Adventures In Knee Replacement

Send to Kindle

November 5th, Bill waiting to go into the OR.

Last week I took Bill to Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital for the replacement of his knee.  His right knee was replaced two and half years ago.

Over the past year it became evident that his left knee was ready to be done as well. When we first moved to this new four story town home a year ago tomorrow, we both insisted on using the stairs most of the time rather than the elevator which was one of the features we were looking for if we couldn’t find a one story home. 

I think we weren’t ready to accept the idea that we were aging more quickly than we thought and not as flexible as we used to be. Bill’s replaced knee was doing great and my occasional knee pain wasn’t that bothersome. 

But we were downsizing and planning for the possibility of failing body parts and the need to slow our lives down. We still felt pretty good and for about three months we ignored the growing pain in our knees until it was simply time to give it up and start using the elevator. Accepting the fact that things were changing was not as easy as I thought it would be.

Bill has been hobbling around ever since using his cane. The left knee grew more painful and the cursing grew louder.  His pace slowed to a crawl and his enjoyment of the activities he so loved ebbed as the days passed. Going anywhere was all about how many steps it would take to get him from the car to whatever venue we chose, even if handicapped parking was near by.  

In August he decided to revisit his surgeon. He was nervous about it. He wasn’t sure that she’d take him on. He hadn’t lost much weight, which had been one of her requirements when he’d checked in with her earlier in the year.  But this time she said, “Yes, let’s do it. “   

November 6th, Post-op and going home later in the day!

It’s a week since his visit to the OR and the patient is doing well. He’ll see the Doctor again today.  We had a bit of a scare Monday when we thought he might have a blood clot. We spent a good 4 hours in the ER waiting for his surgeon, who was operating on someone else, to decide what to do.  But thankfully there was no blood clot and things seem to be moving along again.  We’ve had visiting nurses and physical therapists who were great, and he’ll go out for physical therapy starting next week.  

As for my knee, it still is fairly good and I’m doing what I can to keep it healthy.

It’s been a long, patience straining week but we’re getting through it nicely.  Between several bouts of tears and panic attacks on my part, we’ve been laughing a lot, and enjoying the loving kindness of dear friends and family who have brought us delicious things to eat, along with laughter, prayers, and comfort.

Thank you to all of you. 



  1. Gail Livingston says:

    My back is my failing part. I’ve got an unstable spine. I had cortisone shots 4 weeks ago, which help nerve pain but the stiffness stil plagues me. I guess failing body parts are a way of life now. I dread the pain of the coming years.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Sorry to hear that, Gail. Managing pain can be difficult and I’m always looking for ways to do that including stretching and yoga. I hope the stiffness gets better.

  2. When I saw your post, I was hoping for a good report and voila here it is. Your Romeo is smiling and taking in nourishment, a good sign.

    My complaints (neck stiffness and carpal tunnel symptoms) are probably related to my writing ✍️ habit. Ha!

    Best wishes for a full recovery, Bill! Kudos to you, Joan, for the care-giving that goes with it!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Yes, my Romeo, is doing fine. We saw the Doc today and she says he looks great and the knee is healing nicely.

      I agree that the writing habit can cause all sorts of aches and pains. I try to get up from my desk every hour or so and walk around and do some stretching. It helps, but it doesn’t seem to fix anything in the long run. I also have some carpal tunnel issues and wear a brace when it’s really bothering me. But if you’re a writer you can’t stop what you love to do.