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Jim Has Fun While Getting Knee Fixed!

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.

Close up of the wrong thing



















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.

Jim and first nurse with hospital bracelet










And here Jim is with the other man of the hour, his orthopedist, Dr. Vernon Cooley.

Consult with Drl 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.

Anesthesiologist and Jim










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.

In recovery room



















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.

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8 comments to Jim Has Fun While Getting Knee Fixed!

  • That does look like the happiest sugery I’ve ever seen.  That’s great to hear that Jim’s recovery is going to be much faster than initially expected. 

  • I’m glad things went well and that you’re looking at a shorter recovery.  With 20+ dogs sitting on the couch was probably not going to be an option long-term!  Get well soon!

  • “Feels Like Chicken”
    If you’ve got a low “yuck factor”, maybe you don’t want to read any further…
    During the surgery, as Vern was clipping away the torn bit of my lateral meniscus, I said “Hey, keep that…I want it”. And he did, dropping it into a small plastic receptical that they gave me in the recovery room.
    It was off-white in color and about ½” × ¼” × 1″ in size, swimming in some sterile saline solution. After we got home, we opened the container and I picked up the piece of tissue they’d removed from my knee.
    Ya know how every weird kind of food somebody wants to get you to taste is said to “taste like chicken”? Well, this tissue felt like nothing more than a bit of boiled white meat chicken…the exact same texture as the treats we use to distract the dogs while trimming their nails!
    SheltieJim, “the chicken man”…

  • DeBoys and Me

    Wishing you the best during your recovery…GET WELL SOON!!!   

  • That is great news that the recovery time has been cut so short.  Is this the surgery you have needed since we were working on the sliding glass door and we heard the loud pop?

  • Yup, Amanda, this was that surgery. Actually, you might recall that I had surgery about 14 months ago for the same purpose, but it wasn’t successful at preventing my knee from locking up. This time, it seems to be working. So far…

  • Sharon

    Sounds like your surgeon was ALMOST as good as the veterinary surgeon we use!! And that is a huge compliment to your surgeon :) Glad you are doing so well.

  • Sheltiemom

    Smiling after knee! My mother-inlaw had it last year. The surgery went very smoothly. Recovery had it’s ups and downs due to pain.
    I’m happy to read this news since my husband’s right knee has been giving him trouble for years. He doesn’t want surgery because the recovery time is too long for a break from work right now. This is good news though. I will send him a link to this so he can also read it.
    btw: I had surgery on my stomach on the 15th.My surgeon, Dr. Anderson, was good too. I’m glad I did it.

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