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Comment : The day after the op
Posted by Angie_B2 on Sun 11:33am 24 November 2013

Well, it's the day after. It wasn't quite as planned but I guess nothing ever is really.
The first unscheduled change was that they decided to use an epidural instead of a general anaesthetic. I'm not sure why they chose to do it that way but I definitely preferred it as there was no waking up feeling groggy and sick. I'd never had an epidural before so didn't know what to expect but they sedated me so heavily that the 3 hour op felt like 3 minutes.
So, during those 3 minutes came the next change. They took the hardware out as planned, they did the manipulation as planned and got a ROM of 135 degrees, and they did the arthroscopy as planned and found that the arthritis isn't as bad as they thought so they think it unlikely that I'll need a knee replacement. They also found that I've shredded my ACL, as expected but the chose not to do that yet because they felt the recovery from that on top of what they did would be too much, hence I'm back in 12 weeks to have that done.
So, pain wise - well, I couldn't feel anything from the waist down for hours so when the surgeon came into my room and bent my leg again, no problem. But, when it wore off, boy, I've not known anything like it since childbirth, and I have a really high pain tolerance normally. It was a strange pain though, and it was a relief to have the hardware out as that constant ache of it was gone instantly BUT, the pain from 54 staples was a doozy and the arthroscopy caused a deep rooted pain in my knee that tramadol and morphine couldn't touch. I spent the entire night awake, in agony and in tears. This morning was no better so they doubled the dose of morphine and kept my knee wrapped in ice. It certainly helped, especially as I started aggressive physio today. My knee and leg are so swollen, so bruised and so painful that any movement had me gritting my teeth but I managed 110 degrees under my own steam and even managed to wobble along with just one crutch. I can be FWB as soon as I feel confident but I've been reminded about my ACL and that I shouldn't take risks.
I've been discharged now with cocodamol, tramadol, antibiotics and blood thinners which I have to inject into my stomach daily. Today was the first one and, given I have a needle phobia, I didn't think I'd be able to do it but it was surprisingly easy.
The pain in the knee is still as violent as it was last night but I'm keeping to a regular schedule of pain meds to take the edge off it a bit and I'm continuing to keep it iced, and I'm moving it every half hour just so it doesn't stiffen up.
Staples come out in 12 days, daily physio for 2 weeks and then start building myself up for the ACL reconstruction.
Oh, they let me keep two of the screws from the hardware - I was expecting them to be tiny but noooo, they're just under 3 inches a piece - I was speechless lol
Right, feeling suitably shattered now so going to try and get some much needed sleep xx

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 Sun 11:33am 24 November 2013
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