Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Saga of my Knee Surgery

On October 17th 2008, I went into our local hospital for what I thought was going to be a straight forward arthroscopy on my knee. I thought it would be just like the others I have had done in the past and that after a 10 day recovery period, I would be up and running - ok walking fast - and benefiting from the procedure.
But this is Spain, so I shouldn't have been surprised when I was told that I had had a micro fracture procedure performed and that I would be 6 weeks non weight bearing on crutches.
This procedure involves making tiny holes/fractures in the femur and tibia and allowing the growth of fibro cartilage which in turn resumes the job of the cartilage that has been worn away.
To say I was amazed is a bit of an understatement. I had not been told that this was an option, in fact I had not been told anything at all. Even more shocking is the fact that I didn't even sign a consent form for any procedure at all!
Thank heavens it was only a short visit to Portugal that we had planned for 2 weeks later and not a once in a life time holiday!

Once home, I realised that my next appointment with the surgeon was in 3 months time, and only common sense could tell me what I should and should not do after the 6 weeks of using crutches were finished, and before seeing the surgeon again. Post operative information leaflets? No, of course not!
I was however sure that when I went to see my local GP, he would surely be able to tell me what I wanted to know and be able to recommend physiotherapy. Wrong again! He just told me to take it slowly and that the surgeon would tell me what to do when I saw him.
So I am now in that foggy area of not knowing what to do for the best. The information I can find on the internet suggests that this procedure can have a 4 - 6 months recovery time, and can take 12 - 18 months before I am on the baseball team again - I'm really looking forward to that! Also, some sites suggest that physiotherapy must be undertaken from virtually the day after the operation, others suggest that no physiotherapy is necessary.
So where does that leave me at the moment? Very frustrated that is for sure.
I am still using the crutches for long walks - my own prescribed physiotherapy - and I am going without them around the house, but hobbling badly at the moment. The knee feels strong enough to support my weight, but I can't extend my leg fully from the knee and I feel like there is 'something' stopping me from doing so.
I am very anxious at present as to whether all this has been of benefit. I am also extremely worried that it hasn't helped or improved my mobility from what it was like before.
If only they would forget that I am only 51, pretend that I am 55 and give me a new knee! Yes, I understand there are reasons why, but I am willing to take that risk. I make cards with a lady of 86 years who had a knee replacement over 40 years ago and has never looked back. Now who is to say that I couldn't have that luck too? Why do they have to think so pessimistically and think that I am bound to need a revision on the new joint? Don't they have any confidence in their work? Hasn't it improved at all over the last 40 years?
Ah well, lets just hope that the operation I have had, does what it says on the can, and that what ever I am doing just now is enough to make it work in the long term.
I will keep you updated.

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