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Old 03-04-2010, 10:12 AM   #21
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I nearly severed three fingers on my right hand with a machette when I about 14. I ended up on the table for 11 hours while they put everything back together. It was a little nerve wracking waiting out the surgury prep, but once things got moving it wasn't that bad.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:31 AM   #22
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Dude, don't they do EEG-montoring in the states?
You know, we can see your brainwaves now the anesthesiologist will see the signs of you coming too long before you are aware.
Didn't think that was widely used. Then again I haven't seen anything on the subject in years.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:34 AM   #23
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Let me know if I need to console your sister during your surgery.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #24
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I was in a motorcycle accident about 4 years ago in which I tore my ACL, LCL, and PCL on my right knee. The ACL surgery should put you under for about 2-3hours. I can tell you that it will hurt like a bitch when you first wake up and you will be very disoriented. It will feel like no time has passed at all, but you will be in another room....its just a very strange feeling, somewhat frightening.

You will probably be in the hospital overnight so that they can just monitor you and make sure no infection takes place while you recover from anesthesia. During this time you will be on morphene. Many people have different reactions to this. Personally it made me almost unable to pee, to a point where I had to squeeze out 1L of **** after they threatened to catheter me if I didn't go pee. It also made me feel like I was going to vomit at the mere scent of food. Like I said though, everyone has a different reaction to it.

Once you are out of the hospital they will give you a prescription for enough percocet to last a couple days and from there you will just have hydrocodone. You will likely be in an immobilizer with your knee half bent for at least a few weeks. The first week after surgery is the worst. Whenever you stand up the weight of your leg bellow your knee will pull down and it will hurt. There is no way around this. I crabwalked to the bathroom with my good leg and just put a pillow under the bad leg and slid it. All in en effort to reduce the pain. Even with the drugs you will feel it. After the first week the sharp pain subsides and you just have a deep, bothering, dull pain for a LONNNG time to come.

The next part of the process is PT. You WANT to go to PT daily if you want to make a full recovery. Your calf and quad will be somewhat atrophied. You will be suprised how fast you lose muscle. My right leg was at least half the size of my good left leg when I began. At the beginning you will do strength exercises with rubber bands and the most painful stretching of your life. You ACL will need to be stretched to lengthen it to give you full range of motion. Also, your PCL on the back of your leg will have tightened from being locked in the same position in the immobilizer. They will have you sit on a bench and put your leg on a chair and literally put sand bag weights on it to stretch it. You will do this a few times as long as you can. Each visit shooting for longer times. Once you reach 60 seconds you will up the weight. This will stretch your PCL. For the ACL they have you lay on your back and pull your thigh tight against your chest. They will put a strap around the back of your thigh and over your neck to help you keep it held up (trust me, you can't do it yourself with the pain you are about to experience). Then they will literally put a weight bag on your ankle to pull your knee down in a bent position. You will do the same thing you did for the PCL, hold it until you can't bare the pain anymore. Shooting for longer times every time, and once you hit 60 sec you put on more weight. At first you will see small gains, but in a month you will have full range of motion back. This is when you really start to feel good again about yourself and a lot of relief about the future. I know that sounds weird but PT is a huge mental game. Intensely stressful, and many days you think its not working.

Once you have full range back you will start doing standing squats and "try" lunges. You will laugh at your complete inability to do a lung with your "bad" knee as the back leg. From there its fast gains. You will be on a stairmaster in 1-2 weeks and at this point you will be walking under your own power.

It is a really intense 1-2 month period, but you will thank yourself for the rest of your life. I literally tore my LCL (the outside ligament on your knee) right off my femur and had what I called floppy knee. Today I can run, walk, play sports, and have full range of motion. If you do not do PT after surgery and just think you can get back to normal you are wrong. If you put it off your ligaments will fully heal and your range of motion will be limited for the rest of your life.

You can do pretty much all of the exercises at home if you dont have insurance to pay for PT. Just go online and buy some of the rubber strips of progressively stronger amounts. Get some of the sand bag weights that you can tie around your ankles/wrists. And get a huge pair of ***** for the pain you are going to put yourself through.

