Five days ago I had full knee replacement surgery done. They sent me home with a nerve block. Basically, a long tube with a needle stuck into my thigh on one side, and a bag of narcotics on the other side. Had to be very careful with it, carrying it around, making sure not to tangle it or pull on it, etc.
With the nerve block, I had no feeling along the top of my leg, from just above my knee to my ankle was numb whenever I ran my fingers along it. Couldn’t feel a thing. I still had pain around my knee, but it was on either side of the block. And while it was bad, I figured that it could have been so much worse.
Yesterday, I was instructed to remove the nerve block. While on the one hand, I knew that would mean more pain. On the other hand, it meant I could take a shower, which I was kind of desperate to do.
Removal was fine. Lifting up the tape that attached the tube to my skin was more complicated than pulling out the needle. The insertion site bled a little but mostly it was okay.
We removed the nerve block around 2 PM yesterday. My leg swelled up significantly, but it was still numb to the touch.
I woke up around midnight with lots of pain. So much so that I took some oxycodone (I’ve been trying to only take it during the day, and then sleep through the night without it). After about 30 minutes, the pain receded enough that I could fall back asleep.
This morning, the skin of my leg still feels slightly numb. The swelling has gone down significantly. I’m still swollen, but not as bad. I’m going to start taking less pain killers today, see if I can wean myself off those, and start rebuilding my brain.
It’s amazing to me how a full knee replacement is out-patient surgery. I’m walking around with a single crutch. One of the advantages of a lot of pain medication is that I haven’t been bored, not really. I haven’t had enough brain to be bored. That will probably change this week. It’s good, because I have a number of things to do! I’ve tried picking at some of them but haven’t been able to focus at all.
Next week, I go back to PT. I also go in for my first post-operative doctor visit.
I am making progress, in terms of being able to bend my knee, straighten it, as well as put weight on it. Every day, my range of motion grows.
My surgeon said it’ll be a month before I’ll be doing basic things, and probably three months before I’m back doing yoga and walking again. So by next year, I should be much, much better.
In the meanwhile, I’ve started telling myself not to push. Because now is the time when I would start pushing, and would possibly hurt myself.