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New Knee

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Well I got out of hospital Thursday night , was told to expect 5 days or maybe 6 but there was a problem with getting the pain control right ,

I've had chronic pain for many years and have been used to some heavy pain killers and have developed a tolerance so stuff that will put a normal person out like a light will have minimal effect on me

The opp was on Tuesday On Friday the knee swole up like a balloon and I lost most of the movement in it
They had taken out the cannula the day before so I wasn't getting the morphine any more and the pain was intense , they started trying to work out what to give me for the pain and it took a fair while to work it all out , all that time I'm doing all my exercises and walking with crutches several times a day , was able to shower by myself from the start

On the Thursday I'd come pretty close to being able to bend the knee to 90 degrees and was able to get around on the Canadian style crutches with out difficulty ,

On Friday I was only able to bend the knee to around 30 degrees , didn't get a lot better for several days

The pain made my nausea intense and they had to give medication for that and I wasn't able to eat much more than a couple of pieces of toast at each meal for 5 days

I run a fever for several days as well ,

Once they got the pain manageable they put me on a machine that worked the leg from straight to bent very slowly and the first day on the machine we got to 84* , [ 4 hours straight on the machine ] that night the knee swole up to worse than ever and the next day the doctors inspected and I could barely bend it [ it needs to bend to 90* before they will let you go home ]

Part of the problem may be because the hospital run out of ice and I couldn't keep icing the knee and also because of a series of emergencies that took the nurses away from their normal duties I wasn't able to get my main 8.00PM painkiller until 11.15 PM and my lesser 5.00pm meds until 11.00am and by then I was climbing the walls

Painkillers didn't kick in to any real degree until after 1.00AM and not a whole lot then

Old feller in the bed beside me was suffering from some degree of confusion and kept getting out of bed to use a pee bottle , unfortunately he had three cannulas in and every time he did all the alarms would go , he couldn't hear them and when he got out of bed he could no longer reach the bottle , so after he peed on the floor several times and crapped on it once , the nurse asked us to ring the buzzer when ever the alarms went off as they couldn't hear them from the nurses station on in any of the other rooms or over the old lady with dementia who kept screaming out all night that people were trying to kill her , there are normaly 4 fully trained nurses and a couple of aids on duty of a night but that night there was one fully trained nurse and a trainee , poor bloody nurse was run off his feet

This was a surgical ward in a hospital that does many more joint replacements than most , but clearly hospitals aren't a good place to catch up on your sleep

Any way the next day they put me on the machine again but had to start off with less movement than the start of the day before because of the swelling

But after 4 hours was able to get to 94* and the physiotherapist rang the doctor and he said I could go the next day , I asked if I could possibly get out that afternoon and after a bit of a chat they said yes , they needed the bed

So last night the first good nights sleep in 10 days

The doctors were very good , and the nurses were brilliant

My doctor reckons that only one in about 20 patents has any real problem with excessive swelling and I just happened to be that one in 20 although he reckoned mine was the worst he'd seen so far

I'm not in any hurray to get the right one done

David
 

michstripcanoe

Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2003
86
0
Oscoda, michigan
Ouch: Sounds like you won't be running any marathons real soon, but thanks for the description of the surgical process. Think I'll just keep limping around a while before I get any joints replaced. Thanks for the report. Dapper Al.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,725
115
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
David, ask them to count their sponges again. You might be carrying one around.

My left knee was replaced a bit over 5 years ago. In Michigan, when they fix a car, they have to give you back the old parts as proof they needed replacement. I adked for my old knee joint; figured it would make a good soup bone.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,232
73
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
You are correct , A hospital is no place to get any rest , It just can't be done. The best thing is to get out of there and home so you can rest and heal a lot quicker.
As with any operation it is best to get it done and over with then all of it is behind you and in a while the memory of all of it just fades into the past as you move forward.

Chuck.
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Bloody hell Jack , I was eating when I read that , didn't feel like eating after

Went for a walk this morning on my crutches , 80 metres each way , was starting to limp by the time I got back , will do it again at lunch and again in the afternoon

The whole leg is yellow , black and blue

David
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
A mate of mine reckons there isn't a pedestal high enough to put nurses on and I'm inclined to agree , I sure as hell would want to have to put up with the shit they do on a daily basis

I always make sure that I thank them and treat them well and with respect , must be some thing new for them as when I left a few of them come around to shake my hand and say good bye , a couple of them told me that I was the easiest patient they had had for some time

David
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,232
73
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
David........

When I got home from the triple bypass I had to really work to just walk out to the mail box and back , about 60 feet round trip and it seamed like it took forever. Each day I would go a few steps further. Then the home care ( physical therapy ) nurse came to the house and had me walk further on each visit plus leg lifts and the rest of the exercises , One was interesting , it was standing up from a sitting position without using my arms. :roll:
Before I knew it I could walk around the block and then further. Now a 4 mile hike is just fun or a 15 mile peddle on the bike is enjoyable.
ONE Step At a Time...........They will continue to increase. :D

Chuck.
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Chuck

Only having problems with one sort of exercise and that is the knee flexion ones , don't have any problem with the others at all

To try and get more bending in the knee I've been putting a hot pack on it for around 20 minutes then get my wife to lift the knee and slowly move it back and forward as far as it will go , we do this about 5 times in a row several times a day , it is helping but the knee is still very very swollen

