10 Days Post ACL Reconstruction and Things Look Good

by Demetri on August 26, 2006

It’s been a good 10 days now since I’ve had the surgery and it looks like things have gone well. I’m getting more and more mobility every day and was even able to return to work last Monday. Thanks to Lance for driving me to and from work from Monday through Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday I even managed to drive myself to work! In a bumpy stick shift Jeep no less! I must be tough as nails or the pain killers really do a lot more than I thought.

The post surgery care kit I had was pretty sweet [pictured to the right]. We had some gauze, what I like to call leg Diapers [a waterproof cover for the leg to prevent my cooling unit from condensing water onto the wound], no tape (?!), a cooling unit, some Tylenol 3 [great for pain, not great for regularity!], some Oxycodone HCL [great for pain, also great at causing nausea and anxiety], some blessed Celebrex [This stuff is magic!], crutches, and of course the bottle of Crown Royal. Actually the Crown is not approved and only put in the picture for scale.

The surgery date seemed to start off right. Heather came with me as they won’t do a day surgery unless you have a responsible adult to take you home and someone that they can contact during the surgery. Heather was nice enough to stay all morning with a small walk down to Star Bucks to help ease her through what was almost a coffeeless morning.

I was told to be at the Pan Am Clinic at 7:30 AM. No one else was at the day surgery reception when we arrived but we were early, we showed up at 7:20. 7:30 another patient showed up, no staff yet. 7:40 staff showed up and took my name. Then another patient came in and handed her cooling unit to the reception.

“I wonder why she has her cooling unit already?” I had asked Heather. No one had mentioned to me when I should get this so I just assumed that I would be given one when leaving. I looked in my letter from the Surgeon’s office and there was no mention. I was confident that if I needed it before hand I would have been told.

One of the Pan Am’s finest calls my name, I get up and start following her, not realizing I would be gone and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Heather. I thought I’d be back… but I was lead into a change room and instructed to put on a hospital gown (or would this be a Pan Am Clinic Gown), snazzy robe, and some really cool booties. I also got to keep my boxers on which is good as I didn’t want my ding-dong getting in the surgeon’s way.

I was sat on a recliner and asked

“Which knee are we doing today?” by one of the Pan Am’s nurses.

I told her the right one and she went through he litany of pre-surgery questions. After which I asked if I could pop out to tell Heather I would be going into surgery soon. A very thankful Demetri walked out gave Heather a hug and a kiss. It would have been most terrible if the last Heather saw of me was someone calling my name and me disappearing into a back room. It eased my mind a lot.

Back to the easy chair and another Nurse asking me which knee they were doing. Still the right one, some more questions about allergies and she gave me some Naproxen to help prevent swelling after the surgery.

Then it was Dr. Freose, the anesthesiologist. At first I thought he said Dr. Freeze, he looked the part. He was decked out in his surgical attire and lots of bling. Gold rings, gold chains, and a big smile. He asked me the same questions about allergies and which knee we were going and then the most important question.

“Do you want to watch the procedure?” he asked quite eagerly.


“Oh, well do you want me to give you something to help you snooze?” he asked seeming disappointed that I didn’t want to watch.

“Put me out or I’ll be supervising”.

Another nurse came by then and asked me to mark the knee with an “X” that was getting the ACL reconstruction. After I made my mark, old west style, she proceeded to shave the knee assuring me that the hair would grow back. That was nice of her but come on, who would think that the hair would not grow back, if anything they can take some from my knee and put it on my head!

Then we had a little bit of drama. Where’s Dr. D [my surgeon]. He should be here, he’s late. I heard a few people comment that “he’s always 10 minutes late”. Fortunately he has a reputation for being a really good knee surgeon, though a little tardy. Often described as a “Man of Few Words”. They told me that the ACL reconstruction was nothing for him and would take him only about an hour to do.

Finally he showed up 10 minutes late, came up to me somewhat sheepishly and true to his reputation as a speaker said “OK, lets tighten this knee up for you”.

I was lead into the OR where they gave me a spinal and put something in the IV that made me dizzy, groggy, and drowsy. The Spinal wasn’t too bad, just a small prick in my back [this would be bad in prison] and a brief sensation of hot. Then I laid back and off to wonderland I went.

I woke up half way through the procedure to the sound of my surgeon saying “hand me the hammer” and what seemed like a very loud “tink, tink, kah-tink”. Dr. Freeze asked me if I was OK. I said that I was fine but he used his better judgment and put me out again.

Coming too in the recovery room I had to remind them to bring Heather in. I was bored, couldn’t move my feet, was all tingly and no sensation in my ass. Plus I was lonely.

Also no cooling unit. The nurses were asking why I didn’t have one. I told them I wasn’t told to get one, could they ask the Surgeon, Dr. D, if I’m supposed to have one. Even they weren’t sure with Dr. D, they said that sometimes he doesn’t use cooling units on his patients.

Dr. D was very abrupt with the nurse saying that everyone is told about the cooling unit and that a prescription and instructions would have been mailed out to me. He wrote one out quickly handing it to the nurse. Ironically A couple of days after the surgery I received my letter for my next ACL reconstruction, my left knee, which had no mention of the cooling unit as well.

The cooling unit is a Polar Care 300. Its $450.00 touch to purchase or $125 to rent it for the 3 weeks that I’ll be needing it. I almost said to purchase it but hopefully I’ll only be needing it a couple of times unlike some unfourtunates I’ve found who seem to of had multiple tears of their knee.

So 10 days post surgery and it seems to be coming along fine. There are some nasty looking staples [on the right] and it doesn’t hurt too bad with the meds. I did get tough yesterday though and went too long without any meds or ice.

When the meds wear off the knee just starts to hurt, combine that with some swelling from moving around and not putting cold on the knee it just aches unbearably making me want to cry out like a little girl. OK it’s not that bad but after that sensation when I finally got some more meds in me and iced the knee down it felt like it looks below [a big thank you to fellow piler Jabwai for making this happy representation of my stapled leg].

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