Things got unpleasant for Neighbor D yesterday – again…

I showed up at their place yesterday for the monthly trip to the Palace of Food, only to find him nearly unable to get out of his chair. He’s been having trouble with his right knee, which had a joint replacement several years ago that’s never been right. Now – and not for the first time this year – his knee was filling up with blood.

By the time we got to the town he couldn’t get out of the truck unaided so we ended up going to the local small hospital instead. In the ER they drained a whole bunch of blood out of the joint and immediately released him. I questioned the wisdom of that last thing but nobody wants to hear my opinions on medical matters and probably wisely so.

A few hours after we got home I got a call from Neighbor L: “Can you feed horses this afternoon? We need to go back to the hospital.”

I got the lowdown that evening: He had a raging infection, really high white count, and when they drained the knee – again – they got a lot of unpleasant stuff besides blood. He’s still in the hospital as of this writing and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

On a personal note: I am having increasing troubles with my own right knee, not at all unusual for old men, and it has not escaped my notice that joint replacement surgery has become quite a common thing since I last got my legs sculpted more than 50 years ago. But I only personally know one person who has had it done, and that has always been a cautionary tale…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to Things got unpleasant for Neighbor D yesterday – again…

  1. Ben says:

    Getting old ain’t for the faint of heart. (To steal a phrase. )

  2. Mark Matis says:

    There are doctors who know what they are doing, and ones who do not. CHECK CAREFULLY before you let them touch you.
    I believe the initial joint replacements were titanium, which did not bond well with bone. Since then, I think they have gone to stainless steel with much better success.

  3. Malatrope says:

    I just have to say it: your local hospital is staffed by idiots. If he is not careful, he will have to have his leg amputated above the knee.

    I will echo what Mark said. Whether it works or not depends on the skill of the doctor.

  4. feralfae says:

    I agree with Mark and Malatrope: do some research and find a really great doctor to do any ortho surgeries. For repair of botched knee replacement surgery, I strongly recommend Dr. Allmacher in Missoula Montana. He is well known for correcting bad surgeries by other docs. If anyone needs to know more, you can reach me through Joel, who has my personal contact information. Joel, best wishes to your neighbor DL.

  5. Dave Mansfield says:

    While I am not having knee troubles, I can’t say the same for my lower back. Best wishes for your knee problems. Get it done and over with, is my opinion.

  6. The Neon Madman says:

    I had a total knee replacement on my right knee about 5 years ago. Overall, went well. Yes, it takes a while to get back to normal, or what passes for normal for a 67 year old man, but after about 6 months I never even thought about it. Much better than the constant pain I had before it was done.

  7. Armoured says:

    Can’t speak from personal experience, but my mother had a knee replacement last year at 79 and it went very well. Mobility issues disappered almost immediately (she was actually walking almost immediately after the surgery) and the healing process wasn’t too bad. One neat aspect was a wearable pump that delivered local anesthetic directly to the wound for the first 72 hours. Kind of like a diabetic’s insulin pump and entirely disposable after it had done its job. I suspect that sort of tech may have arisen out of the anti-opioid push…

    There are definitely good docs and bad ones, so it pays to look around. I believe titanium might actually be the newer, better option versus stainless, but don’t quote me on that. However, I would be worried about recuperation in the bush… It’s not a crazy procedure but there is room for complications. Got anyone in a bigger city that you could crash with for 3 weeks or so?

  8. Jeff Allen says:

    no. speaking against the “rage against the falling light” stuff, I say, it happens.
    reminds me of the dogs, somehow (valued companions, lost to mortality)
    good luck with this, Joel.

    I don’t know what you can do in the desert, except the best that you can.
    more reports welcome, as available.

    best wishes,
    Jeff (as old as you are, less ambitious…)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Like Armoured, my mom was in her upper 70’s when she got both knees replaced in Kansas. They healed within a month, and now after 15+ years, there’s no issues at all.
    I’d definitely wait until the last minute, though.

  10. Mark Matis says:

    Regarding <b<Armour‘s note, where in Florida does BB live, and could you stay with him for a short while after the operation? Many of us down here need orthopedic surgery, and there are some GOOD doctors.

  11. Tree Mike says:

    I’ve had both knees done. One about 10+ years ago, the other 5 years ago. I’m 72. The VA did both, they work as advertised. THE critical part is DO the therapy.

  12. matismf says:

    Let me assure you, Tree Mike, that if he survives, Tobie will insure that he does the therapy!

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