Well it's now been 10 days since the op.
I have to admit to feeling a hell of a lot better. The first few days after were agony, NOT because of the hardware removal (that was utter bliss) but because of the arthroscopy and the manipulation. No matter how many cocodamol or tramadol I took, I couldn't take the edge off the pain - it was like having a constant toothache that just grinds away at your mind until you end up a blubbering wreck in the corner but thankfully my body must have been so tired that I slept, albeit restlessly, through most of it.
However, it only lasted a few days and once I could actually feel my leg without tons of pain, I was amazed, truly amazed at just how good it felt NOT to have the hardware in there. No more deep rooted ache, no more pain every time I moved my leg, no more worrying about it being cold out there and the weather affecting my pain levels - it feels just like it did BEFORE the accident - whooohhooooooo.
As for now, 10 days on, my knee is still stiff and I limp but I'm FWB so I'm guessing that'll get easier as I go. The manipulation hasn't worked out quite as I expected - I guess I was hoping for a normal life back but where I only just had 90 degree ROM before, I can now get about 100 degrees. Its not a massive difference but it's better than nothing and I'm hoping the physic will push it a bit further once it starts (huggeeeee waiting list so nothing for a month and a half).
The staples still sting and itch but they're coming out tomorrow (can't wait) so I'm hoping that'll ease off too.
As for the arthroscopy, well, other than cause a deep rooted ache, it doesn't seem to have made a great deal of difference but I guess it had it's good points in the respect that they found I don't need a knee replacement.
The sleeping issues seemed to resolve themselves last night too - had 9 days of nightmares, night sweats, insomnia even though I was exhausted, and generally feeling miserable. I went to bed around 10pm last night, fully expecting to be up again in an hour but nope, I slept right through, peacefully, until 8am this morning and it felt soooooooo good BUT, I've now stopped taking all pain meds AND I've stopped with the stomach injections so maybe it was those causing the restlessness after all!
So, now what I've got to do is keep on with the physic exercises at home (they're simple enough but the results aren't brilliant and I'm struggling to see any improvement), build the strength in my knee up, see the consultant in 4 weeks and then I'm back under the knife sometime in February for a full ACL reconstruction - more time off my feet, more using crutches but hopefully that'll be the sat and I'll get some good results from it : )
If anyone is thinking of hardware removal though, I would definitely say go for it. I was so apprehensive but the result is amazing - seriously, being able to get up in the morning and NOT have that constant underlying ache or feeling the tendons move over the screws 24/7 is utter bliss !