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Author Topic: Hopeful1's post-op!  (Read 21125 times)

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Offline hopeful1

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Hopeful1's post-op!
« on: April 23, 2004, 02:01:05 AM »
Hello, all...I'm new to this site, but not really new to knee surgery.  I had a TTT, lat. release, VMO transfer and a new trochlear groove dug in my right knee about 22 years ago.  MAN - that was the dark ages.  I was hospitalized for one week, full leg cast for 6 weeks, then an immobilizer four weeks.  I had a "frozen joint" and PT for two years to get back to mobility.  My Left knee was in need of repair, but I chose to alter my lifestlye, rather than go through THAT again!  Not much pain, and only a few subluxations in my Left knee over the course of twenty years was pretty good!  About a year ago, however, I slipped on ice ,had a "frank dislocation".  I had to shove that darn knee cap back in.  That began the deep spiral leading to surgery on Tuesday.

WOW - what a difference technology makes. I had a TTT, Lateral realease, meniscal repari and a debride ment of numerous osteophytes and rough cartilage. Out-patient surgery, knee brace, no cast.  A three-inch scar (my other scar if 18 inches long!).  The pain is not nearly as bad as I was afraid, but MAN, I feel like I'm rushing it.  Is it just me?

Also, While I think I'm doing pretty good, just two days post-op, I am having trouble getting what I need from my significant other.  Don't get me wrong- he's feeding me, getting me drugs, etc.  BUT, I have to beg and bargain to get the extras.  He tells me to take it easy when I get up to go to the bathroom, but questions EVERY pill that goes into my mouth, saying"it was just an arthroscopy - You shouldn't be hurting this much".

I don't mean to sound so stupid- but am I being a baby?  Did any of you guys need 5 or 10 mg of oxycodone (or the equivalent) every three or four hours?  Again, I thinkI'm doing pretty good - but I kind of feel bullied.  And this is SO new.  THis guy has been a PRINCE, he's my soul mate - but this is REALLY pushing us apart.  I am not getting sympathy or empathy that I can recognize...but I'm sure it's there.    Is this a GUYS "scared: response, because he feels out of control??"  I don't recognize this at ALL??!?!?!?

I'd really like some input! I've been with this guy for  year and a half.  He helped me a year ago when I fell, and was the best caregiver - backrubs, just did stuff, offered himself.  I NEVER asked for anything - not even ONCE.  Does anyone have any insight about this change????

Always,
hopeful....  :'(
Fell 3/02
TTT, lateral release, VMO transfer & meniscus repair on 4/20/04
Lysis of adhesions/MUA on 6/10/04
FULL ROM by 7/19/04
Normal minimal function (ie, stairs, walking, etc) by 8/23/04
NO probelms since!!
Pregnant spring 05 - Due 9/05!!!

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2004, 02:24:09 AM »
Why don't you show him some articles on what was done to your knee?

Show him on his knee how the bone surrounding the insertion point of the patellar tendon (that lump below the kneecap at the top of the shin) was BROKEN out of the tibia with a saw, moved over, and fixed into place with two 2-4 inch long screws.  Then the soft tissue sinews on the outside of the knee were cut with a laser scalpel, leaving behind a good bit of bleeding which gathers in the joint.  Then show how the muscle insertion point at the inside of your thigh was cut away, had severa mm to almost an inch cut away, and then the two pieces were sewn back together again.

Frankly, he needs to understand that there was no 'just an arthroscopy' about it.  In fact, since you have a three inch incision, it was actually an open surgery.  If you had 'just an arthroscopy' then you would only have 2-4 small puncture marks.  The fact that you have an incision and hardware in the knee change things considerably.

I had my appendix out, with complications.  So I had a six inch incision in my belly which was closed with staples.  It took over a month before I could sit up in bed.  That was a CAKEWALK in terms of pain compared to my last arthroscopy.  You had major open surgery involving broken bones and hardware on a weight-bearing joint.  What's more, it's very important to keep the pain under control because if you don't, the quad can actually shut down and leave you in a world of hurt with a subluxing kneecap.  Further, if you can't keep the joint moving once it's time to do so, you could end up with scar tissue and a frozen joint again.  

