- Aging & Longevity
the Journey of total knee reconstruction
It’s amazing what a simple injury at a young age and the years can do to our joints. It is astounding what a dislocated knee cap and approximately 40 years can do to the human body. A freak childhood accident can impact the rest of your life in ways you could never imagine. It can affect the way you walk and inflict some of the most excruciating pain you have ever felt. Swelling that can immobilize you. I went thought years of pain and discomfort. As I got older the knee began to swell more and more and become even more uncomfortable to use. Walking became pure terror because there was always the feeling that I was going to fall.
At the age of 14 I had my first surgery done, I don’t remember a lot about it except that it hurt and left a nasty scar. They removed a bone fragment then cut and tightened the ligaments. I managed to make it through my high school years and my life up until about 57. That’s when things began to escalate. Standing up caused extreme swelling and pain that made it hard to drive or walk. Pain became ever present standing, sitting; forget the idea of kneeling or even getting into the tub. That was impossible.
Pain that ranged from minute to the max, years of pain killers that ranged from over the counter to pain management prescriptions. Swelling that was constant and made it very painful move. Years of pain that drove me to the brink of insanity and left me hanging, 40 years of repeating pain and growing discomfort. Finally I begged the Dr for a referral to a surgeon and some relief. The surgeon’s response after the x-ray was and you’re walking? So the decision to do the knee replacement was made.
The date was quickly chosen and arrived fairly fast. The Dr was very good and through in his execution of the surgery. I however did not recover as quickly as it was originally hoped. I went through a month of home therapy. The first two weeks were excruciating, the pain was unbearable and the joint refused to bend further than 60 degrees. I went through periods feeling as though this was the worst decision of my life. I just knew that I would never walk again. Then the last week of home therapy I left the walker and went to a cane. The next time I saw the Dr., he released me to drive. Then the office visits for therapy started.
The freedom that I regained when I was told I could drive was wonderful. The therapists and the patients were wonderful, helpful and encouraging. There were days when I accomplished a lot and times when I felt like a total failure. I went through about a month and a half of therapy in the office. I worked out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, using different type of equipment and different exercises. The one piece of equipment that helped the most was the stationary bike. It would loosen the leg make it easier to use but the next day I had one sore leg.
I am now well on the way to recovery and I thank God for the wonder that He created in my life and in the rebuilding of my knee. There will be more time of exercise and rebuilding, more time to spend in rebuilding my confidence. But with the Help of God and total trust in Him I will walk the way He meant me to, and I will praise him with each step that I take.