Five weeks ago today, I had my knee replaced. I had intended to keep you updated about the recovery, but all that didn’t happen the way I planned.
On the third day after my knee replacement, I went to the Health South Valley View Rehab Hospital in Las Vegas, NV. They treated me like a queen. I think it is the best hospital treatment I have ever received. If you need to go to rehab, I highly recommend this facility.
I am totally amazed to say that I was up and doing assisted walking within 24 hours of having my knee replaced. Within a week, I noticed I didn’t have any pain in my knee. I only had surgical pain.
There was a lady in rehab with me who had one knee replaced on a Monday and the second knee replaced on a Tuesday. I didn’t even know that could be done. Her approach to therapy was amazing. She always had a smile on her face.
Rehab is different than a regular hospital. We go to a large open room called the Gym. The Physical Therapist starts a patient doing exercises and then instructs the next patient. Patients encourage each other with smiles and encouraging words. There was a great feeling of support.
Physical therapy in the gym lasted one and a half hours a day. I also had occupational therapy for an hour and a half. I preferred the physical therapy because I wanted to regain my strength and get back in the swing of things. Back in the room, I used a machine called a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine. It bent my knee back and forth. The goal was to continually increase the bend of the knee until I reach 120 degrees.
As of this writing, the machine is home with me. I am at 118 degrees. The machine is heavy, but portable. It provides steady, constant movement as it bends the knee. It is a clever piece of equipment and I am happy to have the use of it. It is much less painful to use than manual manipulation.
After nine days in the rehab hospital, I was discharged to go home. Steve did an outstanding job of having safety grab bars installed in the bathroom. He bought me a walker and other things I needed at home. Everything was perfect. I just felt guilty having him wait on me all the time. Thankfully, that only lasted a week and then I was more independent.
Sixteen days after surgery, I started “out-patient rehab” at the Health South Rehab center in Henderson, NV. I go three times a week for a 45 minute one-on-one session with a personal Physical Therapist. He has everything timed down to the minute. We cover many different exercises in the time we spend together. Every time I go, he adds something new to my list of exercises to do at home. In addition to the four plus hours I spend on the CPM machine, I am using a goodly portion of my day doing therapy. But that is OK, I am making progress.
Before surgery, I was told that recovery would take six to twelve months. That is probably true for complete recovery. At five weeks, being about to walk unassisted, makes me feel very blessed. The word is that the more physical therapy that one does right after surgery, the more successful one is at regaining full use of the knee. That sounds good to me.
I learned that healing takes a lot of energy. My body required, and still requires a lot of rest. I don’t get emails answered immediately. I missed a lot of Facebook information. I missed Tweets and Instagram pictures, but I am gaining more energy every day. Life is good.
It is good to be back.