6/10/2017 Total Knee Replacement

On June 2, 2017 I had a total knee replacement on my right knee. I had originally damaged it 34 years ago tearing ligaments and requiring arthroscopic surgery for repair. For the last 34 years I’ve occasionally had to wear a knee brace.

In November 2016, I wrenched it very badly and saw a specialist who gave it cortisone but warned me that the cartilage was thinning, a condition known as osteoarthritis,  and I would need a replacement before too many years. The shot itself was excruciating, like a needle in my knee, but the cortisone worked in a couple days.

In late March, 2017 I had another flare-up of arthritic pain for no apparent reason. Enough pain to to interfere with sleep, I hoped it would go away for a week before making an appointment and then it was almost another week before he could see me. Then another cortisone shot.  This time the shot was painless but about 36 hours later the cortisone started making its way through the joint and I felt the worst pain of the entire episode. Once past though, it was under control and got better quickly.

A week after that injection, I was back to normal but realized that if this episode had just happened with no visible trigger it could happen again for no obvious reason. And since it had flared up 4 to 5 months after the last injection, a new flare up in the same time frame would interfere with me seeing the upcoming solar eclipse. So I called and arranged for the knee replacement. On June 2nd to give me time after to heal before the eclipse and time before to complete some obligations, namely some spot bird surveys I was subcontracting for the US Forest Service.

As I write this, it is 8 days since the surgery. Pain level is far better than expected. I had a good night’s sleep last night.

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