For those who may have missed it, last month’s article described my pending knee replacement. On April 11th, I underwent surgery to replace my right knee. What I learned in the process of this phase is that it takes an army of people to support this effort. First and foremost is my caregiver, wife, and friend, Priscilla, without whom none of this would be possible. In addition, during my overnight stay at the hospital, I met Mackenzie, Anna, Ben, Jamison, Linda, Barb, and Allison, not to mention the six people in the operating room and four people in the recovery room. In the OR, there was also Robbie the Robot. Much of the actual surgery was performed using Robbie to precisely prepare the joint for the implant.
Following a brief overnight stay at the hospital, I began phase two. The first task was to get home from the hospital. Getting in and out of most vehicles is a challenge when you can’t bend your knee. Fortunately, our daughter was visiting at that time and has a large SUV. Resting at home, and managing pain levels with non-addictive drugs, I was surprised by how quickly my first physical rehab appointment was scheduled. Four days after surgery I was meeting with two physical therapists, Troy and Emily, to map out a plan for the next four to six weeks to regain the 120 degrees of range of motion of my knee joint. In addition to physical therapy sessions, there are home exercises to be done two to three times per day.
On my phone is a Recovery Coach application provided by my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Johnson. It tells me what exercises to do and shows videos on how to do them, as well as connects me to a care coordinator via email. The Recovery Coach also provides a flow of articles to read about the various stages of the recovery process. The app records my progress on rehabilitation, exercises, and my overall wellness. On one hand, the Recovery Coach is a bit anxiety-producing, but, at the same time, it contains really good information to have regarding my recovery.
Now the task at-hand is to keep my leg elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and be patient as my body’s amazing healing process takes place. Hats off to the large team of people that makes all this technology possible. And thank you for your words of encouragement and support.