Friday Jim went and got his knee repaired by Dr. Vernon Cooley in a short surgery, although, arriving there at 8:15am and leaving at 2:30pm would hardly seem short. The surgery itself was only about a 15 minute procedure. The preparation was much longer and recovery especially long because Jim, who wanted to stay awake and watch the surgery, was given a spinal anesthetic. This anesthetic wears off fairly slowly so we had to stay until he could stand and sort-of walk. We were both bored with hanging around but Jim couldn’t have been happier with having been awake for the surgery. His surgeon and anesthesiologist set up a monitor right beside his head so he could watch everything they were doing. In addition, Dr. Cooley explained what he was doing every step of the way. Jim was beaming when I found him in the recovery area.
Here’s the whole story in photos…
Here’s Jim in that lovely standard issue, full coverage gown we all get when we have to see a doctor, nurse, or go for surgery…it seems like any time we need any procedure they can’t wait to get us into one of these ridiculous things.
Here’s Jim with the nurse who outfitted him with his hospital bracelet. She used to work in the baby delivery area and was used to being videoed at work.
And here Jim is with the other man of the hour, his orthopedist, Dr. Vernon Cooley.
I don’t know…for a surgery it really looks like everyone is having an awful lot of fun…dontcha think? The next photo shows Jim with his anesthesiologist. Anesthesiologists are always more subdued than the rest of the group. He was great…we think his name was Dr. Denton. It was really up to him to decide if he’d give Jim a spinal injection rather than put him out.
The anesthesiologist is holding the IV because he and Jim are just about to leave. They are going to walk down the hall together and into the operating room.
The next photo is Jim in the recovery area. He didn’t have the usual recovery to do because he wasn’t under anesthesia. This also meant that he didn’t have the possible nausea from anesthesia too. He did, however, have to get the feeling back from his waist down so he could stand and walk. That took awhile.
Finally, back home and feeling pretty good this morning (Saturday). Jim is following the doc’s orders to stay on the couch for a few days and do his knee and leg exercises while icing his knee. The surgery turned out to be a different surgery than they’d expected to do, going into it. After they got inside they saw that Jim had a piece of his lateral meniscus torn that needed to be cut out. Before getting inside they thought they were going to need to abrade the miniscus to get it to do some healing on its own…this was going to require that Jim stay off his left leg for 4 to 6 weeks! We were bracing for this type of lengthy recovery. With the excising of the torn lateral piece of meniscus his recovery is very different. He needs to stay off his feet for a couple of days with short trips around the house every so often walking on that leg. They told him that in 2 weeks he can probably start some light hiking! What a much better recovery schedule! We’re both thrilled.