Knee Surgery – Day 7

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Day 7

Yay! It’s been a week since my partial knee replacement of my left knee. This is the 4th installment of my recovery from this surgery since the first one. I skipped Day 3, 4, 5 & 6. Those days had no further therapy in the week. I will refer to any improvements made during the week in this blog.

There have been a few more improvements that just seemed to take place. For example, last night, evening 6, I stepped off the down step out of my kitchen and forgot to take the first step with my left knee. Instead, I stepped down with my good leg, causing my injured knee to have to bend. It did, I continued, and only a few seconds later I realized there had been no pain in bending my knee. Another example – Day 5, I was emptying the dishwasher but had no place to put my crutches, so I put them elsewhere and walked back to the dishwasher, sans any crutch or device assistance – no pain. And again, I simply didn’t realize it for a few seconds. Day 5 – I was trying to put on my pants, (don’t want to give too much info here) but in doing so, I raised my left foot and pulled the pant leg on over it. The day before I had not been able to lift that foot at all. Day 5 – a few hours later, my wife had to assist me with my sox, but as soon as she got the sock over my left heel I was able to reach down and pull it the rest of the way up with no pain from the stretch. It is truly amazing what these exercises and therapy do to improve flexibility in such a short time. Day 6 – Went to my gun club membership meeting. Following the meeting while waiting for my wife to come get me, I walked, with crutches, about a quarter mile! I thought I would have immense pain after I got in the car from my knee stiffening up. Nope, no pain the entire way home. Very fine feeling.

There have been some instances of almost disaster: Day 3 – decided to use my crutches more. Took the first step with them and overbalanced to the rear. If my daughter had not been behind me it could’ve been a disastrous fall. One quickly learns not to go quicker with the feet than the brain knows about. Day 6 – following the meeting, I was discussing the surgery with several interested people around and attempted to get up out of my chair. I did it correctly, but didn’t have the leverage in my right arm. When I lost my leverage, and started back down, my chair slid out from under me. The folks around realized what was happening and saved me from a bad fall.

Day 7 – I spent last night in my bed again. Couldn’t sleep again. Just like the first day after surgery. Already explained about the heel of the foot causing the knee to be elevated in the wrong way. Last night, I simply wanted to stay there. Consequently, I stayed awake all but about 1 hour and did knee exercises the entire night. I expect that to show up in therapy and repair sometime soon. I’m still undecided whether bed or chair downstairs. The chair is, without question, the most comfortable for my knee. The stillness of the night, in bed beside my wife, is where I belong. Might just have to do night time exercises and sleep in the chair during daylight.
Today in daylight was good. Several limitations have been by passed. Some examples: I put on my own socks. Prior to today I could not get to my left foot because the knee wouldn’t bend or twist and leaning down further caused the leaning, twisting to happen. When I attempted to pull the sock on the right foot, the left foot would automatically begin to twist to compensate, and enough pain would happen to make me not want to put that sock on. Until today. Today I had to go to therapy. After my daily wash, these socks, which are compression socks to prevent blood clots, are very difficult to get on. I didn’t want to wait for my wife to help me as it seemed to me that my knee had been strengthened and felt limber. I tried it and I was able to reach the left foot, no problem and pulled the sock on. The right foot was even easier. Had’em both on in about 5 minutes.

Next thing, for my wash today I decided to try a shower. The problem with that before was I could not lift up left leg up high enough to clear the tub. Plus, I could not stand on my left leg with all my weight while putting my right leg in the tub. I was nervous about it today. One reason was my wife wasn’t there to grab me, help me, call the EMT, etc. if I actually did fall. Another reason, though less of a problem, was I was worried that if I got in, I wouldn’t be able to get out!! Imagine that. I take the shower, and can’t get out. 90 minutes later the wife comes home to take me to therapy and I’m still in the shower. I’d look like a prune. “What are you doing?” She’d say. “Taking a shower. Sometimes it just takes longer”. And then, of course, I Still wouldn’t be able to get out. All total an embarrassment even for husband/wife! Fortunately that didn’t happen at all.

I easily lifted my right foot into the tub, and tested the tub bottom making sure there was no slippage. My left foot came over just as easily. Being nervous made me take a quicker shower. I was out in about 5 minutes, usually takes a lot longer to enjoy the heat of the water. Extracting myself was a bit more exciting. I found my left leg would not clear the tub without bending the knee. I bent my knee and immediately stubbed my big toe into the tub creating some pain for the toe, and turning the air blue with some unkind words about tubs and toes. As I lowered my pained toe, I apparently experienced further dimwittedness and slid my toe down the corner of the sink cupboard nearly cutting my toe again. Old Baptist saying, ‘your sins will find you out’. I figured for sure that was just a payback from God for cursing a few minutes before, so I held my tongue this time and managed to get the rest of the way out of the tub without further incident.

I went to therapy. Two more exercises introduced but will only be done, for now, at therapy. (1) was walking with one crutch instead of my usual two. The left leg and the crutch on the right side go out at the same time, and then the right leg walks through them. The purpose of this is to let the left leg relearn to straighten fully when taking a step. The point being that the leg has to extend to straight to walk correctly. If the leg only goes to a long bend, I will walk with a limp. Don’t want that. (2) Using a short step and between a pair of parallel bars to hold on to, I was told to step up the step with my left leg and use my quads to pull me up, then step up with my right leg. Then step back down with my right leg first so my left leg would bend, then back down with my left leg. I did 40 repetitions because it simply felt good. The therapist advised me that I could practice this exercise at home but a standard house step is considerably higher than the exercise one so I would be surprised at the amount of muscle I would be required to use to hoist myself up with my left leg. I haven’t tried it yet at home.

The therapist advised me to shower when my wife is close by rather than when no one is there, just in case. Also, I was told I could sleep in bed with my heels hanging slightly over the edge of the bed, sleeping on my back, and with nothing under my knee. When my leg is straight quicker healing occurs.

So ended Day 7, with mentions of other days previously mentioned.

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About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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