Your significant other is reacting the way guys do to pain and/or illness--he's wondering why you can't just tough it out.  But no one gives a medal to the person who takes the least pain meds.  In fact, failing to properly manage the pain can result in significant complications.  So you really need to explain to your SO what you actually went through, and that this was not some little nip and snip like a torn meniscus where you're expected to walk out of the hospital.  Many people are actually kept in the hospital for 3-5 DAYS post op so they can have intravenous pain medication...this is usually morphine.  The doctors would not prescribe this if they did not expect significant pain.

You can send him to http://www.patellapain.com and go to the surgery section.  Have him look up the Fulkerson procedure (generic TTT) and look at the pictures and read the text (it's pretty gory).  You may also want to bring him in to the next post-op meeting you have with your OS, and have the doctor go over exactly what he did.  Have the OS explain that it could be 6-12 months for return to activity.  Have him explain that this is open surgery involving broken bones and screws and changing the way your body bears weight on that leg.  It hurts, to put it plainly.  

Some people have less pain than others.  That's great for them, but as I said, it's not a contest to see who can grit their teeth and take the most pain without showing it.  Nobody gets a medal for white knuckling it.  I call it better living through chemistry  ;D  And I take way more medication than you do on a daily basis just to be able to put weight on my knee.  

Maybe he's concerned about addiction?  If so, please disabuse him of that notion!  Your situation is short term, people who are taking meds for significant surgical pain do NOT become addicts, and letting the pain continue can have very negative effects on your recovery.  It's pretty simply, actually.

If he doesn't get it, then you can tell him that as soon as he goes through the procedure himself he can give you advice about pain management.  Or when he gets his MD degree--whichever comes first.  I actually had a bit of this behavior from my dad at first--it must be a guy thing.  So then he went fishing in Alaska and rapped his knee hard on the side of the boat when a wave hit.  He had a bruise.  That's all, a bruise.  And he whined endlessly and winced when he put weight on it.  My mom said it was quite the spectacle.  When he got back, he said he had new respect for what I went through every day, and that he couldn't believe how the knee pain affected everything from sitting, standing, bending, walking, turning, even sleeping.  He was much more sympathetic after that.

Here is a link to another site that explains what was done to your knee (among other things, this just desribes the TTT part).  It also has an x-ray of the screw placement, so you can see how big those puppies are!   Again, you may not want to view it--but it's kinda cool, actually.

Here's the link.  If you want, I can actually post the image itself.
http://www.wheelessonline.com/image7/knnee3a.jpg

http://www.wheelessonline.com/  Go to this link, then to the T section of the alphabet, then click on tibial osteotomy.

Good luck.  I've found the best way to explain to someone who's never gone through this is just to give the the medical details of what was done.  You are NOT being a baby, you had major surgery.  It's not unusual to take pain meds for MONTHS after this procedure.  It hurts.

Heather
« Last Edit: April 23, 2004, 02:27:24 AM by hmaxwell »
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline 2soreknees

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2004, 03:36:20 AM »
Hopeful1

I agree with Heather, your guy is being a male...something about those chromosomes makes then just not get it.  That is why THEY don't give birth!
Anyway, hang in there take your meds.  You are not being a baby, in fact I am surprised that this was outpatient.  I had mine last year and was in the hospital for a couple of nights on a morphine drip.  Yes I took Oxycodone and Percocet for some days after surgery.  No I didn't get addicted I just knew I needed the relief and it helped me relax and sleep which was what I needed to heal.  

I like Heather's idea of letting him see what you went through.  Having a bone cut and moved is brutal and not "just anthro"!  It might just help him to see something concrete about what you went through.  I must say when I showed my husband my screws he went pale!  (He's a carpenter so he really understands what screws do).  Arg!

I regulated all my own meds after surgery.  I took a piece of paper and divided it up into days and meds.  I would record the time I took each one so I wouldn't get confused.  It wasn't the most readable thing but it helped me feel more independent and have some control over my pain.

Good luck and keep in touch.  This is the most wonderful site.

