Getting My New Knee – The Day Of The Operation

Meeting the specialist:

The specialist agreed that it was time to go ahead with the procedure. A date was arranged. The process was explained. He showed me what the replacement knee would look like and showed how it worked. The hospital had produced a comprehensive booklet on process which the specialist gave me to read. He sent me immediately to obtain an x-ray of both legs from the hip down. This was to allow him to match the damaged leg with my left leg to aid recovery and help correct my walking.

Admission process:

This consisted of two parts.

The first was to do the admission process online. This took quite a while. You need to have a number of documents available to do it e.g. Medicare card, health society information, credit card details.

I suggest you go through the online document first, noting down what you need to have with you before you begin the admission process.

The second part was a pre-admission seminar. This was an essential part of my hospital’s protocol for admission. There were quite a number of parts to this process. They were:

• Nurse explained the admission’s process on the day of the operation.

• There was a discussion with physiotherapist. This included an explanation of the need to exercise in hospital with the exercises in the hospital booklet that I was given by the specialist.

• The nurse checked my admission’s documentations.

• Then the pharmacist discussed my medication.

• I was sent off for an ECG.

• Next, I went for a blood test to make sure there was nothing in my system to prevent the operation from going ahead.

• Lastly, I had a chest x-ray to check for any infections that might impinge on the operation.

I was also advised to shave my leg and to fast for the required time before the day of the operation. As well, I was to make sure I showered before I left home. My arrival time at the admissions centre was discussed.

The day of the operation:

I reported to the Admission desk and went through the process of signing and checking my documentation. Then I was taken to a waiting room to wait for my call to go to the preparation room.

In the preparation room, all gear was marked and taken to my room. I was given a gown to wear; a plastic brief to put on; my leg was shaved more fully and I had a shower, again.

Then, I was put on a mobile bed ready to go off for the operation.

Pre-op room:

Once I arrived here, the anaesthetist explained the process and asked me some questions.

The next person to come was the surgeon who told me what was to come next. He, also, marked my right leg as the one to be operated on. He asked me to confirm that was the correct one.

Then the anaesthetist returned to start the process and I was wheeled into the operating theatre. There I saw lots of medical staff and then there was a blank.

I believe that an x-ray was taken of my leg while I was still unconscious to check all was OK.

Waking up

I woke in the recovery room with itchy legs; with lots of tubes and wires leading to all parts of my body. I also found that my leg was wrapped in padding and stretch bandages from ankle to upper thigh.

I was monitored in the recovery room for 30 minutes. In that time, I had a blood test. Then, I was taken to my ward to begin the recovery process.

In my ward after the operation on day 1:

A nurse tested my blood pressure and temperature every hour.

Various medications for pain, blood thinning and preventing infection were administered regularly.

Just two hours after coming to the ward, the physiotherapist had me up with a high walker walking across the room and back.

I was reminded by the physiotherapist to do my exercises to help prevent clots forming and to begin the healing and rebuilding of the muscles process. These exercises to use were in a booklet.

I was to keep my leg up high. I began the exercise program as instructed as often as I could.

I tried my first meal eating very little and felt nauseous. I did bring up a little of the meal and decided to eat no more.

During the night, I was monitored extensively. I was awoken every hour for temperature and blood pressure tests and was administered some medication at different times. I was often asked for my name and birthday especially before the high dosage pain killers.