Monday, July 18, 2011

The Knee Bone's Connected to the Leg Bone

(Perhaps I should have saved this picture for Halloween?)  I mentioned in this past Saturday's post that someone in the family is going to be having non-life-threatening surgery in a couple of months.  But before we got that news, we had to get past the staff at the Orthopedic Surgeon's office, including this bony fellow (or gal?).  

A few weeks ago Beloved and I were carrying things up the stairs when he turned to see if he could assist me and missed a step in the process.  He tumbled down 3 steps, landing on the landing (I know that's phrased awkwardly) and heard his knee pop.  To make the long story short, his first diagnosis was a torn meniscus, then a torn ACL, and then a few days later a knee replacement was scheduled due to all the arthritis in there as well.

Beloved has been on the Internet a lot lately, reading all he can about what to expect.  Fortunately (or not), we have several friends who have already been through this same replacement, so they have been very helpful as well.  We plan to collaborate on some blog posts about the experience, with this being the first one.  

The bony guy in the doctor's hallway was good enough to allow me to photograph his right knee.  In case you are squeemish, I kinda think this is really plastic we are looking at, so relax.  I'm not seeing any arthritis in this picture (below), but we saw plenty of it in Beloved's MRI.  For the uninitiated, the smallest bone on the right is the knee cap, the top bone is the femur, and the two smaller bones on the bottom make up the lower leg.

He's had a large Baker's Cyst at the back of the knee, which is evidence of the body's attempts to compensate for the arthritis.  That was drained this last Thursday and has already filled back up again.  

Well, some of you have just read more than you wanted to know while others may be wanting to know more.  I can tell you for now is that he's exercising the leg to do all he can to get the muscles into good shape for the workout the knee will get after the surgery.  He's making plans to take 4 weeks off from work but those who have been through this say 6 weeks is more realistic.  The big issue with that is it takes time for the patient to be able to bend the knee enough to sit comfortably in a chair.  

We are also stewing over our options to get a bed on our main floor since the first few weeks on crutches don't make going up the stairs to the master bedroom a pleasant option.  After all, it is that same stair case that was his downfall in the first place!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of his injury and impending surgery! I've had ACL reconstruction on my right knee twice (yes, twice at my age) so I understand about knee surgery. I'll be interested to see how total knee replacement differs from just ACL.

    A bed downstairs sounds like a good idea. I slept on the couch for several weeks after my surgery #2.

  2. We've discovered that our insurance will cover 90% of the cost to rent a hospital bed (with all its fun bells and whistles!), which is far less money than to buy a hide-a-bed couch. :o)