Few months ago I had a total knee replacement (TKR) by the “less invasive surgery”. The “less invasive” procedure is a break-through trend in different areas of surgery, beside the joint replacement. It brings substantial advantages: shorter surgery(anesthesia)time, less pain and faster mobiity. This blog documents my unusual journey toward this procedure, preventive measures, surgery and post-surgery rehabilitation. It would please me, if my experience served prospective TKR patients in their decisions.
In two years of seeing my orthopedic surgeon, I had tried injections in the knees and painkillers – “Aleve” without success. The last resource, SURGERY, was looming large over me. I scheduled a date, a month and a half away. As I was being "processed" for the surgery, I started feeling like moving on a conveyor belt toward a narrow and inescapable opening – the operating table. At once I felt depression enveloping me like a thick fog; at the same time feeling extremely sensitive, tears coming on without provocation. My friend suggested seeking a second opinion. As soon as I started searching for an orthopedist, my depression lifted; I was my normal self again. The second opinion was unequivocally “total knee replacement”. I was to go on with my scheduled surgery date with my primary surgeon. Then a primordial fear seized me, as if my body panicked, its very survival endangered. My surgeon was most reassuring. In retrospect, it is as if these body messages led me to the next "road sign" – a TV ad for the “less invasive TKR” by Dr. Dearborn. He has been practicing it now for 3 years at up to 9 surgeries a day, thus having performed several thousand surgeries to-date. I checked out Dr. Dearborn’s extensive website*, but I also sought an advice from an authentic source. Anacquaintanceradiologist proved very helpful. Familiar with Dr. Dearborn’s patients’ post-surgery x-rays, he recommended Dr. Dearborn.
The less invasive TKR employs special tools and techniques, enabling the surgeon to access the knee joint with fewer cuts into the surrounding muscle tissue, thus affecting a shorter operating (under an hour) and an "easier" recovery time.
Even though I had a two year interaction, and a very good rapport with my primary orthopedist, I canceled my surgery there and made an appointment to see Dr. Dearborn.