Oct 06th, 2014 / Nicki Chick
Just like doctors and nurses, physios aren’t always the best patients!
Gary underwent a left knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) under the care of Mr Adil Ajuied (Fortius Clinic & London Bridge Hospital) on the 30/9/14. The surgery involved debridement of the articular cartilage (smoothing of the cartilage that lines the knee joint) and partial resection of a large complex bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus (a trim of the cartilage disc on the inner side of the knee). Unfortunately as there is some quite significant osteoarthritis (age related change) in what is only a 38 year old knee joint a” less is best” approach to smoothing over the joint surfaces was advocated by the specialist. Here is the inside perspective on my road to recovery!
The first 24 hours….
After a day case procedure (5-6 hrs in hospital) I was discharged home with what felt like a very comfortable and reasonably mobile knee. A large wool and crepe bandage the most restrictive thing which has to stay on for 48 hours. Walking wise it has been comfortable enough to mobilise with 1 elbow crutch and small distances with noone, stairs 1 step at a time. I have started my basic exercises to keep my quads (thigh muscles working) and to regain my full knee straightening and bending which is going well. The consultant warned me that you are likely to experience a “honeymoon period” with the knee during the first 12-24 hours whilst the anaesthetic is still in the system and I have to say that today has definitely been a little more uncomfortable than the first few hours after the op. Maybe Adil used to be an astrologist in a former life!
Day 2 post op
So the big dressing is off and it’s time to get the swelling down. On the picture you can see the swelling between the 2 knees (where has my knee cap gone!) Lots of regular ice therapy and some elevation of the leg is really important throughout the day. This is interspersed with some basic exercises to get my knee bending and quads muscles firing in again. The swelling makes this more difficult!
I have to say that today has definitely been the most uncomfortable since the surgery but simple paracetamol are doing the trick. I imagine that this will improve again in the next 24-48 hours.
Honestly, that isn’t a skin graft you can see… it’s blood-soaked bandages!
Day 7 post op
Unbelievably it’s now Day 7 post op – where has that week gone?
Overall the knee is making good progress. No paracetamol now for the last 24 hours!
Only 2 issues at the moment. One is related to the knee bending. This is making stairs still a challenge!
Secondly the knee is still painful when walking particularly when trying to bend the knee when stepping through. For those old enough to remember monty python I would certainly be a member of the ministry of silly walks!
Day 10 post op
Well it’s been a few days since I did my last progress report and I’m pleased to say that “progress” is indeed the word of the day.
What was still a sore painful knee going downstairs this morning has been made much more comfortable by a great back-to -back Physio session with Matt Todman and samantha ziman today (thanks guys!)
Still a bit of work to do on my knee bend and getting that last bit of straightening more comfortable but it’s well on the way..good times 🙂 However, what i also realised today is that I have no gluts…bad times :(!!
2 weeks post op
So im 2 weeks in today and the progress is great…
Very minimal pain almost back to my pre-op movement but still some work to do on my “chicken-like” left thigh!
I also realised today that as a physio it’s pretty shocking to realise my lower abs shall we say “had a laid back approach to working!!” – thanks for pointing that one out Jane!!
The plan for the next week or so is to start to ramp my general exercise levels up further as my muscle control and stability improves.
Forget Garlic Bread being the future Peter Kaye…It’s “rehab” that’s the future!