Knee Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy

Where to start on this one? , Looking back I started to have a few problems with my knee early summer and just put it down to “one of those thing” getting old ….I am 55 so a few aches and pains are to be expected however things didn’t seem to be getting any better, but that’s life right .I can’t remember the last time when one part of my body didn’t ache so the knee aching didn’t ring any alarm bells , it’s just a case of getting on with things, I did give it some thought that it might be arthritis starting to set in but again didn’t really give it much thought , as time went on thing and stuff started to get far worse , the dull ache developed into something quite painful even waking me up at night , then on my first hiking trip into the hills I had a rather dramatic fall , fortunately no one was around so I could wimp a bit but for the first time in ages I fell badly onto my knee and couldn’t recover straight away , I was about three miles from the car so after a suitable time where I simply sat down and wimped a bit I headed back to the car , it hurt , I was sore but then I expected to be sore , on arriving home that night I went straight for a hot bath where it helped .

Taken from the walk (not where I fell)

The next day it hurt but then I was expecting it to hurt you  know I was expecting the bruising to come out before it would start to get better , days turned into weeks and it was still hurting , then I was away for my daughter’s wedding , again I thought that resting it up for two weeks was just what was needed ……sadly that wasn’t the case and when we got back to the uk he first thing I did was to see my Doctor …………………..I should have done this weeks ago .

One x ray and a further MRI confirmed that I had buggered my knee up and I was on the waiting list for a small operation or Arthroscopy as it’s known.

In the meantime life carried on as normal, the only difference was I don’t think that I got a full night’s sleep for ages, the slightest twisting or jarring of the knee caused some serious pain.

I had resorted to taking the boys out for their walks using two hiking poles for stability and walking very carefully and slowly , I was determined to try to keep some sort of mobility for as long as possible …..Then right out of the blue I got a phone call ….could I come in early for my op o yes please I replied I was getting to that stage where I really couldn’t do anything anymore .

The day before I went in for the op I took the boys out for a walk along the beach and the dunes and for the first time ever I really struggled it took me ages to get back and I had to admit defeat to my better half & that I wouldn’t be able to take them out any more till I got fixed.

Last walk with the boys along the dunes

Good timing eh? But what you have got to remember is that for me to admit that I could no longer walk was a very sad day indeed, having come close to losing the ability to walk once before I can’t tell you how much I simply love walking and to admit I couldn’t was a very costly thing for me to admit to and could have easily taken me back to that very dark place that I keep tucked away someplace in my head.

Day one (the big day)

After an early (very early 06.30 ) cup of coffee it was time to get ready for the hospital, I didn’t have to get there till 11.30 but it was nil by mouth as I would be having a general, on arriving at the ward I was whisked away for yet another load of form filling, bloods and swaps’ where taken then it was a case of waiting around,  the anesthetst came and saw me and informed me what to expect which I thought was a nice touch , I also got a visit from a physiotherapy department who gave me a talk and gave me a load of exercises to do afterwards as well as giving me a set of crutches , something that I was very grateful for , my crutches are ten years old and to be honest well past their best , I had been patching them up from various on line stores but could really do with a new set , the only problem is where to get some …..anyway that’s one problem I don’t have to worry about now , it was also a strange coincidence that the Physiotherapist was the same young lady I got ten years ago when they wheeled me into the ward more dead than alive all those years ago , it was nice to meet up and chat and go over some of the “old stuff” then I got a visit from the consultant who would be doing the procedure , he was great and informed me that there was no way I would be on crutches for the next 8 weeks and went on to inform me that I would walk out of his ward and really seemed miffed that someone had written that I would have no mobility for a few weeks , as he put it every one gets up and walks out after his procedures ………………this was music to my ears I had been worried stupid about how I was going to cope . In fact Doctor Jones was more than good as his word and after the procedure he came round to see me , explained in detail what he had done , why he had done it , what to expect and what to expect in the future and even threw in some photos that where taken during the procedure .

As for the rest of the Staff, weather it was the nursing staffs on the ward, the recovery staff or anyone comes to that, they were all brilliant and I have nothing but praise for them all, you know the NHS seems to get a lot of bad publicity on the news but I for one can’t fault them and have nothing but praise for them.

