Thursday, April 05, 2012

Knee Replacement Surgery

On Monday, February 20, 2012 I had a complete left knee replacement surgery performed by Dr. Lavernia at Mercy Hospital in Miami, Florida. The surgery went extremely well. I was allowed from the outset to put my full weight on my leg as tolerated. I took my first steps with a walker on Tuesday, February 22, 2012. I only walked about 50 feet; however, I was happy. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during physical therapy, I walked three times each day a continuous journey through the hallways that was a distance of about 300 feet each walk. I sure am glad I made a decision to stay in shape and keep my muscles strong by race walking everyday up to February 19. The doctor had said that as long as I could tolerate the discomfort, it was okay to continue exercising as even if I damaged the knee more, the surgery would remain the same as a knee replacement is still a knee replacement. By keeping in shape and keeping my muscles strong, I was sure my recovery would go much easier. I was released from the Hospital on Friday, February 24, 2012 and returned home.

On Saturday, February 25, 2012 I walked through the halls on my condo building three separate times a distance of 1600 feet each time. The journey was not hard to accomplish. By Wednesday, February 29, 2012 I increased the distance to 3200 feet each walk and had completed two home physical therapy sessions. From March 1 to March 6 I continued doing 3 sets of 3200 feet using a walker; however, I added 300 feet of regular walking with the blessing of my physical therapist. On March 7 I only did 1 set of 3200 feet with the walker; however, I increase my regular walking to 3 sets of 1200 feet and added 4 sets of 8 stairs. On March 10 I did 1 set of 3200 feet with the walker, 3 sets of 1600 feet of regular walking, and 5 sets of 8 stairs. On March 12 I stopped using the walker completely. My regular walking consisted of 1 set of 3200 feet, 3 sets of 1600 feet, and 5 sets of 8 stairs. March 26 was my last day for physical therapy at home. By Wednesday, March 28 my regular walking consisted of 1 set of 4800 feet, 3 sets of 1600 feet, and 10 sets of 8 stairs.

On March 29 I added 30 minutes of exercise on a pool. On March 30 I began walking outside with a distance of 1.07 miles, in addition to 3 sets of 1600 feet in the condo halls, 10 sets of 8 stairs, and 45 minutes of pool exercises. It is my intention to gradually increase the distance of my outside walk each day by somewhere between 0.05 miles and 0.1 miles each day and keep the rest of my exercising the same. I am writing this narration on April 5, 2012 and have increased my outside walk to 1.55 miles.

I have learned a few things from my experience with having knee replacement surgery. First and foremost a knee replacement surgery is a major operation and should be treated as such. There is much pain at the beginning and knee swelling and aching can last as long as 6 months. I made a very good decision to stay in shape before the surgery as it has made the recovery easier. My doctor said at my one month appointment that my recovery has progressed after one month to where most patients are after three months. Do you exercises and be patient as the recovery will take a long time. Do not try to do too much too soon. I have been very diligent about following this advice. You must believe that it will all be worth it in the long run.