KNEE REPLACEMENT X-RAY (NOT MINE)

As a reminder and for those who have jumped right into this page about knee replacement, the story of my knee began in early 2018 when I tore the meniscus in my left knee. Of all things, I was swimming but pushed off too hard from a turn and felt it pop.

Knee Consultation 10 May 2023

I was referred to a hospital run clinic for a consultation about my knee. It had been over 5 years since the meniscus was torn and after changing to a more competent GP, it was time to get this checked out again. I had also dealt with other medical issues since then and my knee problem was the only thing left to deal with.

I was initially referred to my nearest hospital and after hearing nothing after 3  months, discovered that a consultation would take approximately 2 years. I was then referred to a different hospital and this consultation happened within 3 months.

They took time to sit with me and not only show but explain in detail what they were finding on my X-rays. The bottom line is that I was bone on  bone, although not quite as deteriorated as some patients but nonetheless heading towards a total knee replacement. I knew this was where it was heading but there is a gut dropping feeling when you are told that officially this is what is needed. It’s a feeling of knowing I have months of pain ahead and also being mentally prepared for something of this magnitude. The upside is knowing that I will be able to walk properly and pick up my life again of doing things that other people take for granted.

It was a great consultation and I was made to feel comfortable asking any questions and also not feeling rushed. The consultant (of who’s medical profession I am not sure about) felt good referring me to the same surgeon who had replaced his own mother’s knee and had nothing but good things to say about him.

Surgeon Appointment 23 Nov 2023

I was informed sometime in July 2023 about this upcoming appointment and as things were going with long waiting lists that had grown even longer during the Covid-19 pandemic, this time line did not seem too bad.

This took placew at a different clinic and knee X-rays were taken before my talk with the surgeon.

The surgeon was very nice and explained everything well. He was not pushing me about a replacement and said if I wanted to try some conservative treatments first that was OK. I was offered cortisone shots and if that didn’t work then gel shots.  At this stage any relief would be welcome so I decided to try a cortisone shot. I know it was delaying the inevitable but it was worth trying.

Cortisone Shot 27 Nov 2023

This was given at the same hospital clinic that I went for the initial consultation. As I sat waiting, which took about 30 minutes as they were running behind, I was amazed to see how many people came in with broken little fingers. I saw five people of varying ages appear for treatment or follow ups for broken fingers. Age varied from a young child right through every age range up to an elderly man. It was a very weird observation, although people watching is very interesting!

I was given a local anaesthetic to numb the knee before the cortisone shot was administered. The surgeon was surprised I didn’t flinch when he gave me the shot. I’m  not one to move when something like that is happening!

I walked out of there more normally than ever before.

2 hours or so later when the anaesthetic wore off, I realised it was the numbing of the anaesthetic that caused me to feel better. I have heard that a cortisone shot does not always work right away and sometimes it takes a while to reach it’s full effect. However, for me it had NO effect whatsoever. So, naturally I knew surgery was the next and only option. I decided to leave it until after Christmas and then book an appointment to talk to the surgeon again to ask about surgery.

Surgeon appointment 9 April 2024

I turned up 15 minutes early as requested, in order for them to take X-rays which I didn’t feel may be necessary again, so soon after the November appointment, but after waiting for just over an hour I was rescued by the surgeon’s receptionist to see the doctor first. He agreed to put me on the waiting list for knee replacement surgery.  Shockingly I would have to delay it because the wait time is only 3 to 4 months! My reason for the delay is because my eldest son’s wedding is the middle of Septemebr and if I had surgery before then I would not be fully recuperated. I will be better off managing as I am and postponing the surgery until afterwards. The surgeon agreed with my opinion.

I then set about filling out the huge amount of paperwork required to put things in motion. I had discussed the anaesthetic procedure with the surgeon who told me they usually do a spinal, to which I said I did not want to run the risk of another (still) numb foot after surgery and wanted general anaesthetic (GA). I made sure to write that on the form as well. Usually the fact is that if you do not have adverse reactions to GA then they will do it. They say you don’t come round from surgery as quickly but in the past 2 years I have had GA for both kidney stone removal and paratyhyroid removal with absolutely no nausea or side effects.

I will be notified of the date for surgery once the September schedule is done. Its’ crazy to think that some hospitals and also other provinces have waiting lists of 3 years or more. I feel lucky.