Tery


2/02 (R)arthro. meniscus tear, microfractures, grade 4 chondro. under patella.
TTT/LR on (L) 3/03. 
11/04 Arthro (R) MF
4/06 (L) clean up and trim back scar tissue from LR
11/06 (R) HTO
8/08 (R) Hardware removalMFR
8/09 L microfactures
12/09 LTKR
11/11 R TKR and last knee surgery!

Offline hopeful1

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2004, 04:52:27 AM »
YOU ARE TERRIFFIC!  Thanks for replying.  Very helpful stuff.  We had a chat, and he helped me take off my dressing, and put on "ted" hose.  I think seeing the VERY bloody dressing, and the stiitches were a slap of reality. Also, seeing that my knee was bulky from SWELLING and not from BANDAGES was eye-opening.

I KNOW better, about keeping on top of the pain, and I've promised myself to be better about taking meds!  That way, I just might not be as grouchy!

Thanks again!

L.
Fell 3/02
TTT, lateral release, VMO transfer & meniscus repair on 4/20/04
Lysis of adhesions/MUA on 6/10/04
FULL ROM by 7/19/04
Normal minimal function (ie, stairs, walking, etc) by 8/23/04
NO probelms since!!
Pregnant spring 05 - Due 9/05!!!

Offline stgiles16

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2004, 08:31:28 PM »
Hopeful, it is definately a guy thing. After this last surgery , I told the OS that this one hurt worse than child birth ( and I was NOT  kidding) He laughed and said no way. When was the last time he had a kid? and better yet, when did he have all this stuff done to HIS knee??  Do what is best for you, he just doesnt understand (and if he is like my husband, he will never fully get it) I dont think anyone can unless they have been throuch it themselves.  Good Luck, you sound like you are doing great. ;D
Missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
TKR JAN 2012

Offline gimp

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2004, 09:11:52 PM »
My HTO is about as similar as your procedure as I've had.  Without the pain meds, nerve blocks, etc. I would certainly have been a pathetic blubbering mess.  I tried to tough out my ACL recon several years ago.  Bad idea.  

Hopefully you will begin to feel less of a need to the meds soon.  For me it took about a week before I was completely off.  You always want to stay in front of the pain and are not being a wimp for taking what the doctor prescribed.  Hopefully you'll find that soon you only need them to help you sleep.

I am however looking forward to telling my wife that my pain was worse than childbirth.  Thanks for the ammo, stgiles16!

John
31 years old; ACL Recon @27; 25% Meniscus removed @29, Some OA and varus deformation.  HTO Closing wedge 10/8/03

Offline hopeful1

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2004, 11:13:12 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I'm trying to be patient with him, and take care of myself!  I have been better about staying "on top of the pain", and that helps me.  It doesn't at all help with him, though.  He just shakes his head.  It got better after I showed him my knee, but he still thinks it's "just an arthroscopy". Now, he just has the attitude "if you're in so much pain, get the damn drugs yourself".  Not helpful.  Oh, well.

The advice and encouragement of everyone here helps! At least I don't feel like a junky, when I am "still" taking pain meds three days after surgery. John, it's good the hear that even a guy can feel pain.  Apparently, mine never has...

Bitterly,

not-so- hopeful
Fell 3/02
TTT, lateral release, VMO transfer & meniscus repair on 4/20/04
Lysis of adhesions/MUA on 6/10/04
FULL ROM by 7/19/04
Normal minimal function (ie, stairs, walking, etc) by 8/23/04
NO probelms since!!
Pregnant spring 05 - Due 9/05!!!

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004, 11:27:38 PM »
So when he tells you to get the d**n drugs yourself, tell him "That's really mature.  I'm so glad I have you around to comfort me after my surgery."

Then point out that he will get sick/ill/have surgery at one time or another, and you have a very long memory.

Seriously, don't let this fester.  Ask him what the heck is up with the attitude, when you're the one who had her leg broken, laser scalpeled and sutured.  Does he really think he's helping?    Tell him that you were counting on him to be there for you, and if this is an example of how he stands by you through sickness and health....well, you know, it's not necessarily going to get easier any time soon.  Yes, your pain levels will decrease.  But you'll be on crutches for weeks, in a brace for at least that long, doing formal physical therapy, etc.  It's best to hash this out now, as unfortunately your life is going to be in upheaval for months to come.  That's not to scare you, but just to point out that even the fastest recoveries take 6-8 weeks, and those are abnormal.  It's usually more like 4-6 months before absolute return to self-sufficiency.  Do you feel like biting your tongue for that long?

