I'm in a strange, limbo-like state. In two days, on Tuesday March 8, I will get my left knee revised - that's the word they use when they have to take out an artificial knee and put in a new one. I'm bored; I've had to stop all my usual activities, because for at least 3 months after Tuesday, my primary activity will be rehabbing the new knee. Having done this twice before, I'm not looking forward to it. I've also had to stop all my NSAID pain pills for the last 3 weeks, because any trace of them makes bleeding worse; and trust me, acetominaphen (generic for Tylenol for those who don't read the fine print) is not an acceptable substitute.
I also feel betrayed. I was told these things were supposed to last 15-20 years; this is just over 5 years. I've recently discovered there are at least three recall actions out on three different artificial knee implants, from two different manufacturers. And I don't know whether they affect me or not, because when the failing implant was put in, I didn't ask what brand it was. I've never gotten a recall notice; I don't know if I have a recalled device or not. I do know that my good knee has an implant from Zimmer, manufacturer of two of the recalled items; because in 2001 I asked, what product will you use? I didn't ask in 2005. Mistake. I've asked my surgeon this time but he hasn't responded. Yet.
I may be letting my anxiety get the better of me, but it's dawning on me that when I decided to have the original surgeries, I was signing up for an unknown number of repeat procedures, at unknown intervals, which are turning out to be much shorter than I expected (and hoped). I thought I'd be able to walk without a cane again, and for about 4 years, I could. I read some very scary stuff about revision surgery - and then I realized it was posted by the lawyers in the class action lawsuits related to the recalls. Oh. I found a description on a medical site that was much more balanced and less frightening. But I'm still not happy. Every surgery carries major risks. But there really isn't a choice now - I can barely walk on that leg. Wish me luck.