Knee Surgery – More Days

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

This is the continuing story of recovery from partial knee replacement surgery.

The last part of my saga ended in the a.m. of Day 21. Day 21 therapy was a good day, and was in the afternoon part of the day. Upon arrival, and examination, Jorge decided I should now walk with a cane rather than any crutches. A happy day! My bend angle of my leg is nearly as acute as my uncorrected knee. On the bicycle I twirled the knee completely around from the beginning of the time frame. Indeed, it was too easy, so I lowered the seat about an inch. Wasn’t quite so easy then, but I still managed to do mostly complete circles, both forward and reverse. I advised Jorge of my kneeling exercise. He was enthused and told me this series of elementary steps I used to kneel was the same method used in the therapy. He believed I would eventually not have any issues kneeling. I discussed kneeling on a bare floor with my new granddaughter and crawling around after her. Jorge said plain out that the reason people with knee replacements cannot do this type of kneeling was because they were not doing their exercises based on their therapy. And, they did not have the willpower to do the exercises continuous. It was good to hear that. Based on my own exercise routine for therapy, I’ll expect to be able to kneel eventually.

Day 22. The first night I did not wake up from the ache of the knee. I’d like to give complete credit to healing of the knee. However, for dinner I had about a half glass of red wine. Red wine nearly always helps me sleep more sound, so perhaps it was the wine, not the healing knee. Either way, I slept the night away, never waking once to a knee ache. Upon arising, I completed exercises. Then I completed my kneeling pillow exercises as well.

Day 23. I guess it could’ve been the wine that helped me sleep as stated in the last paragraph. Sleeplessness returned last night and I woke up several times with an achy knee in the bent position, of simply in one place too long. Jorge had told me that when I woke up and stayed awake to do the bent knee exercise as well as the leg straightening exercises while I remained awake. I tried that. It took hardly any time before that straightening exercise was nearly too painful to continue. I figured it must really be helping. I continued this for a considerable length of time and finally went back to sleep. I woke up a few more times but not long enough for exercises, just long enough to realize I was in pain and make some movements to ease that ache.

When I talk about pain in these comments, it isn’t a sharp pain; it’s simply a hard ache. Pain has never been felt even when the surgery was first over. It’s always been an ache. The therapists are also very careful about pain. A sharp pain means to them that the exercise is over working the joint. So the exercise is eased up until there is a small ache or less.

Day 24. I advised Liz in therapy that even though Jorge had told me to begin using the cane, I came to realize very soon that I had forgotten how to use a cane. Liz quickly showed me and I used the cane to walk around the therapy room a few times to get used to it. The technique returned quickly. It seemed like I’ve used the cane many times. Indeed….I’ve had the crutches for nearly 30 years from the first knee trauma and the cane over 20 years as well. At the rate I’m going between knees, ankles and hips, I really could become the first bionic man!! Anyway, now I remember the cane walking method.

The night of the 24th was also the best night I’ve had for sleeping, including the previous night with the red wine. I never woke up once! Yay!

Day 25. Another good day. I walked around the house with my cane a good while. Then went outside, found a relatively level place and walked around outside as well. Went to the library and walked around there as well. The only ache felt was, unfortunately, on my unfixed knee. Guess that’s next. This is the longest I have walked since the surgery.

Day 26 – The wife wanted to go shop in an outlet mall. So we did. A very cold day snowed some as well. I expected we walked about a half mile. That doesn’t seem like much, does it? It is when one leg is screwy, even when it’s supposed to be fixed now. In walking with a cane, I had time to analyze my gait, length of stride, and straightness of walk. Gait means speed of steps and amount of unnecessary wiggle of my hips, and other knee. Length of stride is how long my step is. Straightness is whether I’m walking straight or going toward one side or the other. I noticed my left hip was aching with the walking after a short while. I lengthened my stride with my left leg, and slowed my pace some and my hip ceased to ache immediately. I noticed that I seemed to be drifting to my right, but when I put my wife on my left I stopped walking off to the right much then. I’d like to blame the drifting on the wife as long as she didn’t find out! She stopped to shop in a store and I sat down. After about 5 minutes, both knees were really sore, so I got up and proceeded to simply walk in a short square pattern around the store location my wife was in. My wife returned and we walked around some more. Whatever the earlier problem was with the gait & straightness seemed to have worked itself out. I guess it was just getting used to walking naturally even though a cane was involved.

Day 27 – Very cold day. I was hoping this wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on my knee. Did the bent knee exercise many times today. Seemed like it would just get cramped if it stayed still too long. If/when I get another knee surgery I may attempt to obtain a device that continuously moves the knee. If I could sleep through the movements I feel this would increase my sleeping as well as having more exercise of the knee.

Upon removing myself from the shower this morning, I noted my knee ached when I bent it sideways, like inward. That has happened previously but I laid it to being fresher from the surgery at that time. Have to ask the therapist about this.

The wife and I went for a drive this morning, and later this afternoon. My knee gets a bit cramped in sedans but not near as much ache nor as quickly if I am in our SUV. Still have difficulty entering vehicles as the knee aches when bending it enough to get it into the driver’s door.

I walked a great deal today without the cane. I didn’t feel like I had to compensate with my hip to walk naturally with no cane. Yesterday I had emptied the freezer to defrost it. Today I refilled the freezer with the food. There was no strain in the back, arms, etc. lifting the coolers up to empty them while refilling the freezer.

A great thing about today was resighting my pellet rifle in. In standing position. I had placed a red dot sight on the rifle as the standard target sights with concentric sighting circles simply did not have enough contrast when shooting squirrels on tree branches to make them stay away from my bird feeders. A red dot sight is much better as it has a geometric triangle with a point that I could use to sight in with. My point (no pun intended) in this is that I was able to get into my target standing position easily, and sight the rifle in, in four rounds. I was easily able to lock my left knee so the rifle could be held still enough for sighting in. The return to standing position was one of the main reasons I got the surgery. It is working well.

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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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