So I would love to tell you all about the actual experience of the whole surgery and knee replacement experience, but unfortunately I was asleep for both of mine. I can tell you there are some great videos on you tube. Some are very graphic and go into great detail. All I know is I go to sleep with a bad knee and wake up a few hours later and I have a long incision and staples closing it (the first time) and super glue closing it (the second time) and no pain. Not knowing how I got to that point, well after seeing the video, I am alright with that.
When it comes to the hospital stay, just make the best of it. For two and a half days, eat the food, sleep in the chair, because it’s just easier and absolutely above all else take the pain killers. When they offer the pain pills take them, if they ask if you need them say yes. The most important thing is to stay out ahead of the pain. You won’t get addicted, but once you fall behind on the pain management then you don’t sleep. If you don’t sleep then the pain is that much worse. The hospital will have you up and around early and if everything is going the way it should you won’t feel a thing.
Generally once released from the hospital it is either to home or rehab. I had at home rehab for two weeks; some folks go to a facility, depending on the need and what the insurance company says. I had a visiting therapist for two weeks after each surgery and I was fortunate enough to have the same therapist fort both knees. No matter what you may think ,the therapist only has your well being in mind. Do what he or she tells you and you will be fine. Exercise when they say exercise and back off when they tell you that you are doing too much. The therapist does know what’s best. Knee rehab is all about exercise and stretching. So now would be the time to tell you, yes it hurts. There will be times when it hurts more than anything you ever could imagine. But if you do what the people who are working with you tell you it will be over before you know it. About eight weeks from the surgery you get up one morning and something doesn’t feel right, that’s because suddenly things are getting better and it doesn’t hurt as much.
Now the fun begins, outpatient rehab. My rehab in both cases was three days a week for about 10 weeks. It’s more extensive stretching and exercising and the same at home when you are not at outpatient. The most important reason for the rehab is to keep from allowing scar tissue to start to build up. Once I heard that the way to fix scar tissue is go back in, then there was nothing I was more afraid of. The last thing I ever want is for someone to go back into those knees again.
Somewhere around the fourth week of rehab I was finally allowed to sit on a bike again. Just when I thought this was a great thing I tried to push the pedals around for the first time. Most likely the most excruciatingly painful thing I ever experienced . But as I was told when working on my first knee, you come to a point where you are either going to beat this and win and go forward or you will be one of those people who always wishes they did. It’s a long way to Florida and I will win….Play nice….Randy