Day 10: 1st OS Checkup & 4th PT Session




February 14, 2005 at 1:54 am

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2 AM: Watch this space for details from my 4th PT session at 9:30 AM, and my first post-op checkup with my Orthopedic Surgeon/Specialist (OS) at 3 PM.

I’m looking forward to getting my stitches and/or Steri-strips removed, and {fingers crossed}, clearance to be FWB (Full Weight-Bearing, eg. no more crutches).

I think my knee’s ready to handle it, and my phyiscal therapists have been predicting I’ll be FWB this week ever since my first session with them, so… we’ll see!

My questions for my OS:

Cat News: Our beautiful white cat, Blanco, has another intestinal obstruction (due to eating a cat toy that I gave him several weeks ago, but was too lame in the knee to be able to chase him down and pry out of his mouth… {argh!}).

So, at 7 AM this morning, Justin’s taking Blanco to our feline-only health clinic.

Then we have my PT session, a bunch of errands, and then my all-important 3 PM checkup with my surgeon.

Busy, busy, busy.

It’s a good thing Justin took today off way back when I scheduled surgery and got the checkup date set, as well..

KNEE NEWS: My PT session (fourth) and ten-day post-op checkup with my OS went quite well.

I pushed myself a little too hard on my ten minute stationary bike ride today, causing pain and resulting in stress prior to my checkup.

I was a little bummed that my flexion only measured 118 degrees, two degrees shy of my all-time high on

of 120 degrees. That led to irrational visions of my OS disregarding my physical therapist’s recommendations. Why? I worried that due to pushing it on the bike, I’d be too sore to demonstrate my 115-120 degree flexion that I’ve had since 3 days post-op!

Thankfully, I didn’t spend very long in the waiting room, sitting in my immobilizer (less time to get stiff and more sore). And while we did spend plenty of time in the exam room, I followed my physical therapist’s advice and did knee raises, ankle pumps, straight leg raises and some quad sets to keep everything limbered up for the surgeon’s once-over. As a result, when my surgeon walked in, I was absent-mindedly swinging both of my legs off the examination table, pain-free!

He had me do a couple different things with the knee and, voila, he pronounced me as having “Full range of motion” (ROM). Of course, we know that’s not true yet, but apparently I’m close enough for government work at least.

The Angels are Singing! My OS has cleared me for full weight bearing (walking!), wearing an ACL brace, which I will be picking up myself (I can drive again!) at Wednesday’s PT session.

He removed all my blood-encrusted Steri-strips like most of our mother’s removed Band-Aids — with one swift and unceremonious YANK!. To my relief, everything looks terrific under all that dried gore, and my itchiness seems to have diminished as well.

All the portals and incisions have knit quite well, and nothing bled at all when the Steri-strips were removed.

Still, my OS insisted I wear these giant Band-Aids to protect the still-healing holes from the ACL brace I’ll soon be wearing (and sleeping in, I believe). I’ll have to post a photo before I yank all but one or two of these bandages off, because the visual effect is comical; I look like someone’s child who’s had way too much time alone with herself and a box of big Band-Aids!

I really wish I had copies of the x-rays they took today, because the three screws that are in my left leg are H-U-G-E!

Two of the screws have broad, flat heads with cleats to anchor them to the bone; these screws extend at least 90% through my tibia (lower leg bone)! My third screw extends almost completely through my femur and it’s threaded at both ends. Looking at the x-rays can’t help but send an ache throughout my left leg!

Too bad we are nowhere near Star Trek tricorder technology — a few seconds of blips and flashing lights and you’re cured, without any instruments of torture being involved (bone saws, drills, chisels, mallets, screws, bolts, rods, etc.)

More later, if I recall any noteworthy details.

I asked as many questions as I could during my checkup, but with my surgeon you’re lucky to get one question in edgewise before he’s telling you he’ll see you in 3 months for the next checkup!

He’s a terrific surgeon, which is to say he’s more comfortable when his patients are out cold under anesthesia, rather than firing off questions to him.

Hence my massive research mode prior to my surgery…

6 PM: Blanco is at the

for observation this evening. If he throws up and fails to eat or drink normally, and they find no traces of the cat toy he ingested (a small blue fuzz toy) in his stool, he’ll go under the knife tomorrow.

Sadly, we’ve been down that road before, to the tune of about $1,000 in veterinary expenses.

He’s part of our family, and while you’re not supposed to pick favorites, he is probably both Justin’s and my favorite cat of our three wonderfully unique, loving and beautiful cats.

We’re praying Blanco somehow passes the obstruction with the aid of the mineral oil and high fiber cat food the vet’s will give him tonight, but we’re also prepared for the potential that he becomes our “Two Thousand Dollar Cat,” after having spent about two years as our “Thousand Dollar Cat.”

{sigh} We feel wretched inside at having our baby sick. Our human and feline health budget this year is taking a beating, and it’s only February!




1 Comment

April 20, 2007


I am so grateful to have run across your website….I recently tore my ACL and am having surgery this coming Tuesday.

I have a strange question to ask: how long from Tuesday will I be able to walk without crutches on my knee?

I have Prom on May 19th and I am hoping I do not have to have crutches for that day.


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