Monthly Archives: March 2014

Post surgery update

On Thursday I had my arthroscopy surgery and didn’t know if I would have a two or 8 week recovery period. Turns out that the 8 week recover is just until you can get more mobile and it would have been more like a 6 month recovery.

Fortunately when I can round I discovered that they were unable to repair the damage and so removed the torn cartilage. Which means I have a two week recovery!

Ok it’s a little more than that till I can get back into proper training and my season is still ruined, but it’s now Sunday and I’ve taken off the bandages and can walk and drive. Knee is still swollen and not got 100% mobility but its getting better everyday.

Need to do my physio exercises, and keep working my upper body, something. I was doing in an attempt to not go crazy due to lack of exercise. I’ve done so many press ups I’ve even got the beginning of a pec!

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Arthroscopy: An Education

So, back from seeing the surgeon and I’m getting an Arthroscopy to repair the damage in my knee. A perfect time to have a look at what this entails. All this information has been taken from the NHS Choices website.

Introduction

An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used both to diagnose and treat problems with joints.

The procedure is most commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrist.

An arthroscopy might be recommended to look at the inside of the joints if imaging tests have been performed and you have problems such as swelling or stiffness.

As well as allowing a surgeon to look inside a joint, an arthroscopy can also be used to treat a range of problems and conditions. For example, it can be used to:

  • repair damaged cartilage
  • remove fragments of loose bone or cartilage
  • treat frozen shoulder

What happens during an arthroscopy?

A piece of equipment called an arthroscope is used during an arthroscopy. An arthroscope is a small, metal tube about the length and width of a drinking straw. Inside, a bundle of fibre optics act as both a light source and a camera. Images are sent from the arthroscope to a video screen or an eyepiece so that the surgeon is able to see the joint.

It is also possible for tiny surgical instruments to be passed through an arthroscope to allow the surgeon to treat certain conditions.

The arthroscope is inserted into a small incision next to the joint. More small incisions may also be made to allow an examining probe or surgical instruments to be inserted.

An arthroscopy is usually carried out under general anaesthetic. Although, in some cases a spinal or local anaesthetic is used.

An arthroscopy is usually performed as a day case procedure, which means the person being treated is able to go home on the same day as the surgery.

 

An arthroscopy is usually a day case procedure which lasts between 15 to 45 minutes. More extensive surgery can sometimes take up to 2-3 hours.

Preparing for surgery

Before having an arthroscopy, you will usually be given an appointment to attend a pre-admission clinic.

During your appointment your general fitness will be assessed to ensure that you are ready for surgery. You will also be given information about issues such as:

  • what and when you are allowed to eat and drink on the day of the surgery
  • whether you should stop or start any medications before surgery
  • how long it will take for you to recover from surgery
  • whether you will need to do rehabilitation exercises after surgery

The surgical team will explain the benefits and risks that are associated with having an arthroscopy. You will also be asked to sign a consent form to confirm that you agree to have the operation and that you understand what is involved, including the risks and benefits. 

The arthroscopy operation

An arthroscopy is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, although occasionally it can be performed under spinal anaesthesia, or with local anaesthetic. Your anaesthetist (a doctor trained in giving people anaesthetic) will explain which type of anaesthetic is most suitable for you. In some cases you may be able to express a preference.

If you have a local anaesthetic your joint will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain. However, you may still feel some sensations during the procedure, such as a mild tugging, as the surgeon works on the joint.

Anti-bacterial fluid is used to clean the skin over the affected joint and a small incision, a few millimetres long, is made to enable the arthroscope to be inserted.

One or more additional incisions will also be made so that an examining probe, or other instruments can be inserted.

13.Final Arthroscopy NEW (15.6)

  1. Knee cap
  2. Femur
  3. Arthroscope
  4. Arthroscope
  5. Fibula
  6. Tibia

The surgeon may fill the joint with a sterile fluid to expand it and make it easier to view. They will be able to see inside your joint using an eyepiece or a video screen. If possible, during the procedure, they will repair any damaged areas and remove any unwanted tissue.

After the procedure, the arthroscope plus any attachments are removed along with any excess fluid from the joint. The incisions are closed using paper tape or stitches and covered with a sterile dressing.

Recovering from an arthroscopy 

Your recovery from an arthroscopy can vary depending on the type of surgery, your general health and the type of work that you do.

After the operation

After your arthroscopy, you will be taken to a room to recover from the effects of the general anaesthetic, if you have had one.

You may experience some pain in the joint. If you do, tell a member of the hospital staff who will be able to give you painkillers.

Most people who have an arthroscopy are able to leave hospital either on the day of the surgery or the following morning. Before leaving hospital, you may have an appointment with a physiotherapist to discuss exercises for you to do at home.

