it hurt a little, but when you know that is the best thing for recovery, you really don't mind. I was expecting a lot more pain.
When I got home I had a list of exercises to do to continue to heal which I have done faithfully. It works. I have found if you do what they tell you, things work out better.
I would recommend this surgery over total if it works for your condition. Ask your Dr. about this before you let him do a full replacement. It may or may not work, but it's worth an ask. The main thing is keep your weight down and stay in good physical shape and any surgery will go better.

I must be off.
Bill L.

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