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Tuesday

What To Expect When Getting A Complete Knee Replacement ( Total Knee Arthroplasty )

I am not going to go in to medical detail here.  I will just tell you how things went for my Hubs for his complete knee replacement

Before the surgery, they had him wash his whole body with 4 different premoistened sterile wipe  towels that would help fight infection.  He had to do this at night before bed and when he got up in the morning.

Of course he had to fast all night and his surgery wasn't until 11:30 AM


He is smiling now... 
So here he is all ready for the surgery.  Once he got into the pre op room he had to change into a gown and slippers.

The nurses also come in and ask a ton of questions like what medications are you taking, which side is the surgery on etc.

While he was answering questions, a girl came in and hooked him up to the saline drip and the machine that measures blood pressure and heart rate.

Then, they came to take him away and sent me to P20 to await updates of what was going on.
When you are in the Cleveland Clinic, they send the family members text messages on a little machine that they keep with them.

I was updated when the surgery started and then, when it ended, Dr Jonathan Schaffer came out to talk to me and tell me the surgery went well.  I was to wait in the waiting room until I could visit.

The next message I got was a text saying that my Hubs was in the recovery room and not ready for family members. Pain  That was all they said.   I thought ... oh shoot.

An hour or so later, I was called to the desk and told what room number my Hubs was in.   When I got there,... he was in terrible pain and waiting for the pharmacy to ok the pain meds Dr. Schaffer prescribed.

He had 3 different pain meds he could take, 2 oral and one that was a nerve block that was in his back.  After getting both of the oral meds at intervals, he was still in pain, so they ended up putting meds into the nerve block.   That seemed to take care of most of the pain.

Did you know when you are in pain it can make you blood pressure go way up?  I had no idea but they were very worried about my Hubs blood pressure and doing everything they could to control the pain to help get the pressure down.

After a rough night of sleeping, and not because of pain but because someone was always coming in and out of the room doing something like taking his vitals, checking the catheter, the IV and checking his ice pack.. etc, plus he had a room mate that they were doing the same thing to.

The day after surgery was much better at first when it came to the pain.  It seems to come and go and I can see him grimace when the pain gets bad.
 They took out his catheter and the IV also.   But now, physical therapy starts.
The physical therapist told him to make sure he got his pain meds 1/2 hour before his therapy was to start.  The problem is... getting a nurse to give it to you when you need it.  It seems like they take their good old time.

One of the things they had my Hubs do during the physical therapy was stand and put as much weight as he could handle on his leg.  He did pretty well and even took a few steps with a walker.

He is not eating well and I can see why.  The food at the Cleveland Clinic leaves a lot to be desired.  Really pretty bad.

They also started my Hubs on a blood thinner called Lovenox.  They do this so you don't develop blood clots.
We thought it was a good thing, but on the day he was suppose to be discharged, they checked his surgery site.  There was bleeding and bruising so they decided to keep him for another day.

The Lovenox had thinned his blood too much and was causing the bleeding.  Thank goodness there were no blood clots.  But that meant I had to find a motel.  Lucky for me my Hubs got me in to the Downtown Cleveland Comfort Inn  and out of the Unfriendly, noisy InterContinental

Next Post Will Be How He Is Doing At Home.

50 comments:

  1. Kind of unrelated, but I had both of my boys at the same hospital and I was so excited when I found out that I was pregnant with my second because the food was SOOO good there. I know, I am weird.

    I am glad your husband is on the mend and thank god there were no clots. He's lucky he had you with him through the whole thing.

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  2. I have always kind of wondered why doctor's and nurses can't figure out why patients can't sleep---duh--stop walking in and out and waking them up!! I have a couple of friends who have had knee surgery and from what they say it is painful but gradually gets better. There is an old saying-"if it don't kill you it will cure you"--that seems like what they did with those blood thinners--I really wish doctors would think or at least check before it is too late--I am really glad to hear that you and your hubby are now home--NOW he can start getting better!!

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  3. Oh dear, that total knee can be so painful. It's a miracle what they can do after it heals..... ski, dance ....everything. I hope the pain is under control and both of you can get some rest. I bet he's glad it's over, though.
    I'll talk to you when you have time
    I love you...

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  4. Awesome post Terry. My husband had this surgery about 5 years ago after having a bad accident on the basketball court. The experience was the same and he was in therapy for a while before he had full function of his leg. He walked around in a cast then crutches after his cast was removed. This is great to know for those considering it, they can prepare.

