Greg has been complaining about his knees for a long time, but lately, he’s really been hurting. I’ve learned that men in general don’t handle pain well. That, or they’re just more vocal about pain.
I knew this time Greg was suffering though. I had nagged him for months to see a doctor, but that ‘man gene’ kicks in and he refused to go until it had become unbearable. That’s when he got the news.
I was with the X-ray technician when she took the X-rays and I could see immediately how bad his right knee had become. No wonder he yowled whenever he had to take a staircase.
You know how a knee joint works; the rounded surfaces glides on top of a cushion. His ball joint looked like a flat tire. It was scraping bone on bone. I know this type of pain well. Fortunately, mine was more manageable. His is not.
As usual the doctor prescribed an injectible lubricant, and if that didn’t work, steroids. It’s just my opinion, but masking pain does more harm than good. It makes you believe you’re back to you’re old self when in reality you’re wearing down that joint even faster.
He’ll do the lubricant to see if it helps, but I don’t know if he’ll bother with the steroids. I think he’s better off getting the knee replaced. Either way, we’re looking at 3-5 months before he makes a final decision. The other, less damaged knee also needs attention. Hopefully that will only be arthroscopic surgery. We’ll know more next week.
I anticipate two surgeries for Greg this year. That means nursing a stubborn old man, rehab, and somehow getting him to walk more once he’s stable. He’s a grumpy patient at the best of times. Getting him to do something he doesn’t want to do is like pulling a mule up by the tail.
So if somewhere around midyear I start to sound tetchy, it’s probably due to Greg’s rehab. I suspect he’ll do the prescribed drugs for a while, but if his condition is anything like mine (I think it’s worse), the drugs won’t help.
Any advice on how to deal with a post-op patient? Is there anything I should be aware of regarding knee replacement? What questions should I ask the surgeon?