November 20, 2010
I had my left BHR surgery with Dr. Schmitt on 16-Nov-10 and it went well. I started walking with a walker on the second day and went home on 18-Nov. No too much pain. Incision is healing well.
Today’s is day 5 and swelling is pretty extensive in the area of the operated thigh above the knee though no extensive pain, just discomfort because of swelling. Per Dr. Schmitt’s instructions I am wearing stockings and administer Arixtra blood thinner shots. I am taking 200 mg Advil to reduce swelling.
November 21, 2010
My BHR surgery took place as scheduled on Nov-16 with Dr. Schmitt in Huron Valley Sinai Hospital in Commerce, MI. Based on the majority of replies received I opted for the spinal anesthesia. The last thing I remember in the operation room was time 8:43AM and nurse telling me to face her and arch my back, so they can freeze the area.
I woke up 11:25AM in the recovery room with absolutely clear head ( check time was the first thing I did), no dizziness or any other negative effects of sedation. Could clear communicate and read tags with the names of people around me and no any recollection of the operation whatsoever. I still did not feel my legs. The nurse told me to start trying to wiggle my toes. It took about another 20-to-25 minutes before the feelings start coming back and I was able to wiggle toes.
I was moved to the floor to my room at 12:05PM. My pain was never above 4 (of course everyone’s scale is different…) and I never used the pump with narcotics, which helped to eliminate any other possible complications like constipation, nausea and etc.
Physical therapy started next day after surgery from just sitting on the bed (I need to mention to be very careful as some level of dizziness is ALWAYS present the first time) and then taking a short walk to the door and back (pay attention how you breeze do not hold your breath) and then sitting for an hour in a chair with a pillow under your back to completely “clear the head” and wear off to regain good balance with the second session of physical therapy same day in the afternoon in the physical therapy department.
I was able to do all the required exercises to be sent home on 18-Nov. All in all, based on my experience, I would highly recommend to use spinal anesthesia and Dr. Schmitt’s team for your BHR, especially for people living in MI.
December 1, 2010
On day 5 I noticed bruising and profound swelling in my operated leg only that gradually increased and went from my thigh to my foot. It stayed through day 12 after surgery and then very slowly started to subside. I think that wearing TED stockings helped to prevent swelling going into foot and kept it in the area of thigh and a little bit below the knee…On the other hand, I have an impression that stocking may also, especially after day 12, contributed a little bit to swelling not allowing it to go below my knee.
Home PT started on 18-Nov-10 and even though it was quite painful especially at the beginning, I would recommend to everyone to follow it thoroughly, but try to be reasonable and listen to your body. So far the progress was very good. I used walker for the first week and then by my home PT advice started using a cane from week 2.
My leg was still quite sore during the first week and I started to feel better and a little bit stronger during the second week after surgery. I was sleeping on my back for the first 8 days and then started sleeping on my not-operated side as well with a pillow between my legs (Dr.Schmitt’s protocol allows this).
At home I kept wearing TED stockings for 14 days and self-administered blood thinner arixtra for 7 days (plus 2 days in the hospital). I also was taking twice daily 200 mg Advil to reduce swelling and for pain. I never had any constipation issues as I did not use any narcotics in the hospital or home.
Today, 1-Dec-10 I had my two week check up with Dr. Schmitt. Everything looks good and I got clearance to drive and go to outpatient PT. All in all, the progress so far is very good and I would highly recommend Dr. Schmitt and his team to everyone considering BHR, especially to people living in MI.
December 4, 2010
I am close to 3 weeks after the LBHR. Everything is going fine, my staples were removed at 2 weeks check up and the incision is healing well. I am walking with a cane and still have some swelling in the lower thigh/knee and foot areas, but it is much less than used to be at the peak between days 5 and 12.