Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Knee - d an Update?

Yesterday Kari drove me to my first post-op visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon, in which he (Harold Jackson, MD) assured me that I'm doing very well.  He removed the staples (about 25 of them) and said that I could get the incision wet this afternoon.  I have so much experience in Orthopedic Surgery, but not much from this side of the knife!  Having worked in surgery for many years, I know lots about the procedures themselves; but not much, if any at all, about the recovery process.  And, much of the recovery experience is subjective - different for everybody - so it's not necessarily advantageous to compare notes with others who've had this surgery; however, I think everybody does compare, at least a little.

The home health nurse, Cindy, who has been visiting me here at Kari's, is, herself, a Total Knee Replacement 'survivor.'  She had the surgery about two years ago and likes to compare notes with me.  Yesterday, she rolled up her pants leg to show me her scar, which is really not bad at all.  My incision line looks rather yucky at this time; I know it will fade and become less angry looking.
The 'hole' near my shorts is from the drain that was placed during surgery - and removed before I left the hospital.

Dr. Jackson took out his trusty instrument for measuring the degrees of flexion (bending) and extension (straightening) of my knee.  Those torture exercise sessions I've been having a couple or three times each day are really beginning to pay off.  Before surgery, my right knee had developed quite a deformity, where I could not with bend or extend my knee through very many degrees.  When I stood with both legs as straight as I could make them, my right knee jutted out almost two inches in front of my left.  Now, as I stand and look down, both knees are in the same alignment.  Yippee!

More difficult is flexion (bending); Dr. Jackson had me sit in a chair and draw my right knee as far back towards the chair as I could.  He measured the degree of flexion at 90 degrees (a right angle) and said that is excellent progress as this stage of the game.  I'll continue to be diligent about all my at-home exercises to increase that flexion degree to as much as will be possible with  artificial knee components.

I'm anxious to get back to the gym and swimming pool.  Swimming is actually my favorite form of exercise; the doc said I can swim this week and that it's a desirable form of exercise because of the buoyancy provided by water, making all exercises less traumatic.


OK, enough knee news!  My newly-engaged granddaughter, Quinn, is coming home this weekend; she and my daughter, Kari, have appointments to view several venues for her wedding.  As of now, the wedding date is in October, 2015; so, they have lots of time to make decisions and get things done for a beautiful wedding.
This was Quinn Easter morning - before Landon popped the 
big question at Easter dinner
The Duane siblings with Landon, the groom-to-be
L to R: Spencer, Avery, Addison, Holland, Tate, Quinn, and Landon

45 comments:

  1. Sounds wonderful that you are recovering in leap and bounds, keep up the good work.

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  2. Thanks, George, for your wishes and for just stopping in, too.

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  3. Mary-Pat we are so proud of all the hard work you are doing to speed your recovery. The swimming pool will be a good thing for you too. You have good looking grand kiddos.

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    1. Thanks Betty and thank you for the wonderful photos you emailed too.

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  4. Ouch, that looks like quite a scar. Wishing you speedy recovery Mary-Pat. Don't over do it.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. Believe it or not, I've not had one moment of pain at the actual scar line. My home health nurse showed me her total knee scar that's a year and a half old - it's really quite presentable. I'm sure mine will be red for several months - but, trust me, it doesn't hurt. I still get just over all pain that is well controlled with pain medication. The pain is becoming less and less as the days go by.

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  5. Swimming is a perfect exercise because there is no weight stress. I suspect later on a bicycle might be good too. Happy healing!

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    1. I'm anticipating the physical therapist in a few minutes; last visit he said we'd start using the pedal exerciser today. I'm looking forward to trying anything that'll bring me closer to being able to ride and bike. And swimming is a favorite pastime - however I don't think I'll be very interested in "good times" but simply for the exercise of relaxed stroking in the pool.

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  6. I suggest putting something like Bio Oil or Vitamin E on the scar daily, just rub it in for a few moments. I did after my hip replacement and the scar is almost invisible. You are doing remarkably well but then you have the incentive of going back to your home and the open road.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder, Contessa. I'd forgotten that I've always used Vitamin E oil for scarring - with great results. Need to hit the drug store for some - really soon!

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  7. I'm so happy you are healing well. I agree with Contessa about the putting something on the scar to help fade it.

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl . . . hey what are your travel plans for summer? I'd just love to make a better effort to meet up sometime and some place.

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  8. So glad that your recovery process is going so well. In a few weeks that scar will look much better. The one on my hand from February is hardly noticeable now, mind you it is a much smaller scar than yours.

    Love the picture of the grandkids and the groom-to-be, they all look beautiful!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Hi Ruth:
      Thanks for the nice words. My "adventures" of right now are certainly less than you're at your new camp. Hope this Summer proves to be the best (working) summer yet.

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  9. Your knee looks good, still pretty swollen. I guess that will take sometime to go down. Enjoy the pool, that sounds like a great way to exercise your knee.

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    1. Hi Sheila:
      Yes, the size and shape of my knee change from moment to moment, it seems. Last evening I went to the supermarket with Kari preparing for the onslaught of family and friends coming for this Mother's Day weekend. Well, that little jaunt made my knee double sized so today I think will have to be a little less strenuous.

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  10. ouch! getting caught up, Mary-Pat… glad you're doing well! and Quinn is adorable … her ring is gorgeous! LOVE the animals … aw Bailey … what a heartwarming but scary story … little guy! and Pampers with a hole… oh, me… and Eleanor is very cool …

    I am opting for not driving all over any longer. I want to just go within no more than a day's drive somewhere…. so much gorgeous country where you are and where I am … I've been fortunate to see a bunch of these here United States and I've come to the conclusion that nature is what I love …. not necessarily any in particular… EXCEPT I do prefer the green and mountains and such over the more arid states. just not a desert person and I'm no where near one here in the south! the thought of going west again through all the states… to get to Washington and Oregon … two of my favorite states … just doesn't do it for me any longer.

    I'd love to go to Maine again but … just am worn out on driving … I just want to go sit by a river or the Gulf and just listen … to all that glorious stuff around me… plenty of that within two hours …

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    1. There is beauty to appreciate everywhere. In our desire to cover miles and see new sights, we often put off or don't experience at all the wonders of the World that surround us in our own back yard. Enjoy!

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  11. Husband had both done in November and is completely pain free, can do a full squat, walk long distances, go up and down stairs.....off the walker in two weeks, no cane after four days. You'll be sooo happy you did it! A separate note from your comment on Howard's post about the floors - have you looked in Eugene? They have so many places that work on RVs, I'm thinking they might have a reasonable place to get yours done. Just a thought.

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    1. Hi Jodee:
      Thank yo so much for your comments. Your husband's recovery is such good news for me - I wish him continued health and enjoyable life - with lots of mobility!
      Oh, and thank you for the suggestion of Eugene; I may well look into that. As I've mentioned I don't have any set plans for where I'll be heading when I can manage the RV again; but, I have thought that Oregon would be high high on my list of possibilities for enjoyment.

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