These are some of the most important words in medicine. There is a whole bunch of technical reasoning behind why these four actions are so helpful when recovering from an injury, but you don’t need to understand anymore than these four words.
The sooner you can implement these actions the faster you will recover and get back in action. I encourage you to see how far you can go with each of them.
In the shot above I have accomplished all four actions while recovering from knee surgery. My goal is to get movement back to an acceptable range so that I can start strengthening the leg again. Swelling plays a huge role in mobility so ice is critical.
Most ice packs suck. They just aren’t large enough to cover the entire knee and stay cold very long. I prefer a back of ice in a trash bag. It covers the whole knee and lasts a long time. All for a couple of bucks.
Had my left knee meniscus worked on yesterday as I have mentioned a few times here. The procedure was really easy this time as I opted for general anesthesia. I recall being wheeled into the operating room. Switching to another bed, laying back and then waking up in post op.
Overall this was my best surgery experience so far. In the past I have always opted for a spinal so I was awake for the surgery. While that was a neat experience it resulted in a long post op wait for my lower body to wake back up. This time I woke up. Ate. Went to the bathroom, and went home.
I think the other thing that made this surgery less traumatic is that they did not repair the meniscus. From what I gather, and my memory is pretty foggy at this point, they simply trimmed a part of the meniscus out. This is a less invasive process than a repair where they rough up the meniscus and then reattach it.
So far my pain and swelling seem much lower than my repair surgery 3 years ago. I am already able to walk on the leg and it is bending at least 90 degrees. The main thing that is preventing it from being more at the moment are the bandages that I am not allowed to remove till my follow up appointment next Monday.
Today is the day. Everyone is wishing me well which is awesome but I keep reminding them I have the easy part today. I’m just gonna get pumped full of drugs and lie still.
One part of surgery that get overlooked however is the preparation that starts at least three days before.
The first step is sanitization. For this I have been given a bottle of Chlorhexidine Gluconate which is the same stuff that doctors use to “scrub” up before surgery. However instead of just washing my hands before surgery I have had to wash from neck to toes, minus generalist, for the last three days. This involves scrubbing all areas of my body and then waiting three minutes for the magic to happen. Basically I am nuking all bacteria on my skin. This will hopefully prevent me from getting an infection like MRSA.
The second phase is fasting. That’s started at midnight last night and means I am done eating till after the surgery. So I’m being super trendy and fasting for like 16 hours or so. Apparently they don’t want me going number 2 in the operating room and I think that’s a good call.
The third phase started this morning at 11am and cuts out all liquids. Apparently they don’t want me going number one either.
We are heading over to the surgery center shortly so they can get me hooked up to an IV and start prepping my knee for surgery.
I’m hoping they can repair the meniscus so that I can go back to easy running and not have arthritis later on. If they do remove the meniscus then my recovery time will be much faster as I won’t have to wait for it to heal.