Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
Everywhere I go, strangers and friends alike stop and ask to see my legs. Their requests take me aback as I have never had (and still don’t) the long, curvy limbs that stop men in their tracks and leave them with their tongues hanging out. What they really want to see is the relatively tiny scar left by the three- to four-inch incision through which my minimally invasive total knee replacement was performed. I accommodate their wishes, slowly pulling up my pant leg higher and higher as they gasp in anticipation and amazement. I imagine this is how the Miss America contestants must feel as they strut their stuff in the swimsuit competition.
By sparing muscles and tendons cut during standard total knee replacement surgery, this outpatient procedure allows patients like me to go home hours after surgery, with significantly less pain, and improved range of motion and knee function. Recovery time is two- to four-weeks, compared to two to three months with traditional knee replacement surgery, which requires an eight- to 12-inch incision.
Like most everyone I’ve spoken to, I put off the surgery for as long as I could, until arthritis devoured all the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, causing constant, extremely painful bone to bone contact that could no longer be eased by medications or walking aids. Immediately after the surgery, however, I was able to walk almost pain-free, using just my walking stick. All I can say is that I wish I had it done sooner rather than later.