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  5. Anonymous9:12:00 PM

    Hi, I am glad that surgery went well.
    will comment back - http://www.oldfashionmom.com

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  6. My mother had both knees done at the same time about 10 years ago, after doing the rumba with a cottonmouth at a golf course in Florida. She stayed in a rehabilitation facility for 6 weeks and endured quite a bit of painbut said that the improvement was nearly miraculous after rehab was done...I hope your husband's results are as good!

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  7. Always a catch, will stop blood clots but make you bleed. Sounds like quite the process to go through indeed

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  8. I also had to wipe myself with the premoistened sterile wipes the night before my C-section. A close friend of mine actually had surgery on her knee and now her knee is so much better. I'm so very glad everything went well during your hubs surgery.

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  9. That is so scary! I cant handle pain I hope i never have to go through this! I will say a prayer for him tonight!

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  10. That does not sound fun at all. I think my mom is going to need knee surgery soon and I can't imagine how that will go :(

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  11. I'm glad he's doing okay. My dad has had both of his hips replaced due to avascular necrosis (separate surgeries) and he was in a lot of pain with both of them but especially after his last one. He lost a lot of weight too because he just didn't have an appetite for quite a while. He's getting back on track now though. Orthopedic surgeries are a process. I wish him the best of luck during physical therapy too.

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  12. I'm glad he's doing okay. My dad has had both of his hips replaced due to avascular necrosis (separate surgeries) and he was in a lot of pain with both of them but especially after his last one. He lost a lot of weight too because he just didn't have an appetite for quite a while. He's getting back on track now though. Orthopedic surgeries are a process. I wish him the best of luck during physical therapy too.

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  13. Oh I hear this is so painful. My dad's cousin by marriage had one of her knees done and swore she would never get the other done....it hurt so bad. Bless him!!

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  14. Glad everything ended up ok, and that's good that the hospital was cautious. Hope he has a smooth recovery!

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  15. Poor hubby. I hope he is feeling better. I hate hospitals. I have never heard a good story about one.

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  16. oh wow, sounds very painful. I hope he recovers quickly!

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  17. I'm so glad it all went so well! I had a dear friend who had a knee replacement. Something went horribly wrong while she was in surgery, and she died very suddenly. Very sad. I will never look at knee replacements the same - I'm thrilled your husband's was textbook! :)

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  18. I remember when my hubby had major surgery back in 2002 the level of pain he had afterwards, it's so scary. I appreciate that now that their is communication with the staff and family via text to let you know what's going on. I remember back in '02 there was a lot of waiting and the unknown. Hope your husband recovers quickly!

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  19. Ouch! I can't even imagine! I have a little bit of a knee problem right now from running too much, and I can't even imagine this! :(

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  20. I hear knee surgery is the worst. PAIN PAIN PAIN. Then the therapy makes it worse. My heart goes out to you and your hubs. You seem like great people and hope he gets well soon! <3

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  21. I love the idea of the text messages. When my oldest son had to have surgery, there were a couple issues so it took longer than expected and no one updated us - it was so stressful waiting for an update.

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  22. ouch sounds painful i hope his recovery is a quick one and that the pain goes away soon

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  23. Having gone through both a hip replacement and knee replacement with my mother I know the challenges with pain as well as the recovery process. Challenging to say the least! :)

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  24. I did not know that pain could raise blood pressure, but I can totally see how that would be true!! It's better to stay an extra day and be sure!! So glad he got through the surgery, Terry. That's the hardest part, I'm sure, now back to being 100% and having a fully happy knee. :)

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  25. Even though it's painful, he is going to be so happy once it's all healed up. My fil had one done right before he retired, and then the other right after. The scars aren't pretty to look at, but once you are all healed up, it's nice not having knee pains all the time! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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  26. I was on the same blood thinners, the thinners continued after the hospital as well and for a couple week post. Be very careful of bumps. It will be cause bruising very quickly . I'm glad the surgery went alright and I hope the pain dies down. hopefully his recovery will go smoothly. Both of you take care of yourselves, things will go slow but they will get better!

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  27. So glad that the surgery went well but sorry to hear that he has been in a lot of pain. But hopefully after this he won't have to deal with the pain in his knees anymore!

