By BJ Reyes
So we've reached the seven-week mark† since surgery and all still seems to be on track. *knocks on wood*
Recently received word from the doctors that I should stop taking the oral antibiotics, which means the two-week clock has started on the amount of time I need to be off all meds and infection-free before they will perform the second procedure. Still need to pass one more set of tests in the coming weeks, but so far it looks promising.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain Dealer over the weekend had another installment in advanced of next week's live Internet broadcast of a knee replacement surgery procedure. That event is scheduled for Nov. 19.
A few tidbits from the article:
• The knee is currently the most common joint to be replaced, followed by the hip. There are about 700,000 knee replacements a year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• The number of knee replacements performed each year, both total and partial, rose 30 percent from 2004 to 2008, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). In that same period, there was a 61 percent increase in the surgeries among people 45 to 64 years old, and the increase is expected to continue as the boomer generation ages.
The article goes on to state that doctors attribute much of the increase to obesity and the aging population.
One personal note, the doctor who will be performing this surgery, Dr. Louis Keppler of St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, once popped my hip joint back into place. Long story short, I dislocated the artificial hip joint at a friend's wedding in 1998. Dr. Keppler happened to be the orthopedic surgeon on call that weekend (at a different hospital).
Luckily (or not, you judge) resetting the hip in such instances does not involve any cutting of skin. It basically amounts to supplying the patients with copious amounts of painkillers and, beneath a fluoroscope, pulling on the leg until the joint, quite literally, pops back into place.
It's not unlike the procedure to reset a dislocated shoulder, only the nature of the hip joint requires a doctor tugging at the dislocated limb in one direction while a handful of residents, nurses and radiologists pull the rest of your body in the opposite direction. A human tog-o-war, if you will.
Anyway, Dr. Keppler was the one who did that for me in 1998. I think this guy is in pretty good hands =)
† - REALLY??!?! Seven weeks!?