My Total Knee Replacement Journey

Part One – The Back Story

I had intended to do a lot of things with this blog but sometimes life just makes you change your plans.  I had been having issues with the knees for years.  About 4 years ago, during recovery of blowing both my Achilles Tendon’s I tore the meniscus in my left knee and I could no longer straighten it.  To make a long story short the surgeon fixed my Achilles tendon was going to do keyhole surgery to fix it, but because of personal matters he couldn’t.  Local doctors didn’t want anything to do with me because I had gone to an out of town surgeon so I was stuck in limbo.

Over the course of 3 years I would visit my doctor occasionally and each time tell him how bad my knees were, that I could not walk unless I used a crutch and I needed them fixed and I was told he would send me to someone, but that never happened.  Finally about 15 months ago he decided to send me for an MRI on my left knee.  He didn’t order anything on my right stating he would check out the knees “One at a time”  After the MRI I never heard back from his office so I thought the MRI didn’t show anything of any significance.

I have to admit, part of me felt that I was making much ado about nothing and thought maybe I was a bit of a hypochondriac.  Fast forward to a year after my MRI (3 months ago) and I went to see my doctor and as I was about to leave I asked him about the MRI.  He looked at the results and said “It seems you have a fair bit of arthritis in your knee, I will send you to someone”.  I then asked him about my right knee and he said “One knee at a time, but you can mention it to the doctor”  By this time however, my right knee had become worse than the left.  I had to go up the stairs one step at a time because my right knee was not strong enough.

Much to my utter amazement I receive a call 3 days later telling me I had an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon 4 days later.  I live in Canada, if you can get an appointment 6 months away you consider yourself lucky, to get an appointment 7 days after your doctor says he will arrange something is unheard of.

I was very excited.  I imagined I would see the doctor, he would tell me I needed keyhole surgery on both knees, I would get it and instantly feel better and life would be amazing.  Well, things didn’t do that way.

First of all the doctor couldn’t believe I had never had xrays on either knee and was very distressed that my knees were so bent and locked and the only way I could walk was from swinging each leg forward.  If your knees are bent you can’t walk heel to to like you should.  He had xrays taken and about 20 minutes later after he viewed them he called me into his office and told me that I needed Total Knee Replacements on both knees.  He also told me that they were in such bad shape he didn’t know if he would be able to get them completely straight but he would try his best.  He felt it was extremely important to get them done as quickly as possible so he would put me on a priority list.  I was contacted the next day however and told I would be getting the surgery on my right knee 6 days later.  The next few days were a whirlwind of activity.  I had to go in for preop, I had to arrange for a walker, TED stockings, get a lot of groceries in, buy some things for the hospital etc.  While my doctor was more than willing to answer any questions I had, I had no clue what to ask.  Well, that surgery was 3 months ago and though they generally do knee surgeries in my area a year apart (6 months if they are really bad) they are doing mine a mere 3 months apart and I go in for my second one in 4 days.

This time around though I have decided to document the experience so that others who have the operation can get a general idea of exactly what to expect.  The series will be both a blog write up as well as a youtube video.  I will show what happens to my right knee right from day of surgery, and document how my other one heals from the 3 month mark on.  So ver the next 3 months people can see what to expect from day 1 to 6 months later (1-3 months on my left nee and 3-6 months on my right).

Hopefully during that I can write a few blogs on other things that i had hoped to start doing months ago.  So here goes.