An Update

I’m a week out from knee surgery.  The specific surgery was a placement of the de novo graft (a juvenile donor cartilage) and arthroscopy.  The surgery was both arthroscopic and open – he did the initial scope arthroscopically, so he could see the extent of the damage, and then opened it up with a larger incision, took out the knee cap, cleaned out the arthritis, and then glued the graft between the bones and to the back of the knee cap.  I can’t be 100% sure, but I also think he did a lateral release on the knee cap as it was being pulled to the right side.

This is an extremely painful surgery.  Now that I’m a week out, I’m still in considerable pain.  The knee cap is swollen.  My leg is in an immobilizer, and I am only allowed to put a bit of weight on the to to steady myself.  Otherwise, no weight on it at all – and I’m on crutches.  I took a peek yesterday at the incision (just a small peek) and I have a lot of little staples (ew).  The knee cap is padded in a ton of gauze, and then the leg is wrapped in an ace bandage, and then the immobilizer is on top of that.  I’m not to remove the immobilizer (although I have unstrapped it to take care of a slight itch I had on my shin) except to tighten it as the swelling goes down.

The big downfall of this surgery has been the fact that I’m not in charge of my diet.  Which means my husband is.  And although he tries (the portion sizes are good), between the left over nauseau from the surgery and the excessive amount of carbs he has been feeding me, I’ve not been eating right.  Top that off with pain killers and not enough fluid (my fault), I ended up with an obstruction.  Yesterday I really thought I was going to die.  My lower abdomen was killing me, and no matter how much I tried to go, I couldn’t.  I called my bariatric surgeon and talked to Chris (the nurse) and explained the situation.  She told me to call my ortho to see what his plan was but prescribed laxitives, lots of fiber and lots of water.  I called my ortho, and he switched my pain killers (which I’m only taking at night now) from percoset to tylenol with codeine.  UGH. 

So this morning, I am feeling better.  I still haven’t “gone” but the pain in my tummy is better.  I”m sticking to yogurt and fresh blueberries for breakfast and lunch will be some type of protien and some veggies.  Keeping food semi-soft and light today.  And lots and lots of fluids.  I’ve had a protien shake.  I’m having water.  I’m having some decaf coffee too (in hopes it may get things going).  Keep your fingers crossed.

Some of the perils of surgery for a post op bariatric patient.

So, I get the staples out in a week and see my ortho for my post op.  I’m off work until at least 8/2.  And my butt is soooo asleep.  Sigh.


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