Sunrise Memories

This morning I ran through my memories on Facebook and it was a sunrise moment, shedding light on months and months of writer’s block. It caused me to open up my long-silent blog and reach out to my friends. At least I hope we still are friends after all this time.

This was taken in Siena, Italy, as I threw open my huge hotel room windows with a morning view over the Tuscan countryside.

FROM FACEBOOK

November 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Pre-certified hospital and rehab with both insurance companies. Borrowed wheelchair, shower chair, grabber, the mother of all shoehorns, and sock helper from the Arlington Heights Senior Center Lending Closet. I think it’s real now.

It’s been six years since I had my total knee replacement. Three more knee and foot surgeries later, I’m still not fabulously happy with the outcome of my TKR, but I know that the stability of my bionic knee is better than that of the one I haven’t had done yet. I’ve been hearing about huge progress being made in stem cell regrowth of your own meniscus, but my forays into stem cell therapy have had minimal positive results. So I continue to put up with occasional pain in my left knee and a lot of stiffness in my right knee. I’m linking here the recent information I’ve found out that I should have known six years ago. Maybe it will help some of you to avoid what happened to me.

 I WAS ALREADY AT RISK AND NO ONE TOLD ME

“We came to a consensus that contemporary literature supported the following definition of acquired idiopathic stiffness: a range of motion of less than 90 degrees persisting for greater 12 weeks in patients without complicating factors. Moreover, we found the prevalence to be 4% after primary total knee arthroplasty, with females and obese patient being at increased risk.”

Idiopathic Stiffness After TKA: Is This a Thing?

I WAS GIVEN WARFARIN FOR WEEKS
“We found that patients who received warfarin, direct Xa inhibitors, or fondaparinux after TKA were at significantly higher risk of undergoing manipulation under anesthesia for postoperative knee stiffness in comparison to patients who received low molecular weight heparin. In addition, there was no significantly increased risk of MUA in patients who received aspirin postoperatively.”
TURNS OUT I HAVE ARTHROFIBROSIS
I am the walking poster child for arthrofibrosis — my initial treatment was inappropriate, my follow-up care has been exactly as this article suggests with hundreds of visits for physical therapy as well as a manipulation, including last summer’s arthrolysis of adhesions.

https://www.healthline.com/health/total-knee-replacement-surgery/arthrofibrosis#prevention

HE REFUSED TO GIVE ME A CPM MACHINE

Despite the studies showing otherwise, I was one of the people who should have had a CPM machine. My doctor refused to give me one, even though I begged. https://www.verywellhealth.com/do-i-need-a-cpm-following-knee-surgery-2548662  

THESE ARE THE THINGS I PROBABLY SHOULD REQUEST THE NEXT TIME

“Your surgeon may prescribe a CPM machine while you’re lying in bed and recovering from surgery. Your surgeon or physical therapist may also provide exercises designed to reduce the risk of developing arthrofibrosis. Using the following may reduce the odds of experiencing arthrofibrosis:
  • a compression dressing
  • cryotherapy, or the application of extreme cold
  • a suction drain”

https://www.healthline.com/health/total-knee-replacement-surgery/arthrofibrosis

Bottom line — I’ve been lucky that I live in a place where I have options for doctors, hospitals, and physical therapists. My last six years have been full of travel to wonderful places such as Tuscany, and I’ve tried not to let my pesky knees limit me too much. It’s been one of those lifetime experiences that gives one empathy for others and builds fortitude for the years ahead.

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