For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Preparing for A Knee Replacement Part I

Once you finally make the decision to have a knee replacement there are things that need to be addressed.
  • Before you agree to any knee replacement surgery make sure your doctor has you take a metal test.  This ensures that the knee replacement does not contain a metal that you are allergic to, and could cause detrimental effects months later.  The metal test consists of your back being covered with patches of different metals for several days.  Unfortunately, they do not want you to bathe during this time.  After a few days it is obvious if you are allergic to a metal because you will start itching uncontrollably.  This happened on about the third day and the metal was nickel.  I was very thankful that this was discovered before the implant.

  • Make sure that you stock up on food, bottled water, paper products, and everything is ready to go for after surgery.

  • A list of after surgery meds will be prescribed and the list is so complicated that you will need a spread sheet to keep up with the schedule.

  • You will need a caretaker for several days.  Ice is needed on a constant basis and it will be provided by an ice machine.  Instead of putting bags of ice into the machine you can fill with frozen water bottles.  You can put enough frozen bottles in the machine to keep the water ice cold.  These bottles do not thaw easily.

  • Expect to wear booties to keep the circulation moving.  The ice and circulation machine will limit most of your rest in bed to being on your back.

  • Expect the PT person to come to your house to change your bandage and walk you through a group of exercises.  I found this rather elementary and the exercises were not very challenging.

  • One of the drugs you will be given is an opioid.    I did not find these very helpful so I could not have become dependent.  The PT person will tell you to take one before they come.  Physical therapy's  biggest concern is range of motion.  They will immediately make your leg bend more than you can every imagine.  They do measure and track your progress.  

  • Grubhub and other food services are helpful. They will bring complete cooked meals from restaurants that subscribe. 

  • My doctor told me not to leave the house for four weeks.  (no restaurants etc.)  This is a very depressing time, but it is important so that you will not fall down and injure the new implant.  It takes about twelve weeks to be able to do many normal things.