Latest from Hanna about his knee surgery

Hi Dee and BALTA Friends-

Until today – 2 weeks and a day post surgery- I have not been able to spend more than a couple of minutes at the computer. My knee wouldn’t bend enough to get under the desk but now there is progress and I have 110 degrees range of motion. I might be better today if my long standing problems with sciatica hadn’t resurfaced soon after I got home from the hospital. Thankfully the back is not as bad as it has been on several occasions over the last few years and I hope it will get no worse.

Maybe I should go back to the beginning. I have been considering total knee replacement for several years – probably since about the time I had my first sciatica “attack” in the summer of ’02. I always associated the back problems with my limpy gait caused by my bad right knee. That knee was injured during the 80s while I was doing the 45,000 screen prints for La Quinta. That probably accounted for a couple hundred thousand hyper-extensions of my right leg going under the printing table and leaning out to pull each color of the images.

I was Old to have a total knee replacement in 2004 but the waiting list at the VA was about 2 years and my knee was OK much of the time so I opted out at that time. In 2006 and 2007 we cancelled several national sales tours in the Grand Banana because of the knee and back problems which virtually laid me up for several months in each of those years. It had become obvious that I had to do something so I returned to the VA and they approved a series of cortisone shots and finally surgery in Sept of 2007. I was shocked when they sent me a referral to have the surgery done with the doctor of my choice in the location of my choice – instead of having to go to Nashville to have the new knee done I could have it done in Knoxville or Chattanooga. Still pulling the trigger on the decision took me until late February. Since I had long planned to go to my nieces wedding at the Naval Academy in early May, the Doctor decided that we’d do the surgery after that – hence the May 22 date.

I can tell you that after reading volumes of literature on hundreds of websites, I was confused as hell and finally decided that I’d just have to turn it over to the hands and skill of the surgeon and hope that as his sole credential he had not just stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

Now after 2 weeks of re-hab, I can notice some improvement and Elizabeth says a bunch of improvement. I go to the Doctor Monday to have the 20 staples and 50-70 stitches removed and have the knee x-rayed. I’ve had a bit of a setback with a slip from my good leg to my bad and bending it quickly to a place it didn’t want to be and fairly severe back and hip pain from my sciatica. Nothing is simple…and this certainly has not been. I’m still at the stage where I question my decision.

Hope you are all well and that your daily trials are limited.

Love and best wishes-

John Michael


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4 Responses to “Latest from Hanna about his knee surgery”

  1. Doug Says:

    Remember Basic Rule Number One: Don’t piss off your Physiotherapist! They WILL come up with new tortures!

    Get well!!!

  2. booktoots Says:

    You’ll be glad you have your surgery as the pain diminishes and your knee swelling goes down. It’s been four months since my surgery and I do not have knee joint pain, can walk without pain, and do not have to carry my crutches around. My knee is still swollen and the muscles still need stretching. It takes time and perseverance, my friend.

    Hang in there…and good luck…

  3. BananaBoy Says:

    The pain………I made a deal with the therapist. If she didn’t hurt me as bad as she did on day one, I wouldn’t kill her. Now that we have an understanding things are going well-


  4. Mike Gleason Says:

    I didn’t know he had knees.

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