DC Trawler

Knee update: I’m glad I didn’t get run over in England

Why? BBC News will tell you why:

Surgeons say patients in some parts of England have spent months waiting in pain because of delayed operations or new restrictions on who qualifies for treatment.

In several areas routine surgery was put on hold for months, while in many others new thresholds for hip and knee replacements have been introduced.

The moves are part of the NHS drive to find £20bn efficiency savings by 2015…

Surgeons have described the delays faced by patients as “devastating and cruel”. Peter Kay, the president of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), says they’ve become increasingly frustrated that hip and knee replacements are being targeted as a way of finding savings…

Alex Waring, a patient in Warwickshire, was told he was being referred for an urgent knee replacement in August of last year. Now he looks at that letter with bewilderment as more than seven months later he is still waiting for surgery…

“It’s excruciating sometimes to put it mildly. And it affects you at the times when you’re not expecting it. I get off my mobile scooter and nearly fall over because my knee is gone, the pain, you’ve to sit there until the pain just goes away.”

Welcome to the future, America. Get ready to “win” it.

As for me, as usual I got overconfident about the next, ahem, step in my recuperation. Last week my surgeon, Dr. K, took me off the crutches, and I was able to go one day without them. The next day, I could hardly move. So now I’m back to one crutch. The knee itself, the part that was replaced, is improving. It’s the rest of the leg that’s killing me. Muscle atrophy from not putting weight on it for a few months, stiffness, swelling, etc. It sucks, but it’s all part of the healing process. Dr. K says he’s confident that once this all heals up, I’ll be able to walk like nothing happened. It’s just going to take longer than expected.

Thanks for listening.