I am sitting here at “home” (I am recuperating at my surgeon’s home- I guess that’s not a common patient event BTW), having had the surgery that ended at 9:30 this morning. I was in the car and back home before 12 noon.
The above picture, of course, isn’t the story. I know I have a long road ahead of me. Right now at 5 PM I genuinely have no pain. Dr. McAllister uses a injection cocktail that includes long acting liposomal bupivacaine, named Exparel. Injections around the knee are used by many surgeons in the world. The earliest success with injections in general were reported by Dr. Chitranjan Ranawat, one of the great innovators, leaders, and surgeons in the field of joint replacement. The addition of Exparel has led to extending the remarkable pain relief from 1 day to 2 and even 3 days!. Let’s see how this goes with me.
Let’s start a little from the beginning of the day. I got to the Surgery Center, Proliance Eastside Surgery Center at about 6 AM. First of all, everyone there knew the entire protocol, knew what to do, and knew what I needed to do. It is not that I am surprised but I am pleased it happened that way. After an interview with the intake nurse and then the Anesthesiologist, Dr. Ryan Vieth, the circulating nurse walked me to the operating room. Here is the view from a GoPro:
You see the picture of me at home but here is a video of me walking:
I definitely have my work cut out for me. First I need to be ahead of the pain that will eventually arrive. I started taking Tylenol 650 mg (that’s 2 regular strength) every 4 hours while I am awake and 2 Alleve twice a day. I have some heavier meds in tow just in case.
I also need to be VERY compliant with my anticoagulation plan. I started Coumadin 5 mg last night and just took my second dose. After the third dose I will be switching to Lovenox for 10 days and then aspirin for a total of six weeks. I also have my portable SCD pumps.
I really want to comment about the experience of outpatient joint replacement so far. There is a really cool video from a SwiftPath Conference where a number of my colleagues shared there own amazement with outpatient joint replacement. I join him in this.