In the end its worth it though. If you have any specific questions you can PM me. Its been a while but I remember a lot of it pretty vividly. You'll really like it when they put in the nerve blocker right before you go in the operating room. In order to find the major nerve that travels down your leg they will insert a rather large needle with an electric charge. When it hits the nerve your leg like convulses rapidly without your control. Its kind of funny to watch lol. You dont feel any pain, you are just like "WTF is my leg doing".
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:46 AM   #25
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Recovery time is ~ 6 months to get back to "100 %" the little research i have done on it leads me to believe my knee will never be the same again.
This is true to an extent. You will have a little more play in your knee then you used to have and you will feel it. The biggest thing in recovering from a knee surgery, after the PT to regain ROM and strength to walk, is to go to the gym and to do actual strength training. You can make up for the very slight "slop" in your knee by toning and building muscle on your quads and other muscles around your knee. Don't be afraid, I actually recommend it, going to your orthopedic and asking for a cortisone shot every 3-5 months while you are doing it. It will help a LOT in cutting down the swelling and the pain that accompanies it. This will in turn shorten your post-recovery recovery so you can get back yo the hobbies you mentioned like snowboarding. Cortisone is a very amazing tool in recovery when it is used properly. In sports it can be abused to hide real pain, but in recovery it can help mask pain caused by swelling that otherwise impedes improvements made through training.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #26
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I'm going on the cutting board tomorrow for a new ACL. This is my first surgery, not sure what to expect. I'm hoping I am just too messed up on medication after to feel anything.

What if I never wake up and my cat wonders where I went?
Been there. I was supposed to have a quick arthroscopic ACL reconstruction. Ended up being an all day knee reconstruction. I had no idea, it was like I had fallen asleep and woke up a few minutes later. It was really 8 or 10 hours later.

Make sure you have someone that can drive you around for a while. The PT is very important, and you need to do all your excersizes that your therapist assigns.

It did not hurt me nearly as much as the doctors said it would. I stopped taking the pain meds almost immediately because their side effects bothered me more than the pain did.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:53 PM   #27
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I had deviated septum surgery several years back, and the story is the pretty much the generic one. Knocked me out in less time than they said, chattered as I was going all the way "out" about all kind of nonsense (though they told me the silly stuff I was saying). Woke up after a few "seconds" and hour and a half later feeling a big groggy disoriented and wondering why nose felt like a softball. Not a lot of horror stories in this stuff.

Now for the pain med stuff, you can take a lot of this advice but you need to keep this in mind: there are a LOT of different responses to hydrocodone (Vicodin). Some people get drowsy, some get hyper (to an extent), for most it's an effective general pain killer and for others it does nothing more than a couple of Advil (I'm one of these). It's just body chemistry. Although I don't react much to this common pain killer, I can't take allergy meds and a over the counter cold/flu stuff because it all knocks me on my ***. More effective for me (less problematic, no real side effects) is a fairly low-impact one called Toradol. Even the generic of this one works well for me (Ketorolac). I had this during a round of kidney stones, and with a umbilical hernia.

You most likely will get a strong script for the first couple of days (examples above), for me it was super crazy high-powered Codeine, the addictive variety and I had to be aware of when I was taking them. When they were gone (2.5 day or so) they were gone. These are the problematic ones for most people, but I've known several people that become a little dependent on hydrocodone, especially those people that mellow a bit off of it (and get the benefit of pain relief).

If you've had any of them before, and know if they work well or poorly, communicate this to your doctor BEFORE your surgery. Once you are in pain and taking meds, they are less likely to change a pain medication unless you react to it. Abuse being a possible issue, but to a degree it's because it is hard for them to discern between poor drug performance and the amount it is going to hurt, just because it's going to hurt. Communicating both your typical threshold for pain, and previous pain killer experience may help you and your doctor select some stuff that will do it's job, and offer the lesser of the bad experience evils. The idea is to get something effective that does it's job so that you can concentrate on healing, on PT and get off of it all as soon as you can.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #28
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I had two hernia surgories. I didn't take any pain killers. (They did give me codine 3 and demoral) Which I gave away to my friends mom both times.

