I noticed a good looking gentleman yesterday who was having obvious pain in one knee as he walked. It’s amazing how we notice things about other people that relate to our own experiences. Everywhere I go I see people with knee issues who are having trouble walking or are limping.
I hope that one day there will be a breakthrough in medical science to regrow missing cartilage of the joints. There is footage on the internet with a human engineered ear growing on a rat’s back. Surely if science can do such a thing now, the answer to joint replacement in the future will not be so primitive.
I had to have a total knee replacement in my right knee a few years ago due to an injury I got at school. At that time the doctor told me the injury would accelerate arthritis in that wounded knee and in the other knee that ended up doing more of the work. He said it would be five to 10 years faster than the normal aging process. He was right on target.
Between the time I am writing this and the time it appears in the paper, I will have had total knee replacement and be back home recovering if all goes well. That is a total change from the last time I had the surgery. It was a very difficult surgery and I had a long recovery because of muscles and ligaments that were injured as well as the knee joint.
The surgery that took three and half to four hours that last time is estimated to take about 70 minutes this time. Surgery one day and home the next. Considering the extent of the surgery, that is pretty phenomenal.
When my mother had the surgery years ago, they sent her from the hospital to a rehabilitation center for several days before she could come home. For my last surgery, I was in the hospital for three to four days then to a friend’s huge flat house to recover for about 10 days before coming home. This time it will be up and back in a couple of days and straight home to recover.
According the required pre-surgery education class, people recover better at home. Our bodies are used to the germs in our own house and adjusted to our own environment. It is safer to be home in a clean home than it is to be in a hospital with the danger of super bugs and infection. My surgeon has a history of zero infection rates. That’s pretty good, I’d say.
Knee replacement is no fun. Some people recover much more quickly than others. I hope that I am one of those quick healers this time around. Knowing what the ordeal is like from the last time, I’ve put the surgery off as long as I can and still walk around on my own two legs. At this point, I just want it done and to get back on the road to recovery.
I want my life back. I want to be able to walk without being in pain. I want to be able to go hiking without getting out in the woods and thinking I might not be able to make it back to the car. I want to be able to climb stairs without suffering for it. I want to be able to play and enjoy my grandchildren.
For all of the people reading this or who know someone that needs a knee replacement surgery, my advice is this. Find a doctor with a good reputation whom you trust, a hospital with a good reputation for post-surgery care, and go ahead and do it. Barring complications, it is the best thing to do for now and the future.
I’ll write more about it when I’m home recovering. Until then, all prayers are appreciated!
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.