Monday, July 27, 2009

Going Bionic

I am not the first person to ever get a total knee replacement and I am sure that some people have more horrific stories than mine, but I never thought that I would ever have to get a knee replacement at such a relatively young age (under 60). In my case, I didn't have too much of choice, my left knee shifted to the left, I was bone on bone, and everything rested on the tendon. To make matters worse, I have a foot problem, so when the knee shifted it caused me to step down on the outside edge of my foot placing pressure on the inside of the knee. I was always in pain, could barely walk at times and the pain doubled or tripled depending if it was a good or bad day. So having the operation was a no brainier, the next step was who I wanted to work on my body.

For anyone who needs to get an operation, here are some tips about doctors. First, anytime you need an operation, always get a second opinion. The reasons are vast, but it's good to have two different opinions they may give you more options.

Second, you need to be real comfortable about the doctor you choose, in that, he'll do the best job for you. So, if your not totally comfortable, look around until you are and if it means going to see two or ten doctors, so what, it's your body and you are the one who will have to cope with the results.

Finally, stay away from the idiot doctors, these are the doctors who have issues over things like being overweight, how you look, or a number of other things. Here's some guide lines, doctors are very "touchy feely" when it comes to injuries they want to see it and at some point they will have you move the injured part, then they'll poke it and bend/twist it. If the doctors never wants to touch it , then he doesn't want your problem. Next, is the battle of wills. These doctors are the ones who try to get a reaction from you and want you to believe that their opinion is your only hope. Usually, this is done by giving you only negative aspects of surgery and beyond. Look, there are always risks to any surgery determined by your age, weight, life style, what you eat, drink, or whatever, but there are also benefits which always out weigh the risk, so if the doctors can't show the benefits, then he/she is not the one for you.

Let's get back to the knee replacement. As I stated, there was no emotional roller coasters in my replacement, the knee was shot, it wouldn't get any better and anything would be an improvement to the way I was going. So I was set, a trip to the hospital, an hour and a half in surgery and it was done.

Now knee surgery is different from reconstructive foot surgery (which I had done on my right foot a year ago), with the foot, there was three months of non-weight bearing. With the knee, they have you up on the knee a couple hours after surgery. It was a weird feeling, the pain that I previously had was gone and replaced by a surgical pain and soreness, but it still was a good feeling that I had not experienced for a couple of years.

I spent three days in the hospital, went to four sessions of physical therapy and went home.

Medical technology is very amazing, knee replacements have been in practice since 1967, but there have been many other advances in what they can repair on the human body. We are lucky to have the opportunity to have such advantages in our life time, which can improve our quality of life over a crippling deformity. But there are some people who are afraid of such technology and rightly so, some people have problems with concept of replacing original parts. For those people, I suggest that they come to grip with the fear and reap the benefits which in the end will end their pain and suffering.

As for my ending, I am now in physical therapy--but you'll have to wait for my next blog.