I went for a walk out to the post box and a little beyond around lunch , that is around 50 metres each way but it was too hot and I started feeling ill , will try again later

I knew it would be slow , just not this slow

I hate not being able to do things for my self , for instance I can make my own coffee or tea but then I can't carry it while on the crutches and have to ask my wife to do that for me

David
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Yep , every thing is slower , when I bend my right knee [ my good one ] it sounds like some one stirring a bucket of gravel , because of limited movement due to the bad knee over the last 2 and a half years it's going to take a lot of time before I'm really fit again , the specialist seems to think that I may be able to get back to using my hobbie outback in about a year and a half if I behave my self and do every thing right

The oxycodone based painkillers I'm on aren't doing me any favours , there are certain side effects that I'm not fond of , for instance , Chills , cold sweats , difficult or labored breathing , dizziness, faintness, or light headedness , fever , cough , loss of strength

I'm going to the specialist today , will probably get my stitches out , will ask him about a change in medication maybe to a Norspan 20 patch , I'm already on the Norspan 10 , the knee is still rather tender and bruised , actually the left side is so bruised it's painful with just a sheet on it , swollen hard as a rock and giving off a lot of heat

I've done some of my exercises this morning but not all them as I don't want to risk not being able to walk all the way from where we will need to park ,

David
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,725
115
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
David, I can pass along some advice from personal experience. Do with it as you see best.

Oxycodone (not certain on spelling, so following your lead) is a dangerous drug. It is addictive, some say highly addictive. Frankly, it contributed to my wife's death. My advice is to avoid it at all costs.

Range of motion after knee replacement isn't a problem of bending the new knee; it bends fine. The problem is stretching the muscles. It feels like they shortened muscles about an inch both above and below the knee. (Maybe we're back to my soup bone theory?). We're left with insufficient muscle and tendon length to do the job. Our job now becomes stretching out the remaining muscle and tendons. A stationary bike was by far the most useful tool for that job. And once I got enough range of motion, a real bike was much more satisfying. My advice is to pedal your arse off.

I know you to be a very determined man. So, whatever paths you choose, I know you will follow them with dedication. So, my psrting sdvice is - give it hell! Give it all you've got.
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Jack

Saw the doctor yesterday , talked to him about getting off the oxy but still needing pain relief , he didn't listen all that much and decided that I needed to reduce my painkillers by two thirds , and they were barely working before that ,

Well I did give it a go and missed my main pain killers and one of the lesser ones and then spent several hours almost climbing the walls in pain then ended up taking them around midnight and waiting another hour and a half for them to kick in properly

I know from experience that reducing the oxy by that amount will trigger a withdrawal response and I don't need that , but he did say that once my new script run out I should consult my GP , well that will work out as he didn't actually watch what he was doing and the script he wrote out will only last 1 and 1/2 days instead of the week he seemed to think it would

Unfortunately yesterday I got one of the young doctors on the surgical staff and not the main surgeon , they always seem preoccupied and don't listen

Any way getting all those staples out wasn't fun

Jack I spent more than 6 months doing phsyio and hydro to keep all the muscles and tendons strong and stretched , the idea was to make all this easier

I'm wondering if part of the problem was the nerve block they did didn't work properly , it only effected part of the knee and not the rest , they ended up with three senior anaesthesiologists and their off siders and they all agreed it was done right just not working properly

Any way it seems that in recovery I come out of it way sooner than they expected and was in a lot of pain , they say it was problems with my high tolerance to pain killers

When at the hospital I met a guy who had his knee done the day before mine and he's getting around fine , almost no swelling at all and no problems with it at any time , also met a woman who had hers done 6 weeks ago and even with the phsyio every few days and all the exercises at home she hasn't gotten the right amount of movement and the leg is swollen up like a bloody balloon , it seems they are going to open her up again

I've been exercising several times a day but since I eased off on the bending exercises I'm naturally getting a little more movement and not the excessive swelling , when I push it I just get swelling and pain and even less movement

I'm a little stiff and sore today , 3 1/2 Hours up at the hospital yesterday , after the first half hour I had to get up and walk every 10 minutes or so as I was just stiffening up and was in pain , knee was in pain and my back was really giving me shit , I just kept running through my exercises and walking , when I got home I just went to bed and was out of it for three hours

Any way will see what I can work out with my doctor on thursday

Just did a 200 metre walk , I'm way stiff from yesterday

David
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,645
1
on the bank of Trinity Bay
David,
How's the knee doing. Any better or any worse. Did they give you any kind of guarantee in
case something went wrong. Here they make you sign so many releases that they would not be held liable if they skinned you alive. Sure hope you have had an improvement.
Bob
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
The knee is getting a little better every day , over did it the other day , went for a walk about 800 to 900 metres , just a little too much , doing 400 to 500 metres a couple of times a day now , using ice packs and hot packs between times to keep the swelling down

Saw the Physiotherapist for the first time today , he's very happy with the results , sleep is getting a little easier every night

My doctor thought my idea of going to a 20 patch and going off the Oxy to be a very good idea and when he heard what the hospital doctor had recommended for pain medication he just shook his head , he reckoned he couldn't think of any thing so stupid

I'm walking every day , and going a little more every day , the pain is a little less every day , not a whole lot but enough to notice

A little more movement every day

Still using a lot of ice packs and hot packs

David