Sunday, August 1, 2010

Making Progress

Starting my third week post op. I can now go up the stairs like a normal person one foot in front of the other. I can do it going down too, but sort of sideways. I am going to go for a walk around the lake today. Hopefully that won't be too much of a problem. It will be my longest walk since injuring my knee in the first place.

My knee tends to get sort of stuck when I bend it. It is also making really nasty grinding sounds. I am sure it is something that will work itself out, but it is sort of annoying.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fantastic day today. I went to the doctor for my post-op visit. He told me that out of all the hundreds of patients he's seen in the past 10 years, I have the best range of motion at this stage by far of anyone he's operated on. My range 11 days post op is 0-130 degrees. My graft is really strong and I'm well on my way. He gave me the okay to open my brace so I can bend my knee to walk and I can lose the crutches whenever I am ready.

Here are the pictures from the arthroscopy:

All this lovely cotton candy is what's left of my ACL after shredding it to pieces.

Here is the hole left from where my ACL was removed.

This is the doctor drilling the hole to attach the graft.

My new ACL taken from my patellar tendon.

This is the damage to my cartilage. The rough area is supposed to be smooth like the rest of the cartilage. Luckily, it is over on the medial side of my knee and is not in the center where it would be much more affected by rubbing. I may be able to escape osteoarthritis in my future.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So Pretty

I am doing my physical therapy exercises twice a day. Right now, they are consisting of leg lifts in all four directions and calf raises. These exercises are done with the brace on. The remaining exercises which include quad sets, ankle circles and pumps, glut squeezes, etc are done without the brace. I will be going to PT twice a week for a few weeks then we will start spreading it out since I am only allowed 30 visits/calendar year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sunday night was the worst night. My friend Karen came over Sunday afternoon with some food for me and the family. About an hour into her visit, I started feeling nauseous. That was it for me. I got sick soon after she left. I tried to get a little light food into me (cheerios, crackers, etc), but I couldn't keep anything in. I threw up four times between 4:00 and around 8:00pm. The problem was that I kept throwing up the pain meds, too. I was in so much pain from my knee and so much pain from my stomach that I was simply a wreck. I used as much ice on my knee that I could tolerate and tried to sleep. I woke up feeling a bit less nauseous at around 1:00 and finally got some food in my stomach. I waited about an hour and then took the percocet and I was okay after that.

RULE: NEVER take pain meds on an empty stomach! EVER!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rough Night

Wow, last night was hard. Percocet every 4-6 hours became Percocet every 2-3 hours. The pain was so unbelievable I almost threw up. I was afraid to fall asleep worried that if I didn't take the meds frequently enough, I would wake up in even more pain. On top of the pain, I have found out that Percocet releases histamines and I'm itching all over.

The good news is that I am feeling better this morning. I am still hurting a lot, but I am starting my PT today. The doctor wants me to start moving it and I am not one to back off.

Here goes!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Looking Pretty Now

I thought I'd share how pretty my knee looks today, one day after surgery.


Yesterday was my surgery and it went very well. I got to the hospital and they brought me back right away and started the IV. It was the easiest one I've ever had. Instead of the hand, she put it in my forearm and it was much more comfortable there. Took all my vitals and then sent me back to meet with the anesthesiologist. I thought I was going to be put under before the femoral block, but that turned out not to be the case. They like for patients to be awake for the block to make sure it works properly. Being nervous about this, he gave me this wonderful sedative. It took about 15 seconds to work and felt like I just drank a couple glasses of wine.

The injection didn't hurt any more than getting the IV did even though the needle went into a pretty sensitive area - just at the groin. After the injection, my leg started to spasm. My leg went numb almost instantly from the groin to just below the knee. I would up waiting there for a while, I think about 45 minutes. I didn't mind at all. I think I was feeling really good from the sedative and I remember playing with my fingers. The nurse came by and rolled me into OR5 for surgery. I was out for the count a few minutes later and woke up with my new knee. Upon waking up I was violently trembling from the anesthesia. They gave me something to stop that and it worked immediately. I was feeling alert within 15 minutes or so. The only pain I had was in my ankle. The nurse said that the pain was radiating down my leg but I couldn't feel it in my knee because of the block. It wasn't great pain, more of a pressure. It went away on its own in about 45 minutes.

After eating some crackers and drinking water, I met with the doctor. The reconstruction went perfectly. However, there was some bad news. I did some damage to my cartilage. It's called articular cartilage damage and it can happen with an injury like mine, or over time. The cartilage is supposed to be smooth like a lightbulb. Mine was more like a head of broccoli. The doctor smoothed it out the best he can, but it will most likely lead to osteoarthritis in the future.

I am about 16 hours out from my surgery now. I have no pain whatsoever. Of course, the block is still in place. I took two or three percocet to make sure I stayed on top of any pain, but as of now I haven't really felt any. It will probably be a different story in a few hours.

The doctor wrapped my leg in a huge bandage and my knee is very well protected. I have my brace on set at full lock. Everything will stay like this until tomorrow when I will take the brace and bandage off and start bending my knee and take a shower. I haven't seen my knee yet. The doctor said all the stitches are under the skin and there are steri-strips on the outside. He used some sort of plastic screws that will fully dissolve in around 18 months.

My first PT appointment is on Tuesday.

All for now.