As my earlier blog posts and twitter "tweets" said, I had my followup with the orthopedist today.
He took the stitches out -- hooray, they were really annoying to work around when I tried to wash my knee. The incisions look great, with no sign of infection, so hooray!
I've been sporting an ace bandage (two, actually) from mid-thigh down to my foot. He said I only need to wear that for a day or two, but (sssh, don't tell him) I took it off when I got home. My leg needed the air after being wrapped for the better part of 10 days (all but when I was washing the leg off). Ah, relief.
Speaking of relief, I'm allowed to bend the knee again! Hoo-freakin'-ray! You want relief? You know how it feels to have a REALLY good stretch? That was what my left leg felt like the first time I flexed the knee, even though I didn't bend it far.
It doesn't quite want to bend as far as 90 degrees yet. When I go that far, it starts to hurt instead of feel good or feel neutral. It's going to take some work to get the rest of my range of motion back, I can tell from now. File THAT under "necessary evils that I don't look forward to", believe me. If you've ever had a therapist push an inflexible joint a few degrees past where its range of motion wants to stop, I don't need to explain to you why I don't look forward to the process. It hurts like a royal SOB. But there's no way around the process if I want the knee to flex properly again, so I'll put up with it. This is one situation where, "No pain, no gain" is the truth, not a cliche. And since the gain is well worth the pain, it makes it easier to deal with.
Tell you what, though... even the limited amount of flexing I've done with the knee during the day has translated into some real soreness now. Doggone. I'd forgotten about this part of recuperation. Either that, or the knee was SO sore in 1994 that I couldn't tell the difference between the regular daily pain and the added soreness from the first day of flexing the knee.
But since soreness means progress in this instance, I'll take it. It sure beats "staying the same" all to heck.