I left the ward ……….walking without any aids (you were right doc ….thanks) when my better half Yvonne came and got me about 18:30 I will admit the general had left me feeling like shit with a bad head and feeling sickly but I knew as soon as I got home I would have a cold drink and get to bed I would be fine and so ended my day ……………….all in all a good day

 A few photos of my knee that the doctor gave me .

Day two 07.01.15

 woke up during the night needing the toilet, I will admit to feeling very scared when I lowed myself off the bed and took the weight onto my leg, it ached but was so much better than what it was only the day before, after I had been to the bathroom I went straight back to bed and slept like a baby,

Yvonne actually brought me coffee in bed in the morning ….yes that’s right Yvonne brought me coffee in bed with a couple of pills to take, it would seem that she has appointed herself as my no one carer for the day (I should be worried) but I have to admit I was feeling good, it’s surprising how much discomfort can wear a person down, I got up washed, dressed and then again Yvonne did her bit by making me porridge for breakfast.

My knee was swollen and a bit sore but that was to be expected and I was told in no uncertain terms by Yvonne that I wouldn’t be doing anything today other than resting …….that was fine by me ……enjoy doing the hovering was my only reply (I know I’m so bad at times), I took my painkillers without a murmur and I have to say it I was  model patent for the day , the only time we disagreed was come shower time , my wounds had to be kept dry and covered so I wanted a shower Yvonne said no ………………….in the end we compromised and wrapped cling film around the knee keeping it waterproof so I could get showered .

 A couple of photos of the covered up knee

Day three  08.01.15

Another good night’s sleep followed by, “get your own breakfast as I’m off out” ………..what happened to my carer I asked myself, but once again my knee felt that little bit better than what it did the day before so I must be doing something right , so today I decided to mooch around a bit more after all the staff had told me not to sit on my arse all day I had been given a few sets of exercises to do so  why not start them today , I wasn’t really sure when I should start them but as long as I don’t go daft it shouldn’t be a problem .the exercises where quite easy ……I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing either way I start them today .

They include

Static Quadriceps                             : - 10 x 4 times a day

Heel digs                                           : - 10 X 4 times a day

Knee bends                                       :-10 x 4 times a day

Calf stretches                                   : - 10 x 4 times a day

Believe it or not doing the whole lot took less than ten minutes so this wasn’t going to eat into my day.

The swelling on my knee seemed to reach a peak and started to go down a bit ………but that could have been wishful thinking on my part , likewise the soreness and dare I say the word pain seemed to start to decrease but I will stay on the medication for another day and come off it all tomorrow .

I found that when I sit down and get up it seems to cause me a bit of grief nowhere near as bad as it was but its early days yet,

Day four  09.01.15

Another good night’s sleep and I feel much better this morning , the knee isn’t nowhere near as stiff but there is a dull ache down that area , perhaps I’m always going to have that ..Who knows?

First job this morning is to remove the bandage and cotton wool dressing, not a problem, it looks like I have bled a bit but nothing to get excited about,

The dressing comes off ...and Bob just has to have a  sniff

I'm no expert but things look ok the redness and swelling has all but gone

And one with Arty leg in

I was told that they hit a small blood vessel and had to stitch it so I will have to get the stitches removed by the local nurse or whatever they are called nowadays but that’s not for another week yet, my better half / poor carer has already arranged that. I am left with two small dressings on my knee , I have to change them tomorrow then every day until the stitches are out , and I mustn’t get them wet but other than that I feel that things are ok .

Breakfast was had and I feel that I am going crazy stuck in the house  , my knee seems ok so I decide to take the boys out for a walk , I can’t go  to the beach as I’m not allowed to drive for another week yet ..Not really sure why but they have their reasons.

So it’s a very slow small walk around where I live , the boys don’t care and go hurtling off , I have to call them back several times , I feel that I am managing ok , very slow but I’m moving so that’s ok . The Doc did say that I need to walk so I can’t get a rollicking off Yvonne when she gets back and I am using two walking poles as an aid , My arty knee kx06 has decided to start playing up and I find that I am leaking fluid out of the cylinder , not a problem at the moment but it means a phone call to the limb centre when I get home just to get things in motion , but I’m  not exactly pushing thing with arty leg at the moment so it shouldn’t become a problem.

