Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Post-Op Progress

I apologise for being ‘off-blog’ for most of the last week or so but events have over-taken me and my time has been otherwise pre-occupied. For those of you who are interested and realise I had a total knee replacement three weeks ago here is where I’m at, recovery-wise.

Firstly, this knee replacement is very different to the last and I put that down to the Zimmer technology that they’ve developed and are using – milestones are coming much sooner – but all is not 100% ‘rosy’. There is a lot more swelling around the knee, however, the pain threshold is much more tolerable and I’m already weaning off the Oxy-Contin and Endone (currently down to a morning and an evening dose and using ‘lighter’ analgesics like paracetamol and Digesic in between times.) I’m already off my crutches and ambulating with the aid of a walking stick, slowly extending my range of walking activities.

We had a ‘domestic emergency’ last week when the steel fabricator we had engaged to install the a steel fence and gates around the patio area at ‘The Camp’ rang to say that he wanted to do the job that Wednesday, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to get there until June or July. We had no choice but to make the trip up to ‘The Camp’ even tho’ I was probably not ready for a two hour car drive but management up there can be a bit ‘stroppy’ with alterations and additions and we would need to be there to keep them off the tradie’s back while he did the job. We opted for an overnight stay to break up the travelling for me.

That’s when I had one set back, on that Wednesday after the tradie had left. I had just completed my rehab exercises and doing the post-exercise muscle massages when there was a ‘pop’ and a spurt of haemo-serous fluid came out of a ‘pin hole’ in the upper suture line, probably about 40 to 50 mls of fluid. Of course, I was shocked and to make it worse we were away at ‘The Camp’, so no phone contact with the specialist. We cleaned it up, applied some steri-strips and put a dressing over it. Next day, when back in phone range I rang the surgeons clinic – he wasn’t there but the practice nurse told me to come straight to the clinic. Which we did.

When we got there I was quickly seen, the wound was swabbed and the swab sent off to pathology. She re-dressed the wound and she had one of the doctors present order me a 'starter' course of anti-biotics and made an appointment for me to see my surgeon on Monday (yesterday). She also advised me to cease all physiotherapy rehab until we knew what we were dealing with, which we did.

Yesterday I went to see the surgeon. He looked at the wound, told me the pathology swab was clear of any ‘Staph’ infection and he felt that I had a small sinus that was slowly filling with fluid (likely from a small tissue leak) until it could take no more and was then ‘popping’ out. The wound line looked sealed and he thought it was healing itself, however, he repeated the anti-biotics and wants to see me again in a week. I can also re-commence my physiotherapy rehab. Aside from this incident he was extremely pleased with the progress I was making and reminded me of all the pre-op efforts all of us had put into getting me ready for this knee replacement and assured me that he was not going to let something like this cause any unwanted outcomes. I felt quite comfortable with his attentions and believe that I can now get on with getting this knee working properly.

I’ve been trying to contact the rehab physiotherapy and hope to have an appointment with him this week to get the rehab program back on track.


LindaG said...

Wow. That would have freaked me out. Glad to hear everything is going well though, John. Hope it continues for you.

JohnD said...

Thanks Linda - I was a bit 'freaked' also. Rhonda came out from her shower and saw me sitting there as white as a sheet with this 'ooze' running down the front of my leg.

Anyway, have a physio appointment for 9.30 this morning, so back into the rehab program.

Jim said...

Lucky you are a nurse! I am sure it helps a bit to know what is happening and what to do about it till you see the doctor.
Good that you on the way to healing John. Never a dull moment, eh?