Coming out of an anaesthetic sleepy haze was comforting as it was confusing. Ah, but there was the surgeon with a big smile and a thumbs up. “Replacement” was all he said and disappeared. I smiled, yeah – replacement not fusion.
My leg was raised and it was numb, good thing too -the ‘block’ was working. I had a drip with two bags, an antibiotic and painkillers. If the nursing staff and the surgeon were concerned about anything in those initial stages, it was the risk of infection and pain management. Both, I think, were under control. As the ‘block’ wore off I gradually became aware of the pain.
A dressing covered the incision and I had on a splint that was hard in the back and soft in the front. There was some room for my ankle to swell and protected it from injury. Between the surgeon, physiotherapist and nursing staff I was encouraged to get up and to start moving as soon as I could. Ablutions were a bugger, but hey – master this and you can go home. Anyone reading this and is thinking of taking a similar road, you’ll need to use crutches or a walker, because you have to keep your weight off your new ankle for the next six week. With the help of my physiotherapist daughter, my choice was a walker – I think with hindsight it was the right choice.
Depending on how conservative the medical staff are, you’ll probably stay in the hospital for two to three days. You can leave once your pain is under control and you can get around safely with crutches or a walker. Besides the pain the other medical concerns were an allergic reaction to the artificial joint. Apparently that is quite common, and the possibility of blood clots during the healing process. To counter that I was given a blood thinner as part of my medicinal going-home pack.
Well, okay then – home Jerome – six weeks on my ass with the TV remote, what a prospect.