The walk takes almost an hour to get back , the boys love it but normally it would have taken me ten minutes pre haps fifteen at the most , tomorrow I will do the same route again and try to walk that little bit faster providing all is well with the knee . I am feeling pretty tired and my knee aches a little bit; I think that’s enough for today.

Day five 10.01.15

Today started off like shit , I had a very bad night’s sleep with the knee starting to ache like mad and its starting to hurt when I turn the foot under the blankets , in fact it’s been aching for a day or so slowly getting worse , it would seem that the old problem is coming back at first I thought that it was just part of the healing process ….in fact it still might be but it’s starting to hurt when I walk just like before and its down the inside of my knee nowhere near where they operated , I wonder if :-

  1.  I’m expecting too much to be totally pain free at this stage
  2. If the doc’s have fixed one problem with my knee but not this problem ………….you know one thing hiding something different
  3. What to do about it , it’s Saturday so nothing but it playing on my mind which is never a good thing , so I will leave it for a couple of days to see if things get better then do something !

Today I removed the small dressing and redress the wounds , nothing to get excited about but I am sticking to the instructions that the hospital staff gave me to the letter , I must admit I was impressed with how small the wounds are .but then it’s not called key hole surgery for nothing is it , then its exercise time .

A few photos showing the entrance wounds where they went into my knee

Off come the old dressing (yes I did wimp as my hairs where plucked out)

 

A couple of photos showing the entrance wounds (if that’s the right words)

 

 

Day six 11.01.15

Yet another bad night’s sleep , my knee is really hurting and its getting me down , so today I am going to spend the day sitting on my fat arse watching day time TV I feel such a failure , I am stressed out to buggery about this knee and worrying about the most stupid things ……not like me at all . time to stop take a deep breath and chill but sadly I can’t, my stress levels are going right through the roof I have even started coming out in a rash, I really need to get a grip, normally I would bugger off into the hills and have some chill out time up there but sadly I can’t walk to save my life and its getting me down ….sorry

If i could just spend a day out about in the hills i am certain i would be fine

Instead I feel like this

Day seven 12.01.15

Feel much better this morning, managed to take the boys out for a small slow walk, naturally I had to use my hiking poles for support, met up with a lovely lady dog walker who I had a good old moan at a couple of days before about my knee, as it turns out she has a good friend who works in orthopaedics and told her all  about me and got told what I was going through is part of the process and what to expect , natural she told me and you know something it felt better almost instantly , yes my knee is killing me , but it’s all part of the process , I guess I am a shit patient and expect things to get back to normal straight away .

I will be back here soon I keep telling myself

 I keep telling myself , get sorted and I will get back here

I had a visit to the physiotherapy (did I spell that right?) dept. and according to Tracey (my Physio) thing are looking good and to carry on doing what I doing, I expressed my concerns about the knee hurting and once again got told it’s all part of the process and even went and got a working knee model complete with muscles and tendons and showed me what exactly went on in my knee and what was done, once again this helped and I left the clinic feeling much better. You know I wasn’t this stresses out about my leg when I lost it so why I’m getting so stressed out about a piddle little knee operation I just don’t know but I can’t help it . May be it’s because I am so frightened about losing my ability to walk again.

Day eight 13.01.15

Once again I managed to get the boys out for their morning walk, again very slow and very painful especially when I twisted the knee, despite being very slow and carful it’s hard not to put any pressure or twisting movement on my knee, I returned back home in a worried and stressed out state , despite my best efforts to keep upbeat about this situation I can’t at the moment , if I could only see or feel a bit of progress I know I would get back to the old me (whoever he is) naturally the stress rash burst out again and it took a couple of hours before it went away again , I spent the morning sorting out my web site and you know something looking back at some of the great days out that I have had really helped with of course some old chill out music playing .

Looking at these helped ....one day soon I keep promising myself ............I will be back !

