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I’ve noticed that there are people from many different countries and systems to deal with TKR’s. I thought I’d share what one option was (the one I chose) here in Northern California. I am just starting week 3 of post op.
I chose a doctor who had done over 3000 knees and, most importantly to me, the hospital they use had a less than 1% post operative infection rate (Hospitals are about the only places you get super bugs! I’ve had them, you don’t want them! Especially with an artificial joint.) This is not a “pamper palace.” More like a TKR factory with their own developed methods. I went in to get started around 11 am on the 12th, they prepped me and I was off to the operating room by 4 or so. Next I remember I was in my recovery room and it was night. Surgery done, IV in, Cath in, drain in the wound. Little pump booties on me feet keeping circulation going. Nurse comes in and checks that I can move my toes, gives me a menu for dinner, and answers my question about leaving. (I chose this procedure because you are in surgery and on your way home in less than 24 hours.) All I had to do was be able to get up on my own and pee and then walk down the hall and back using a cane or walker!
So, about 6 am, the Nurse was back to remove IV, drain, and cath. Check that the spinal block was gone and I could move my legs. After she left, with no hoses and lines in me, I got up, took the walker to the bathroom, and step one was done. As I was last on the list for that day, the “walking nurse” didn’t get to me till about 9ish. When she got to me, we took a stroll down the hallway and back to the room – ready to check out. My wife came in and got the Rx to get my drugs (hospital ran out of pain meds so she had to go to a strange town and find a pharmacy to fill it!) And got back 10ish. We signed out, and walkered out of the hospital down to the car (a 6 hour drive home with mandatory hourly stops to get out and walk). I sat in the back seet, leg propped up, and home we went. All very efficient, quick and painless!
I knew that the IV I had was a “bag of tricks” = antibiotics, pain meds, etc. And, I knew that as soon as it was unplugged the magic would start to wear off and the "real" show was about to begin!
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