He probably doesn't like to see you down and hurting, and like a typical guy shows it in strange ways....

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline 2soreknees

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2004, 04:02:22 AM »
Hopeful1

Don't give up on your guy.  There is a reason why you two were drawn to each other.  Definitedly talk to him about his less then supportive attitude....maybe he needs a little time away to get things in perspective (my husband goes camping with his buddies)  yes you might end up by yourself for a couple of nights but maybe he needs a bit of male bonding.  I know my husband cannot do the caretaker thing for long, makes hime cranky.  DO you have a girl friend that could come syay with you for a day or so?  A little "girl time" might help you too.  

Whatever you do don't make any decisions about your relationship while you are on these meds.  

Just be good to yourself, you won't be laid up for too much longer and life will get back to normal soon.

Yes there is a reason why guys don't give birth.  My TTT made childbirth look easy and I was in labor for 41 hours!  Of course maybe that is because I ended up with a beautiful daughter from childbirth and only a scar from my TTT.

Good luck!
Tery
2/02 (R)arthro. meniscus tear, microfractures, grade 4 chondro. under patella.
TTT/LR on (L) 3/03. 
11/04 Arthro (R) MF
4/06 (L) clean up and trim back scar tissue from LR
11/06 (R) HTO
8/08 (R) Hardware removalMFR
8/09 L microfactures
12/09 LTKR
11/11 R TKR and last knee surgery!

Offline soccerdoc

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2004, 05:45:23 AM »
Hopeful,

The Heathers on this site are very helpful, there are at least eight and several honorary that I can't keep track of.

First off, it is not a guy thing as a broad stereotype.  I have been involved with the treatment of chronic pain for both men and women for years and they experience it differently.   Fact is men are not the greatest caretakers and nurturers by nature.

Secondly, adequate pain control is what is optimal and if he doesn't understand it there are some good materials on the American Pain Society website or the American Academy of Pain Management.  Heather K is right about no one giving a medal to the one who takes the least pain meds.  There are often other things that get triggered in a partner, male ofr female when their perception of what should be happening and what is happening are very different.  Often this is out of lack of knowledge and fear, fear that the person won't get better, that they will develop a problem with medications, that they think they could handle it bette, yes I have seen women feel their male partners couldn't handle pain because they needed medication.

As to labor pain, it is so different thatn acute psot op pain.  No I have never had a child and I think men are lightweights as it takes alot to go through a pregnancy and childbirth...bones softening ligaments stretching weight gain change in body image.  Men do ultra events to compensate for their deficiency in this area imho.  BUT labor pain is different and involves a different set of neurochemical responses that make it unsuitable as a pain typoe to compate to a TTT or HTO or ACL or sinal fusion or phantom limb pain, etc etc.  BTW, female surgeon sare no better at assessing pain and need for medication based on a study in one of the pain journals.

2soreknees is right about not giving up and not making decisions about the relationship while you are taking significant doses of pain meds.  He may need time with his buddies, he definitely needs to understand major surgery even if it's done arthroscopically.  Cutting bone is painful.  

Stay o top of the pain, it's not his leg and he doesn't have to deal with it.  talking to him about it when he is open to it.  Fact is he doesn't really know what he is talking about although I doubt he would admit that.

This is a very good place to get support and information, even fromm a guy sometimes.

Take care, hope things go well.

Jim

L Knee: 1980 medial plication (?);1994 medial menisectomy 'bucket-handle tear; 2000 medial menisectomy w/dx mod-severe osteoarthritis; 2002 debridement w/dx severe osteoarthritis; 2003 HTO and LR.6/2/05  HTO hardware removal and debridement arthroscopy, 2009 L knee arthroscopy great result

Offline hopeful1

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2004, 08:25:13 AM »
Jim,

Thanks for your wise words.  Pain is not very translatable, is it?  I know not to make any changes right now - especiallly on pain meds.  And, even though it is tempting to snap back at him when he's being a grump, I try really hard to understand.  This guy really is sensitive, and I think he just can't stand the thought of me in pain, so he gets mad, in general.  Then I, in a bit of a stupor, take it personally.  BUT he also could beahve in a manner which is more supportive.  I hope I didn't offend, with the "guy stuff", but it does seem that men are more likely to respond in the way he is, and , women are better nurturers!  

