Coming attractions

Knee Replacement

I’m having double knee replacement surgery in September, and since there’s some preparation involved, I’m a little distracted. So I thought I’d mention it.

I’m feeling pretty good about the surgeon. He does more of these than anyone in the world, and it’s a good rule of thumb to choose the surgeon with the numbers. I’m also impressed by the comprehensive pre-surgical requirements aimed at avoiding infection. (Plus, he was referred to me by a friend who is the pickiest person ever. He did her knees, and she’s been bugging me for a couple of years to go see him.) So I’m feeling optimistic. (Except for the part where they told me I would cry and tell myself I wish I’d never done the surgery.)

The story of my not-walking is a very long one. Back in 2007, I had an fracture in my ankle from falling out of a tow truck. But since the hospital ER  said I only had a mild sprain, I didn’t find out for another year. After six months or so, things were so bad that I had to crawl across the room and pull myself up on the furniture to get around. I finally saw an ortho guy who insisted I just needed a shot of cortisone — which ruptured my ankle ligament an hour later!

In between, there was a car crash, cancer, covid, and Trump.

For a while, I’ve been unable to walk any distance, or even stand up longer than a minute. I do a lot of wall-leaning. I’ve seen lots of doctors (I was worried it was neurological from the untreated Lyme disease), but no one had any answers for me — until I was seen by the knee experts. The physician’s assistant asked me to stand up, looked at me and said, “You can’t stand, can you?” I said no. She asked if I was wobbly when I walked; I said yes.

She said the arthritis in my knees is so bad that she was surprised I functioned for so long. The muscles and ligaments in my legs were shortened up from my knees trying to adjust, and part of my rehab would be trying to stretch them out again.

So assuming the pandemic isn’t really bad by then, I’m going in a couple of days before my birthday. Probably three days in the hospital, then 10 days in rehab. I am very excited at the idea of walking again. (Or even standing.) Possibly riding a bike again!

But I have to be cleared by a bunch of doctors before then, so forgive me if I miss the occasional post.

P.S. I’m not sure about additional costs. I have to be cleared by a dentist, and I don’t have insurance for that. I have no idea what they’re charging for xrays, etc., now. And I probably need an exercise bike for recovery.



3 thoughts on “Coming attractions

  1. Best of luck Suzie. I’ve a friend who recently had a knee replacement. The surgery and recovery went relatively quickly and the result was excellent.

  2. I agree about the numbers. When I was needing cataract surgery, and had never had any kind of surgery before, I talked to my sister about it. She told me two things that stopped my anxiety dead in its tracks: First was “You will probably end up looking back on it as one of the best things you ever did in your whole life.” and second “Yes, the doctors at Highland are good, and have done so many of those operations that they could probably do them in their sleep.”
    She was right about both things.
    Good luck!

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