Surgery 5-23-2011

 

It’s been a couple weeks since the surgery and the rehab has been going great! My wife took great notes during the surgery and I wanted to share what the process was like during the surgery and the first 24 hours after in hopes that it may answer questions for anyone about to go through the process.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am, registered and within 20 minutes we were called into the pre-op holding area. They obtained pre-op history, vital signs, started IV, they drew blood as a precaution for possible transfusion if necessary. They gave me that wonderful gown to change into and hooked me up to the monitors.

Next, Anesthesia arrived and did another thorough history and explained the femoral block. The block is administered to numb the top of the leg that they are going to do the procedure on. They also explained the spinal anesthesia (we chose this over general based on the recommendation of my surgeon. He likes this based on less blood loss, less chance of blood clots and better recovery). I admit I was a little uncomfortable at first with the spinal (I mean the possibility of hearing saws and mallets didn’t really make me feel comfortable) but I am so glad that we went that way. For me, the recovery was better and I didn’t feel anything while I was under and overall I came around much quicker.

The surgeon came in next and went over the procedure answered any questions that we had and told us that the procedure would last between 11/2 and 2 hours. They set up the femoral block, took me away and the next thing I know, I’m waking up in recovery.

I remained in recovery for about three hours, the femoral block was working well on the top of my leg but the nurse told me as soon as I felt anything on the bottom to get pain meds in immediately. They told me the pain could go from a little to a lot in a hurry so as soon as I felt sensation behind the knee they started me on the pain meds. The main focus for the next 24 hours was pain management. I had the pump available to increase pain meds and used it some but the staff worked very hard to figure out which drug was going to work best, how much and how often. My wife was a lifesaver; she made sure the nurses were on time with the meds (especially in the middle of the night).

They did not want me up that night but the next morning PT came to try and get me moving. I was able to walk about 10-15 steps with the walker and it was a challenge. Later that day, however, it was much better. I was discharged the next afternoon and the rehab is for another time but the surgery was successful. The most important part of the process was communication with the Dr’s and nurses on duty about pain management. If they can control the pain from the beginning and keep it under control, the journey is much less traumatic.