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Because of her determination, modern medical technology, and Dr. Duffy's surgical skill, Carlene made an amazing recovery from the total knee replacement surgery. The day after surgery she was sitting in a chair, walking down the hall with a walker and a physical therapist's help. The following day, she walked up some fourteen stairs and was discharged that afternoon. At home, within a day or two, with the help of a cane, she was moving all over the house, making dinner, cleaning the kitty litter box, even doing a load of wash. On her first out-patient physical therapy session, a week and a half after surgery, she drove to the session. This is significant because it was her right knee, used to operate the gas and the brake, that was replaced.
What made this fast recovery possible was the insertion immediately before surgery of a Continuous Peripheral Nerve Catheter ("pain ball") and the use of a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) device.
The continuous peripheral nerve catheter is a soft, threadlike catheter that provides a continuous infusion of local anesthesia for pain relief that lasts up to 3 days. It allows pain-free movement of the knee, which makes it possible to keep the knee active right away.
The CPM moved the knee in a slow, continuous cycle from straight down to 120 degrees up. The second picture shows Carlene using the device. She was able to take it home and use it for three weeks with great benefit.