I had to have an EKG, blood tests, X-rays, physicals, and a dentist visit to check for infections before the surgery. After that an interview was conducted with an anesthesiologist. I told him about a hernia operation when the surgeon was late for a visit to his hooker and he had started my operation before I was completely out. I insisted I wanted a epidural and enough anesthesia to put me on Pluto for the duration of the operation. I wouldn't mind if I didn't wake up till my son was out of college.
Attendants wheeled me into pre-op and a nurse that looked like he missed his calling as a motorcycle mechanic swabbed my back with a local anesthetic. He was balding and had a short pony tail and a sweet voice that made him sound like your typical child molester. I sat up, leaned over and hunched my shoulders. I felt a cold swab, a small pinprick and then woke up in my hospital room. Two hours later a chubby happy-butt nurse came in and made me stand up. I was surprised that it didn't hurt much. I had more drugs in me than Keith Richards after a Stones concert. Sitting back down was like watching a train derailment in slow motion and I almost fell off the bed. After a while the pain killers started wearing off and I felt like a shark had been chewing on my legs like a pair of giant Slim-Jims. After about an hour of screaming they reminded me that some where in the rats nests of tubes and wiring I had a button connected to my epidural that dispensed morphine. After I discovered that, I pounded on that button like a woodpecker on a termite mound and soon was so mellow I would have had to take more narcotics to wake up.
Every time you see a nurse, doctor or therapist they ask what number from one to ten represents the pain you are in. There are ten happy face type pictures with different expressions by each number that go from happy to unbearable. I learned SOB are letters not numbers. I later found out I had pseudo gout that was activated by the trauma or it wouldn't have hurt so much, so don't let that keep you from getting knee replacement.
Really! do not let what I have written discourage you from having knee replacement. I was the exception. As usual with me, if it could go wrong it went wrong. Most people are tap dancing in a month. This article was done in Nov.2010. With all the complications, it took me almost 12 months to get to be as good walking as I started. I had a patella tendon stretch on my right leg and had to have it redone and the calcium crystals from the pseudo gout caused no end of pain to my left leg. It will for the rest of my life if I overdo it, and had nothing to do with the surgery.