Its not that big of a deal just man up.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:12 PM   #29
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Well I just got back home from surgery. It wasn't bad at all. I just wish I was little higher lol. Everything went well and I haven't experienced too much pain. My mom is annoying the **** out of me but she is just trying to help, so I can't really complain about that.

My ACL had been torn 70% for the past year, but I used a brace to play hockey on it. I'm kinda excited to get back to normal, but I know it's going to be a while.

Thanks for the support gang.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #30
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Low pain means it won't be hard to stay away from the meds. That's great news.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #31
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Hockey player in TX? Good to know there's another guy here that appreciates and plays the best team sport on the planet.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #32
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Hell ya. I won the U18 USA Hockey National Championship last year in Pittsburgh on 30% of an ACL.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:28 PM   #33
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Heart surgery at age 13.

Catheter ablation (tubes through the veins in my groin up to my heart). Cauterized two "open loops" of sorts within my heart that was trapping blood and causing SVT, or, supraventricular tachycardia. I'd be in class (or in a car, or in the shower, anywhere really) and all the sudden my heart would feel like it was tearing through my chest and within about 30 seconds I was dizzy and seeing spots and clammy. I was playing pee-wee football at the time and during a practice I had an episode and the coach actually recorded my heart rate at 255bpm, he called 911 and told them I was still conscious and they thought it was a prank.

It was outpatient surgery believe it or not. I remember waking up during the procedure to tell the nurse I was going to pee... then I felt her touching my junk and thought it was just a dream. haha

They shaved 1/2 my freshly sprouting pubes. I was heated over that.

Waking up from anesthesia was awesome. I felt drunk for like 3 days.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:37 PM   #34
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Heart surgery at age 13.
Wow. That's crazy.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:17 PM   #35
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Nah, I was too young to realize the potential outcome I guess. I wasn't even nervous going into surgery. My mom was all tears, dad even told me he loved me... wow.

I had been wearing a weird pager type heart monitor taped under my shirt with these leads all glued in various spots on my chest/back for months trying to record the condition. During one of many EKG's/stress tests I ran on the treadmill for like 27 minutes from lowest speed to max speed, then maintained that speed for 7 minutes trying to provoke an onset. It never came. Docs said that was the longest they'd seen anyone run on the treadmill.

I was like, yeah yeah, this heart sucks, fix me up doc.

They asked me to tell a joke while I was waiting for the anesthesia to work.

"What do you get when you mix and elephant with a rhino?

Hellifiknow ZZZzzzzzZZzZZzZ"

I remember hearing them all laughing as I zonked.

EDIT: I wasn't fat or out of shape. Had a murmur as a baby that caused some problems as a toddler, they thought it was gone but came back 10 years later.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #36
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You know it's a big event when your Dad says he loves you lol.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #37
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The surgery team dropped by my room the morning of my first heart by-pass.

I guess I was a little tense. He said "we usually lose two a year in surgery, and

we've already lost two this year. So you're going to be alright." We all had a

good laugh.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:58 PM   #38
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I accidentally shot myself in the leg at age 14 (I know right). I had 5 surgeries and spent 3 weeks in the hospital, plus 6 months on crutches. I had to have bone, muscle, and skin grafts, plus morphine every ten minutes for the first few days and 20mg percocet every 4 hours for the next month. The only thing that really got me was when the took the stitches out of my back where they took out my latissimus dorsi... damn things were six inches long and woven into the remaining muscles. The bitch nurse took them out with a pair of pliers. Craftsmen pliers. I stopped the pills cold turkey when my script ran out, no withdrawl symptoms whatsoever. I just quit taking them and that was that. Surgery aint nothing to worry about
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:01 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by hx1966 View Post
The surgery team dropped by my room the morning of my first heart by-pass.

I guess I was a little tense. He said "we usually lose two a year in surgery, and

we've already lost two this year. So you're going to be alright." We all had a

good laugh.
haha wow thats great lol
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #40
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If it counts, I basically got half my finger ripped off when I got a piece of an oil drain kit stuck on it... It was too big to cut off, so they put me under and it took 3 full-size men to literally rip it off.

****, I guess I'm a wimp for being put under...
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