Knee Surgery Definitely Slows You Down

knee cap to bottom of leg….17 staples

I have had many surgeries in the past, but the knee surgery I had in May is by far the worst surgery that I have undergone.  I went to the doctor because my knee was hurting so bad, it was making me walk with a horrible limp.  The doctor took x-rays and called for an MRI and decided to go in with arthroscopic surgery.  When I woke up from the surgery, my husband told me that my knee was worse than expected and the doctor was not able to fix my knee without major surgery.  That was not what I wanted to hear when I woke up!  The worst thing about this was that my knee was worse after the surgery and my knee cap began slipping out of place at least 4 times a day.  Then I was stuck on crutches for 3 weeks while I waited until I healed enough to go on with the major knee surgery.

The doctor said I was a unique case and I think he was excited that he would be the one able to do the “unique” operation.  He said he had done 25 of these before and all of them had turned out successful.  This wasn’t the magic number I was looking for, but at least I wasn’t his first or second “unique operation.”  The time finally came for my surgery.  The doctor was planning on breaking my leg, moving my knee down 3 centimeters and re-attaching it with 3 screws.  I wasn’t excited about my upcoming surgery but I really didn’t have a choice.  When the doctor came in to ask if I had any questions, I asked him if he could give me a catheter if at all possible.  The nurses couldn’t believe I was asking for one, but I know that using a catheter can make things so much easier on you after having major surgery.  One of the nurses told me that patients usually beg them not to give them a catheter if there is any way around it, but I knew I would be in the hospital for a few days with a broken leg and lots of pain.  Why should I have to get up and go to the bathroom when I could just lay in my bed and rest?

Days later I found myself  headed home on a walker, how embarrassing, but it could have been much worse!  Five weeks later, I was able to use my crutches again and then a few weeks later, the doctor took my crutches and told me it was time to walk.  I was so unstable and scared to walk around people for fear they would bump into me and I would fall.  Now, three and a half months after surgery, I’m still slow, but I can walk on my own.  You can find me in the gym working on the range of motion in my knee.  I was told that I would have a 3-6 month recovery period, so in November, I hope you can catch me riding my bike on the trails with the kids.

Comments

  1. I would have gotten a second opinion. One of my friends was told that his knees were shot and needed a knee replacement. It was so bad and the pain horrible. After six months he was told that it wasn’t his knee that was bad but his lower back. The pain was radiating down to his knees. So he had the knee surgery which was totally unnecessary.

    • My knee caps have slid out of place since I was a teen playing sports. The doctor said that my problem just got worse through the years since it started for me as a child. My knee caps are too high and not in alignment, like a shower door running on a track. My knees were just off the track so they are easily knocked out of place. Now that I have had this surgery, I can see what the doctor was talking about. You can see the difference in the appearance of each knee. The doctor said that by fixing the weaker knee, it should solve the problem and keep my other knee safe…..let’s hope so!!!

    • dang I would hate for that to have happened. Definitely get another opinion before you do anything.

  2. I was so scared of having a catheter when I had my babies. I’d had one as a child (kidney problems) and remembered how scary it was, but after my c-section, I was so glad to have it! I didn’t want to get up at all!!
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  3. Wow, what an ordeal. I’m so sorry you had to have exploratory surgery and then be bed ridden for a few days afterward and the nurses didn’t think to give you the option for a catheter. I mean patients shouldn’t have to ask for things like that. So what really was wrong with your knee? Could the doctor ever give it a name? I hope you are back on the trails soon with your kiddos. Hang in there recovering from any major surgery usually takes months, so give yourself the healing time you need.
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    • I’m sure my surgery has a name, but I’ll have to ask. My meniscus was torn, but the major issue was the floating knee cap that had to be moved down and placed back “on track.” It has been 3.5 months so far and I was given a 3-6 month recovery timeline. I can walk on my own and now feel confident to hit the grocery again, but my knee is so stiff and usually swollen. It is an uncomfortable feeling that I am ready to be done with. Thank you for your comment:)

  4. You really are making great progress.
    I am healing from knee surgery too and just had the biggest breakthrough ever yesterday! I have been too sore to walk, cant go down inclines or stairs and my hips have been “off” and painful as a result of my walking incorrectly. I have been going to they gym using the bike, but decided to try the elliptical machine. I did 20 minutes until I was tired from now working out in so long BUT my knee didnt swell more than normal, it didnt slip or hurt!!!!! I feel like have turned a corner and am making some progress. Maybe I will come for a visit and go on a bike ride with you in November! 🙂

    • It would be worth a plane ticket to get to you if we could both go on a bike ride! This knee is driving me nuts! I am so tired of not being up to speed like I used to be. Today was the first day of school and my 6 yr old knew the walk to school through the woods would be SLOW, so he said we should drive. I was so glad to hear that, I was all for that, no arguing here! Have a great day, and keep up the visits to the gym!

  5. Sarah-Jayne says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, I hope your healing nicely! I’m having a knee replacement next week so it’s great to read other peoples experiences

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