 

14 – 21 .01.15 (not a lot has gone on)

Not a great deal has happened, the hurt is slowly going away but it still has an ache all the time I am getting a bit more movement in the knee each day, up to about 85% now (whatever that means)  had a Physiotherapy session again, got a few more stretches to do, but other than that she is happy with things, went to the hospital to get the stitches removed again nothing to worry about and got told to take it easy, had to see my GP and much to my surprise got a two week sick note (I like my gp). My knee is getting better but it still has to take all the strain when I go to sit down or stand up and that seems to cause me all sorts of problems and it tends to kick off big time. The other thing is first thing in the morning I am finding it really hard to straighten my leg ………again this is normal and I should concentrate on stretching the leg.

Walking wise I am still using my hiking poles but I am not putting so much weight through them, which is a good thing and just about everyone said that I need to get up and about so I am doing my best, the boys are enjoying their walks as they are getting a lot longer walk (time wise ) because I am so slow but I am getting better each day , that was until we had the black ice yesterday , I can’t tell you how hard it was walking along the street slipping on the black ice all the way , I was shi**ing myself in case I slipped and twisted my knee and I was really pleased to get back home .

Day something 22.01.15

Today I have finally ditched one of my hiking poles , I was getting to the stage where I was starting to rely on it just a bit too much , I will of course go back to two when I start hiking again but I think that I need to cut down if I’m ever going to start getting better . It was strange and to be honest a little scary, my speed has dropped right down again but I didn’t do too bad, the boys of course loved it because it meant that we were out even longer.

I have also started to go up and down the stairs quite a bit today , if I’m ever going to get back to where I was its time to start pushing things a bit , my knee has an ache’y  feeling tonight ..Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing  , but will try to do some more tomorrow and I’m going to practise sitting down and standing up and getting my balance a bit more tomorrow otherwise I will never get back to normal . At the moment it’s getting back up from a sitting down situation that’s causing me lots of grief and trying to get my balance at the same time is proving to be rather harder than what I thought. It will be interesting to see how my knee feels in the morning

 Day something 23.01.15

Knee felt very stiff this morning and took a fair amount of bending to get the knee to loosen up a bit, Managed to take the boys out for a slow walk and to be honest the knee felt better when I returned home than what it did when I set off so what the doc and Physio said is right, lot’s of gentle exercise , I still cant bend my knee all the way back , who knows I might never get that back but I’m going to work a bit harder on the exercises , like wise I’m going to spend a bit more time sitting down and standing back up to see if I can get a better at doing that . As well as the going up and down the stairs.

Day something 01. 03.15

Things and stuff are much better since my last write up. I have been doing the exercises almost non stop and I can almost bend my knee right back and if I am honest I don’t think that I had this much bendability (is that a word) before this all kicked off.

I still have a dull ache around my knee that gets worse as the day goes on but it is nothing compared to what it was like before the operation and I guess that I will just live with it, off course its still early days yet, walking wise I am using one hiking pole more to stop me leaning and rocking side to side than anything but it helps so I will continue to use it. I have upped my walking speed a bit and it’s knackering (in a good way) and my Knee aches a bit more but on the good side my muscles seem to get stretched out a bit more …….I guess it’s a trade off between stretching and aching .

The only other thing worth a mention was that I had a bad fall; it rained during the night and froze solid as it hit the ground covering everything with a slippery layer of black ice that couldn’t be seen (as strange as that sounds ) naturally when I stepped onto it I was totally unprepared for arty leg to simply slip away , what I should have done is just fall but I tried to stay upright putting a lot of twisting strain on my knee ………….it didn’t like it one little bit , I ended up on the ground at the finish , but by trying to stay upright I hurt my knee , this resulted in it swelling up again and resulted in me staying put with ice packs on for the next couple of days ………….fortunately no damage was done other than my pride and after a couple of days I was back to normal , time to up my game a bit .

08.01.15

Last day off work and time to reflect a bit.

I should have got my knee fixed months ago and saved myself a lot of agro

My knee still has that dull ache but is getting better all the time

I will suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis maybe I already am, I guess it’s something that I will live with

Knee replacement ……….sometime in the future (worry about that as and when)

Walking wise, I’m getting there and will start doing some small hikes soon

Getting up and sitting down ………..still working on that

But what I have learnt from all this is ….. That I am a shit patient and don’t like being poorly.

Thanks’

 

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