I think I need visitors, and good, "chick-flick, and some chocolate!  Perhaps that is a concrete request he could handle!??!!

Thanks, again!

PS- this is all getting better by the hour!  Took a quick shower, and feel much more human!  

Linda
Fell 3/02
TTT, lateral release, VMO transfer & meniscus repair on 4/20/04
Lysis of adhesions/MUA on 6/10/04
FULL ROM by 7/19/04
Normal minimal function (ie, stairs, walking, etc) by 8/23/04
NO probelms since!!
Pregnant spring 05 - Due 9/05!!!

Offline soccerdoc

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2004, 08:54:54 AM »
Linda,

You are right about pain being difficult to translate.  It also changes how one thinks about things.  It is nice to hear you say he really is sensitive.  One of the things that is difficult about pain in a relationship is that the person without the pain can't really know what the person in pain is experiencing and it often creates a feeling of helplessness.  Now men in particular do not do well with a sense of helplessness.  Anger is also a great way of protecting oneself from being emotionally close during a difficult time.  No you didn't offend with the guy stuff.  I have just seen the same thing in reverse over the years which to speaks more to how pain changes a relationship and really requires taking communication to a new level to keep the relationship as healthy as possible during that time.

Hope you get the visitors, a chick flic and the chocolate.  We have a great chocoalte shop..."Euphoria Chocolate"

Take care.

Jim
L Knee: 1980 medial plication (?);1994 medial menisectomy 'bucket-handle tear; 2000 medial menisectomy w/dx mod-severe osteoarthritis; 2002 debridement w/dx severe osteoarthritis; 2003 HTO and LR.6/2/05  HTO hardware removal and debridement arthroscopy, 2009 L knee arthroscopy great result

Offline 2soreknees

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2004, 12:29:34 AM »
Jim

Sorry about the "guy bashing" ...I hope I didn't offend.  
You seem rather enlightened about this pain thing I guess it is because you have experienced it.  I admit that I have been pretty gouchy of late because my pain level had been way up there. :P

My OS told me that people with light hair and light eyes have a lower pain tolerance...( I am blonde. blue eyed)  maybe he was trying to tell me something?

Have a good day.

Tery
2/02 (R)arthro. meniscus tear, microfractures, grade 4 chondro. under patella.
TTT/LR on (L) 3/03. 
11/04 Arthro (R) MF
4/06 (L) clean up and trim back scar tissue from LR
11/06 (R) HTO
8/08 (R) Hardware removalMFR
8/09 L microfactures
12/09 LTKR
11/11 R TKR and last knee surgery!

stansey

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2004, 01:23:21 AM »
Hi, hopeful1.  I don't know what 's with your guy but I think you need to somehow have a quiet talk with him.  If you had that experience with him in the past where he was great, and is not now, something must be different.  Is it strictly related to the amount of meds you are taking, is that  a problelm for him somehow?  I think with my sig other it's like, once you're up, you must be fine.  So, go back to normal.  I know they mean well, but I think they can't stand it when we're not 100%.    And he should be a prince, after all, don't you deserve it?  Wouldn't you take good care of him if he were the one hurting?

Helen_uk

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Re: Hopeful1's post-op!
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2004, 01:44:31 AM »
Hi there whils my other half is very good we have to have blow outs every now and again because I have had so much surgery and generally cope well and am very independant he assumes that I am always that way infact since my last op two weeks ago he has only done two meals and one of those came from the local curry house... i think venus and mars come to mind in these situations . My hubby goes to bed with a sore throat and dabs the door with blood to warm all who enter he may not have long for this world Heh eheh
may be your other half is worried or simply sees that youa re coping and doing well so maybe assumes you dont need help so a gentlr reminder may do the trick failing that crutches arent just given for walking shuff em where the sun dont shine LOL ::)
Take care and good luck
Love H xx ;D















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