Knee Surgery

February 25, 2008

For those of you who havenít heard I had my first surgery last week. I had both of my knees scoped last Thursday to trim and remove bits of torn cartilage from my knees. There wasnít a specific injury that necessitated my surgery it was just a long-term build up of wear and tear from a 16-year pro-wrestling career. The problems first started in my right knee and then later developed in my left, quite probably from putting added pressure on it while trying to favour the injured right.

Thanks to an incredibly slow medical system the whole process from my initial doctors visit, to access the problem, till the eventual surgery was approximately 21 months. Yes just less than two years from when I first had my knees look at until the medical profession got around to doing something about it. I guess I can at least take comfort in the fact that at least I wonít be getting a large bill at the end of it all.

Iíd love to be able to tell you all that the surgery went extremely well and Iím expected to make a full 100% recovery, but unfortunately I canít. That isnít to say that the surgery went poorly mind you, because to be honest I have no idea how the surgery went at all. Let me explain.

Apart from the initial consult with the surgeon, when he told me I definitely needed to get both me knees done, I had practically no further interaction with him. I did not see the man again until the day of my surgery and that was but for a brief minute or two tops. From what I can tell the surgery process is very much that of an assembly line and doctors waste as little time as possible.

I had to check in at the hospital at 7:40 am for my 10:40 am surgery. While there waiting I noticed the schedule board and the fact that my surgeon had surgeries schedule every hour that day. He stopped by to see me for a brief chat after his first surgery, around 8:20 am, and explained that he doesnít do a post surgery consult with patients because he found that most patients didnít recall the conversations due to the after effects of the anesthesia, and that he would do that at a follow up appointment the following week.

After that brief conversation he was off to surgery #2 and I never saw him again. I spoke with several nurses and the anesthesiologist after that, but that was it. I was given a general anesthetic and was asleep well before my surgeon reappeared and he was long gone by the time I woke up. Thankfully I experienced no ill effects from the anesthesia so the whole experience was a peaceful, if somewhat uninformative one.

Once I was fully awake I again received very little instruction. A nurse explained that I could take the tensor wraps off my knees after 2 days and that I should keep the incisions as dry and clean as possible and that I should book my follow up appointment with my surgeon for the following week, and that was that. She sent my wife to get me a wheel chair and I never spoke to anyone again. When my wife returned with the wheel chair no one helps us, or gave us any instructions, we just left.

I can only assume things went well, and if they had found anything unexpected during the procedure someone would have said something. My follow up appointment is Wednesday morning, so hopefully I will know more then and post an update on my website then, but for now I can only assume things went well.

My knees were quite sore immediately once I got home and I could barely manage hobbling back and forth between my couch and the bathroom. I spent my first two nights sleeping on the couch in my living room because there was no way I was going to try to negotiate stairs. Had I just had one knee done I would have been far more mobile but with both of them getting done I was pretty useless for the first couple days. Saturday night I managed to make it up the stairs and sleep in my own bed but that first couples of nights were pretty crappy.

My knees are fairly tight and my range of motion is still a little limited but I am moving around much better and each day is a noticeable improvement. With the exception of doing stairs, Iíve given up the crutches in favour of a cane, and hope to be walking without either fairly soon. Hopefully I will know more Wednesday after my follow up appointment with my surgeon and I will have a better idea of how soon I can expect to be back to normal. Keep your fingers crossed for me and I will try to keep you posted.

Lance