Most of March was taken up by recovery from Jon's knee surgery. Surgery was early in the month and, once Jon returned home, the month was taken up by recovery and rehab. Care got to play nurse, but quicky tired of all the extra work. Fortunately, Jon was able to be self-sufficient, particularly after he could drive again.
For several years, Jon had been suffering from osteoarthritis in both knees. This caused a deterioration of the cartiledge resulting in painful bone grinding against bone. He was unable to play tennis and other activities such as hiking were painful. He did a variety of treatments including physical therapy and various drugs, but the cartiledge kept deteriorating. Ultimately he was referred to a surgeon at UCSF who determined that a bi-lateral knee replacement was in order.
On March 6, Dr. Stefano Bini performed bilateral knee replacement at USCF Parnasssus Hospital. The procedure took about 3½ hours under general anesthesia. They placed metal components in the end of the femur and tibia and a polyethelene spacer in between to act as cartiledge. They also placed a polyethelene "button" on the back of the kneecap. Here is a video showing how the Attune knee system works. Here is a more graphic video of what the surgeons did. It was an exercise in mechanical engineering. During the surgery, Dr. Bini performed something called kinematic knee alignment which restores the alignment of the knee to its pre-arthritic state.
After the surgery, Jon had 8" incisions on each knee. He stayed in the hospital two nights. The afternoon after surgery he got out bed and into a chair with the help of a walker. The next day, physical therapists helped him walk around the floor with a walker - about 400 steps. The final day, the physical therapist taught him how to go up and down stairs and he was released to go home.
Once home, Jon was ensconsed in the middle-floor guest bedroom with access to his study and guest bath. Jon't team sent a gift basket and the marketing team sent flowers. He stayed on the mid-level for a couple of weeks until he could navigate stairs well. He walked initially with a walker, then a cane, and eventually unaided. He used a wolf-head cane given to him as a Chrismas present by his team. The physical therapists and medical staff were impressed - since mostly they see people with very utilitarian canes. He did home physical therapy a couple of times a week for two weeks, then was able to do outpatient physical therapy. He was off work on medical leave for about two months. Recovery went well. Physical therapists measure range of motion or flexion in knees. Normal knees get to about 145 degrees, patients who have had this surgery are considered successful at 130 degrees. Jon got to about 140 degrees -- so abnormally good.
Jon's physical therapists and doctors emphasized the importance of social interaction to recovery, so we invited our friends Mickey, Kira, Heike, and Randy over for dinner.