ON KNEE SURGERY and BEING IN HOSPITAL ON MY BIRTHDAY
Knees. What’s a knee?
“The knee joint joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two articulations: one between the femur and tibia, and one between the femur and patella. It is the largest joint in the human body. The knee is a mobile trocho-ginglymus, which permits fexion and extension, as well as slight internal and external rotation.
“The knee is a hinge type synovial joint, which is composed of three functional compartments: the femoropatellar articulation, consisting of the patella, or kneecap, and the patellar groove on the front of the femur through which it slides; and the medial and lateral femorotibial articulations linking the femur, or thigh bone, with the tibia, the main bone of the lower leg. The joint is bathed in synovial fluid which is contained inside the synovial membrane called the joint capsule…
“The knee is one of the most important joints of our body. It plays an essential role in movement related to carrying the body weight in horizontal (running and walking) and vertical (jumps) directions.
“At birth, a baby will not have a conventional knee cap, but a growth formed of cartilage. By the time that the child is 3-5 years of age, ossification will have replaced the cartilage with bone.”
(definition found on Wikipedia.)
I hadn’t realized our precious knees are the largest joint in the body!
And cartilage. What is cartilage?
“Cartilage is a thin, elastic tissue that protects the bone and makes certain that the joint surfaces can slide easily over each other. Cartilage ensures supple knee movement. There are two types of joint cartilage in the knees: fibrous cartilage (the meniscus) and hyaline cartilage. Fibrous cartilage has tensile strength and can resist pressure. Hyaline cartilage covers the surface along which the joints move. Cartilage will wear out over the years. Cartilage has a very limited capacity for self-restoration.” (definition found on Wikipedia)
So what do these wondrous joints do?
[The knee] … “acts as a hinge that allows your lower leg and foot to swing easily forward or back as you walk, run, or kick. A healthy knee allows almost 150 degrees of movement. But unlike a simple hinge like one on a jewelry box, for example, in which any wobble is undesirable, the knee slightly rotates and moves from side to side, as well.”
Imagine stairs. We’d not be able to climb or descend stairs without this magnificent joint.
You get the picture. Our knees are designed, like the rest of our bodies for a purpose.
And when they don’t do what they’re supposed to…..
Then it’s time for replacement. An artificial knee. Arthroplasty.
Not a fun day.
Unless you’ve waited as long as I have. Forty years, give or take a few weeks. My poor little knees were messed up from the beginning and when I was seventeen, I had a tendon moved to where it’s supposed to be. Think surgical staples. Even then the kneecap was already cracked and damaged. Even then, the surgeon told us I’d likely need further surgery, possibly full replacement. Well, it’s time.
The interim years have been rough, compounding an already tenuous condition. For a multitude of reasons, I just put up with it. Compromised everything I did to accommodate knees that don’t work the way they should. And a few months ago, I couldn’t any more. While I am not immobile, I’m hardly walking, and certainly not without pain.
I feel like Cinderella at the ball. All the things I’ll be able to do. Like climb steps. Or go down them. I don’t know the last time I could do either without contorting myself, and leaning (heavily) on a railing. Or somebody. And God help me when there is no railing.
The rest of my body doing things it’s not designed to do. My wrists and shoulders especially. And my back. Squat to lift? No way. Sit on the floor with the kids to play a game or work a puzzle? Not possible. Well, possible but getting up nearly is. Impossible. And it’s really not pretty to watch. Take a hot soaky bath? I wish. In the category of getting up from the floor, I can’t get myself out of the tub.
So, yeah, I’m pretty stoked! I am not discounting the weeks of discomfort and pain. Then again, I’ve been in discomfort and pain for so long… This pain and discomfort is different. There’s an end in sight, a purpose to the pain, a resolution from this discomfort.
And my birthday? In hospital? What about cake? Presents? Balloons? Let’s face it, there’s not much celebration for birthday when you’re in my age bracket. (shhh, I’m not really that old and I’ll deny it all day long!) So what celebration? Learning to walk again? Learning to walk correctly? I’ll take it! Let me say that again, I’LL TAKE IT!
So at the time of this posting, I will have checked in to this lovely facility, surgery behind me, and recovery underway. I’ll be home tomorrow and the real work begins. Well, first REST begins. And I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
So yeah, Happy Birthday to me today! So send me a card (birthday or get well) bring me flowers, bake me a cake—I’ve a brand new knee to celebrate!
#kneereplacement, #arthroplasty, #osteoarthritis, #happybirthdaytome, #greermemorialhospital, #steadmanhawkinsofthecarolinas, #cinderella, #watchmerun