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Author Topic: Surgery Prep Advice needed  (Read 4637 times)

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Offline HoppyMom

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Surgery Prep Advice needed
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:37:28 AM »
Hi Knee Geeks I am waiting on the transplant list for an osteochondral allograft on my medial femoral condoyle in simple terms, I am getting a cartilage and bone transplant about the size of a quarter on the inside, knobby end of my femur.  While I am waiting, I am trying to prepare for 6-8 weeks of non-weight bearing life post surgery.  I have ordered a new freezer and I am cooking up a storm so my family and I do not live on take out while I am on crutches.  I thought I would ask you knee geeks what else I should be doing to prepare myself and my home and family?  Any suggestions would be very, very welcome.  TIA!

Offline Snowy

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 03:11:36 AM »
Good luck with your surgery! The freezer and cooking preparations are an excellent start, you're going to be very grateful for that when you're on the other side.

From my experience, a couple of other useful tips. Get some kind of messenger bag that you can use to carry stuff with you while you're on crutches. Backpacks work too, but the messenger bag style is quicker and easier.

Stock up on ice! This was our big miss - I had to send my poor partner out pretty much daily to pick up bags of ice for the cryocuff. Having a few bags in the freezer would have saved tons of time.

If you have a multi-floor home, plan on making one floor your base of operations for a while and organize accordingly. Crutches on stairs are a tedious, time-consuming business and minimizing them where possible is good. Only having to go up and down at the beginning and end of the day is way better than constant trekking.

Practice getting in and out of the bath/shower without using one leg ahead of time. It'll be harder after surgery, but the practice will help (especially if you don't have a walk in shower).

I'm sure other folk will have tons more suggestions. Best of luck!
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline Snowy

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 03:13:19 AM »
Oh - this isn't a home prep thing, but the single most important piece of advice I can offer is to stay on top of the pain meds for the first few days. This includes setting the alarm so that you can take them on whatever the recommended schedule is through the night. I didn't do this on my first night after surgery, and the next morning was not an experience I would want to repeat.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline LAS

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 01:46:36 PM »
Hi HoppyMom:  A few more suggestions for you would be getting some advice for strengthening your calf and thigh muscles.  You could perphaps to talk to your surgeon about this or a PT about proper techniques.  Sometimes the facility where you are having surgery will provide a class for pre-op preparation.  For me avoiding outside distractions, another words take care of business before the surgery so you can concentrate on recuperating.   If you have projects  that you would like to be done and over with, it might be a good idea to get that out of the way.  That kind of stuff bothers me if I am in a position that I can't do it.   I think having food available is a great idea.  However, I must say that I got a chuckle out of the post from Snowy in regards to the morning after.   Staying on top of the pain should be your biggest goal at first.     Best of Luck and let us know how your are doing.   LAS

Offline JOW_103

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 08:55:46 PM »
If you don't have a continuous ice therapy machine, consider investing in one.  SO much easier to use the machine than using ice packs. 

Instead of using ice cubes, pick up some small Glad food containers, fill them with water and freeze them.  Will provide plenty of ice for the ice therapy machine or an ice pack if you go that route.

Fill up some Dixie cups with water and freeze.  When you have PT you can ice your knee to help with the pain and swelling. It can also help you get additional movement by decreasing your pain levels.

Offline HoppyMom

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 09:10:47 PM »
Wow - thanks for all of your advice.  I know that I will be sent home with a CPM machine - do those need ice?  Great advice about stocking up on ice.  We actually just bought a new freezer so we should take advantage of the space. 

I may be being a little unrealistic about getting around on crutches... sounds like I should move our guest bed downstairs to my office and avoid the stairs altogether for a little while.

The surgery is for my right knee (I am in the US).  My doctor said I might be able to drive after 3ish weeks, his PA said I should plan on 6 weeks.  Does anyone have any experience with driving after a right knee operation?   Aside from the knee, I guess there are the pain meds to factor in too.

I really appreciate all of your help.  If you think of anything else, please share!

