I had my second post-op visit with Dr. Feldman yesterday, and the news was all good.
We took another X-ray, and Dr. Feldman said it looked great: the tibia seems to be knitting together nicely, with no sign of any slippage. (Slippage? Who knew that was even possible?)
The leg brace has been set to allow 40 degrees of flexion. I can do 30 comfortably; 40 feels a little tight for now, but should become easier as I exercise the knee. I’ll be increasing the flexion by a notch each week, which should take me to 90 degrees in two weeks and completely open in three. My next post-op visit will be in four weeks. If all goes well, I may be able to start putting a little bit of weight on the leg after that.
I’m still taking aspirin every day to help avoid clots, but I haven’t been on any antibiotics at all, and there’s been no sign of any infection at the surgical site. The arthroscope wounds have healed and the incision looks pretty good. Click here if you want to take a look at the current external state of the knee: View image.
I’ve been very sparing in my use of pain-killers, and for the past week I haven’t been taking anything at all during the day, not even extra-strength Tylenol! I have been waking up in the middle of the night with the leg throbbing, which has led me to take one Percocet tab in order to get back to sleep. Benny, the doctor’s aide, was impressed that I didn’t need more pain medicine and said that the nighttime throbbing was to be expected. Blood and lymph circulate differently when you’re asleep, he said. They’ve prescribed Vicodin for use when the Percocets run out, but I’m hoping not to need anything before too long.
Meanwhile, Mike, the office’s brace specialist, snorted when he heard about Empire’s denial of benefits for the EBIce cold therapy unit: “It absolutely is not experimental.” He gave me a “statement of medical necessity,” which reads: “This cold unit, used in conjunction with a pump and sterile circulating pad, allows cold therapy around the injury site immediately after surgery. A sterile pad allows close contact with the surgery site and can be applied under sterile dressing. It is used to prevent or reduce post-operative swelling and edema. Without cold therapy, the patient risks increased inflammation and pain.”
We’ll see what they say.