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Successful THR surgery

January 14th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I arrived at the Hospital for Special Surgery a few minutes after 8AM. We found the 4th floor family atrium and signed in. My family sat in the atrium, while I registered and received my ID bracelet down the hall. Not long after registering, I was brought into the pre-op area, and told to change into a hospital gown. While in pre-op with 3 other patients, each behind our own curtain, I was allowed to have one visitor with me at a time. My family took turns spending time with me during the next three hours of waiting. During that time, an IV and IV fluids were started, I met the anesthesiologist (a really nice guy), and had a full medical history taken a couple times. My leg was shaved using an electric buzzer and then cleaned.

My surgery was scheduled for 11:30AM, but I wasn’t wheeled into the operating room until 12:30. I was asked to shift myself onto this strange padded reclined chair. The anesthesiologist said he was giving me a little medication to help me relax. I asked what it was, and he said it was Versed. Without warning, seconds later I was out. I immediately woke back up, but was actually out for around 90 minutes. Through various techniques, like lowering my blood pressure, I didn’t need any blood transfusions. My surgery was finished, and I was wheeled from the operating room to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU).

The surgeon met with my family, and told them the surgery was successful. He said he had to do more work than usual cleaning out all the damaged bone.

I spent the next 6 hours in the PACU, waiting to be stable enough to go to my room. Again in the PACU, only one family member was allowed to visit at a time, but this time for only 20 minute stretches. While laying completely flat in the PACU, I was completely numb from the waist down, but I thought I could feel my feet touching in the center of the bed. I was completely surprised when the head of my bed was elevated and I could see my feet in the corners of the bed, instead of touching each other. Since I hadn’t yet regained any feeling, I could still feel my feet touching each other, even though they weren’t even close to each other. The PACU nurse explained how your brain remembers the last position your legs were in prior to the regional anesthesia (I forget the term she used, neuro something). Slowly, the anesthesia wore off, and bit by bit I could feel my legs. I was finally stable and transferred to my room.

I’m not going to talk much about my stay in the hospital. Things went slower than usual, since my leg was in such bad shape prior to the surgery. Some patients are discharged the next day, while it took me 3 days to be released. Family and a few friends spent a lot of time with me. Things would have been so much worse had it not been for their company.

After being cleared by my surgeon and the physical therapist I was discharged. Since then I have spent the past six days at my family’s house in New Jersey. I’m planning on returning to the city next Friday.

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