Offline hopalong2

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 04:01:48 AM »
Hi HappyMom,
It looks like we have a lot in common--women over 50 with OATS allograft of the medial femoral condyle, defects approximately the same size.  I had my surgery in July.  Others have given you good advice.  I'll echo that it works better to make big blocks of ice in plastic containers (we like the ones from take-out soup) than to buy endless bags of ice at the store.  I'd also recommend that you buy an inexpensive shower bench with adjustable legs (I'm still using mine daily) and a toilet seat riser (for the first week or so).  You might also want to pick up some wraps with velcro on the end so you can change out the one from the hospital.  I also liked wearing yoga socks post op--less slippery on wood and tile floors.  Make sure your crutches are decent, and splurge on crutch grips and hand grips covers (mine are made by Crutcheze) and a crutch bag (I was also on crutches for 10 weeks last year after ACL/microfracture surgery and wish I had made those purchases sooner).   With regard to driving, it was my left knee, not my right, but I'd go with what the PA said.  Good luck!

Offline HoppyMom

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 11:18:15 PM »
Thanks hopalong2!  I am still waiting for donor cartilage.  How long did it take from the time you were put on the list until you had your surgery?

I will check out Crutcheze - how long were you on crutches after OATS?

I hope you're recovering quickly!

Offline hopalong2

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 03:02:59 PM »
It happened much more quickly than expected--less than two months.  I was on crutches for about six weeks after the surgery.  It's nice to be off crutches (hands are wonderful things!), but the recovery seems to have slowed.  Life is still very limited.  My local doctor wants me to hold off on PT for the time being (other than a few exercises that I do at home), so I'm mostly working on optimism and patience.  Try to get as strong as you can going in to the surgery, because there's so much inactivity afterward. 

Offline HoppyMom

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 01:16:40 PM »
Hopalong2
Sounds like you are doing well.  My Dr warned me that the most common cause for post-surgical complications are patients that are too aggressive trying to retun to their normal routine. So, try to relax and be patient with your recovery.  I am still waiting for donor cartilage - I an supposed to take 13 Girl Scouts camping on 11/14 so I am sure that I will get the call any day now  :P   Way back in August, I hoped to be done with surgery and off crutches by now with a back up plan of renting a scooter if needed for camping. 

How was/is pain management going?

Best,

Li

Offline hopalong2

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2014, 03:36:16 AM »
HoppyMom
I'm doing a lot better since I last posted.  About fourteen weeks post-op seemed to mark the turning point between wondering on the bad days if the surgery had failed and steadily gaining strength and confidence.  I've only had one more PT session and was told to stick with my home exercises (if you don't already have some light ankle weights, you might want to pick some up).  You asked about pain management.  The challenge after this surgery was that I was told to avoid all NSAIDs for three months, which left tylenol and percocet.  I took the narcotic longer than I expected to, because tylenol alone didn't give enough relief.  More recently I've been pleased to need only a few tylenol or advil per day.  I can't imagine camping though--good luck with that!  And I hope you get your donor soon!   

Offline HoppyMom

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 07:05:44 PM »
Bad News:  As expected, I got the call telling me they found a graft for surgery that would have been this week - I passed so that I would not blow up our Girl Scout camping trip. 

Good News: I just got a call this morning saying they have found another graft and now I am scheduled for surgery on 11/19.   Still waiting for the specific details but I am relieved to have this on my calendar.

My freezer is full of food and bags of ice - I will be moving our guest bed downstairs so I can avoid stairs if I don't think I am ready.  I have bought a pair of obnoxiously bright Hawaiian print crutcheez on sale and the little matching bag too.  I need to pick up braces and machines from my Dr's office but otherwise I think I am ready to go!

Hopalong2 - I am very happy to hear that you are doing better - 14 weeks is a long time.... sorry for what you are going through.  If it is any consolation, your recovery will hopefully keep my expectations in check.  Continued good luck with your recovery!

Still welcoming any advice anyone has to offer!

Thanks

Offline hopalong2

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2014, 08:58:11 PM »
Yay for the surgery date!  With lots of notice too!
And don't feel bad for me.  After what I've been through the last 15 months, I'm so happy now feeling that I am getting closer to full-enough recovery (I don't expect to get back to sports like tennis and skiing, but I've made my peace with that).
Best of luck to you! 

Offline hopalong2

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2014, 12:56:52 PM »
One more piece of advice if you'll be wearing a brace--think ahead of time about clothing, especially if you work and/or it's cold where you live.  I didn't after my microfracture surgery and ended up in my son's old gym shorts.  Not a good look.

Offline HoppyMom

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Re: Surgery Prep Advice needed
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2014, 04:49:05 PM »
Lucky for me, I work out of a home office so ugly shorts will be fine.  By the time I am ready to make a client visit, I hope I can wrangle into tights or legging with a skirt.  Will that work?

I have not picked up my brace yet but would leggings under or really baggy sweat pants over work?

Thanks again!















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