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  28. I'm glad he's getting better. Pain is not fun. I'm sorry to hear he was in so much pain. Praying he'll get better soon.

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  29. My father in law had this surgery and all he could talk about was the pain. Hope your hubby feels better soon.

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  30. Hope you husband feels better soon! It's great that he is doing great in physical therapy!

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  31. That sound horrible. In the beginning I thought oh wow they are so good . Update you on every stage. But I read about the nurses..hmmm ..that is bad.

    Horrible experience when we see oir love ones in pain and we can't do anything or take away the pain.

    Hope he is doing fine now at home

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  32. I hope your hubby feels better - I know it could be really a pain and a shock at first.. Sending love and prayers...

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  33. So glad your husband's surgery went fine despite the pain. I hope that he would be in full recovery soon.

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  34. Oh my goodness Terri! I do not envy your husband! I had knee surgery when I was a sophomore in college. I don't even know exactly what kind of surgery they called it. But basically my knee cap wasn't attached to any ligaments or tendons. It had to be reattached. It was not a fun recovery. Lots of pain. So I am feeling for your man right about now. Poor guy. But after the initial recovery; there was actually a lot less pain than before the surgery. Having your knee fixed is such a blessing. So if he can make it through recovery, he will be thankful. :) Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

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  35. In this day and age you would think they would be able to alleviate the pain a little bit better. My sister in law had a knee replacement and she was very happy with the results. Hope you husband recovers quickly.

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  36. Wow, what an ordeal. I hope he has a speedy recovery!

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  37. So glad the surgery went well. Praying for the pain to go away soon.

    Happy Thursday, T!

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  38. Sounds really painful i wish him the best and that the pain goes soon i would hate to see my hubs in so much pain. And hospital food well i think most places in the world they serve up nasty food lol.

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  39. Wow, I am so glad I stopped by. (Been busy as usual.) What a coincidence. My mother is having a whole knee replacement next month and I will share this with her. Glad to hear the only real issues for your hubs seem to be the disruptions that take place in a hospital and the side effects from the blood thinners and that the knee replacement seems to have gone otherwise as planned. Looking forward to your next post and best wishes to your hubs for a speedy recovery.

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  40. Hospital stays always seem like the worst because the nurses want to help but always take their time! We don't know what else they are doing, but c'mon! Right? I'm glad you guys made it through ok and he is on the road to recovery!

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  41. Oh my! I take it morphine didn't help, or they never offered it to him? I hope he gets well soooooooooooon. To me, hypertension due to pain makes sense because of all the stress from the pain. Get well soon Hubs. Cheers!!

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  42. It just makes me so sad that he was in that kind of pain. :( I do think it's really neat that they send you text alerts to keep you aware of what's going on though.

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  43. I remember being with my father after his surgery and, yes, PAIN, was the operative word! Hoping he's on the mend and you're both getting plenty of rest and taking care of yourselves.

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  44. Ouch! I wish him well.
    When I pray for folks who are healing, I always add a thank you for the caregivers. I am grateful for the medical folks and others who are so dedicated.

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  45. I'm glad to see you are posting about this. I need to have this done also. I just keep putting it off. I hate to have anymore surgery.
    My neighbor had this, and he did exceptionally well. He didn't even have to go to therapy after he got home. He had that machine that moves the knee back and forth (don't know what is called), and he walked everyday.

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  46. Anonymous4:38:00 PM

    I'm glad to see he finally got it replaced. We were talking about it when he stopped down the shop (Kelly's). Hope all goes well and he gets to go home soon.

    Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      He is in a lot of pain but doing pretty well at his exercises and walking on the walker. He is home now so he is relaxing better.

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  47. It's great to hear that they text you updates about your hubbys surgery. The last surgery my husband had the nurse sent me to the waiting area. a long while after waiting a nurse approached me and asked why I had not went back to see my husband and I found out the nurse that was supposed to send me back had sat down two seats over in the waiting room to chat with a long time friend. She had been sitting there over 30 minutes. She just shrugged and said oh I haven't got around to sending her back to the room yet.

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  48. Terry, I'm sending this to my client, her hubby is having knee surgery in February.

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  49. Ouch!!! I'm glad it's done with, but it sure sounds like it hurt like HELL! My aunt got both of hers done at the same time. She's single, so she thought it would be better to rely on people only once. I remember seeing her, and she was hurting!

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