Sunday, January 24, 2010

Disrobing the knee

So it's been 3 days since my surgery. I guess the whole procedure was pretty routine for my doctor, as nothing special was prescribed. As I suspected, I was overly nervous of the whole general anesthesia thing. My Anesthesiologist was really nice, very smart, and presented an amount of confidence that made me comfortable with what was going on. At last it was time for me to walk myself into the OR. The staff were nice enough to supply me with a blanket, so as not to moon everyone behind me through the opening in my gown, and they carried my IV's as well. As I walked into the OR, I saw the table there before me, long and cold looking, with the arm holders that could only remind me of images I've seen of tables presented to subjects about ready to be administered a lethal injection. It's all I could think of. I voluntarily climbed up and laid down on the table, doing my best to place trust in the staff that has treated me so well so far. I was pleasantly greeted to a warm posterior, to which I blurted out loud, "Hey, this ride has butt warmers!" That got a good laugh out of all in the room. The doctor and anesthesiologist hadn't arrived yet. Seconds later, my sleepy time doc walked in, and talked about all the good things he had in his medicine cabinet for me. That's the last thing I remember.

What seemed like a millisecond later, I was coming to in the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit). I was given Saltines and Graham Crackers, and a can of ginger ale (my choice). Finally. I was still quite hungry, from not having eaten anything for 19 hours. Throat dry from drugs, I chewed on the plate of food, only able to swallow after soaking it in the ginger ale. Once I ate it all, I was given a percocet to help with what pain was still remaining. The anesthesiologist had given me a femoral nerve block that was taking care most of my problems. A little pain remained behind my knee and that's it. Over the next to hours a came to enough, read stuff, forgot it, and chatted with my wife and friend, who were there to take me home.

I've been on the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine almost continuously since I've been home and awake. It's amazing how it seems to keep the pain at bay. I'm to increase the Range of Motion by 10 degrees everyday, eventually working my way up to 110 degrees. Day 1, 45 degrees. So far so good. I've only taken drugs at night (except for the first day) to help me sleep. Standing up is probably the worst. I can feel the blood rush to the joint after being elevated, the the pressure can feel quite agonizing. It usually quickly subsides and lets me walk around though. I'm to only put 50% weight on my knee for the first 14 days, and I'm quite fine with that.

So after 3 days, I've decided to take of the dressings and inspect the wounds, make sure they are't getting infected or anything. Looks good to me.

It was quite an experience taking off the Ace bandage actually. I could feel blood beginning to flow where it hasn't flown all that well for the past few days, but it was different than standing up. Overall not to bad. 4 major holes. I was expecting 5, based on the pain I had been feeling, but there wasn't one from were the graft was harvested, and where I am feeling the most pain. I guess the doctor went through the incision made below my patella to harvest the tendons from my gracilis and semitendinosus.

Overall though, I think I'm doing well, and can feel improvements day to day. Either that or my tolerance to pain is improving. I'm going to continue the use of the CPM, and the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) therapy until Thursday, when I have my first PT appointment. Supposedly I can get on my bike on day 21, and ride. Looking forward to that. Until next time...


dub said...


Mish said...

Hello there, New to blogger but just read your posts. I have also torn my acl before and i did a meniscal tear. Just saying i know what you went through! Stay strong and it does get better and easier, im sure you know this by now :).

Keep blogging,