You may be advised to elevate the joint and apply ice packs to help with swelling. Depending on the surgery, you may be given special pumps or compression bandages to help improve blood flow.

Recovery advice

It is likely that you will feel tired and light-headed after having a general anaesthetic, so you will need to ask a responsible adult to take you home and to stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery. Most people will recover from the effects of the anaesthetic within 48 hours.

Any dressings will need to be kept as dry as possible, so you will need to cover them with a plastic bag when having a bath or shower. If your dressings do get wet or fall off, they will need to be replaced.

As a general rule, most children can return to school within a week of having surgery and most adults are able to return to work within three to six weeks.

You will be able to drive again once it is safe for you to make an emergency stop without damaging the affected joint. Depending on the procedure, this may be a few weeks or several months after surgery. Your surgeon will be able to give you a more specific recommendation.

Your surgeon will also be able to advise you about how long it will be before you can undertake strenuous physical activities, such as heavy lifting and sport. For most people this will be around six to eight weeks after surgery.

Follow-up

You will usually be asked to attend a follow-up appointment four to six weeks after the operation to discuss the results of the surgery, your recovery and any additional treatment that you may require.

Looking back

Having spoken to the specialist physio at the hospital yesterday, and being told that I needed to be referred to a surgeon due to what he suspects to be a Meniscal Tear of my knee cartilage, it looks like I will need an Arthroscopy to explore/fix my knee. Recovery time from this is 6-8 weeks on crutches, no idea about total recovery time. Needless to say my season is pretty much over.

I was fortunate enough to get a call from the surgeons office this morning letting me know that I could get in to see him tomorrow morning (yay for cancellations) so hopefully I’ll have more of an idea of what’s going on then. Fingers crossed he’ll have a quick look and poke it and say I just need to man up and get on with it.

I’ve already cancelled two of the races I’ve booked, and am trying desperately to find someone to do the Major Series this Sunday. So far, no takers.

In the mean time I thought I would take more of a detailed look back at some of the races I’ve done in the past, probably my two iron distance races, my trip to Barcelona, and anything else i can find proper results (and maybe photos) of.

Crutches

20140312-142656.jpg

Check out these bad boys. Off to see the joint specialist shortly, and they should be able to tell me how much longer I’ll be on them.

Power Testing (and training zones)

Before I crooked myself on Friday night I had performed a FTP* Test (*Functional Threshold Power) using my shiny new turbo trainer. From this I was able to work out my training zones for interval training to get faster. My little brother told me how the session should run;

20 minutes warm up

5 minutes max effort

10 minutes easy

20 minutes TT effort

10 minutes cool down

With the average power in the 20 minute TT effort being the FTP level. So how’d it go?

ftptest

 

In my sweaty, panting tiredness I failed to accuratly record my average power for the maz effort part, but that’s not important, it just spoils the look of the table. A quick trip to the British cycling website with my FTP figure gave me the chart below,

 

powerzones

which is my training zones. Thanks to my little brother, again, I’m going to have some example training sessions to be doing based off these power zones.

First things first I need to get these knee sorted.

In which I spend the afternoon in A&E…

Well not all afternoon, just a couple of hours. And why? Well turns out I have cartilage damage in my left knee,

Probably.

Last night as I was doing my core work I got up from having done my sit ups and my knee went ‘CLUNK!!’ and then there was pain, a whole lotta pain.

When the pain hadn’t gone away after a night sleep I took a trip to the A&E department of Jimmy’s where after some prodding by a nurse, an x-ray I was told it looks like cartilage problem. I was told I needed to take the weight off it, and to come back for a further assessment by the knee specialist physio on Wednesday.

So here I am, the proud owner of a nice shiny pair of crutches and my 2014 season in tatters before it had even begun.

Bugger.

 

 

The 2014 Season

With the hot summer months just days away, we all hope, I’ve started to look at what races to do this year, and start booking them up. So far I’ve booked; The Major Series, Skipton Sprint Triathlon and the Leeds Half Marathon.

I’m looking at other races such as the Trident Standard distance at Newby hall, Ripon, and Leeds triathlons again. I had hoped to make it back to Allerthope for their standard distance tri on a course flatter than pancake, but it may clash with a kiddies (one of mine) birthday party.

Possibly might go slightly longer at either the Rubicon Middle distance triathlon at Newby hall, or the Sundowner at Allterhope. We shall see what sort of shape I’m in as I want to be trying to go as fast as I can over the Olympic Distance stuff this year.

Seeing as we have almost through the booking process of going to Canada to watch the ITU world champs, where hopefully my little brother might have qualified to race, I should probably have a crack at one of those qualification races, seeing as I’ll be out there anyway and I’ll just need my bike.

I hope to try and get out to do the Otley 10 (hilly) and Eccup 10 (undulating) road races to see how my running is coming along.