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After months and months of waiting John finally had his knee reconstruction & repair today. I didn't go to the hospital today so I haven't seen him yet but his parents called me with updates as they received them. I miss him like crazy but I didn't want to sit with his parents for 8+ hours, plus since I am not married to him yet I don't have much of a legal right to speak with the doctors anyway .
Anyway, here are the major details...
**They grafted bone where he has his high-impact fracture at the base of the knee. They also put screws in to help rebuild/support his damaged joint. That part of the surgery went well.
**He had to have 3 cadaver tendons grafted into his knee . We already knew that he had several that were ruptured/torn so that was not a surprise.
**A nerve specialist mapped his nerves. None of them were severed/torn but two major ones were completely encased in very thick scar tissue. The scar tissue was scraped away so now they're hoping the nerves will start working again.
**The bad news: the muscle tissue in his lower leg has been damaged for so long that there is a very good possibility that he'll never be able to lift/move his foot again (his foot has been numb and "dropped" since the injury occurred). The docs are going to wait and see if the newly freed nerves will stimulate his muscles to move; however, there is a strong possibility that he will need more surgeries in hopes of restoring function to his foot. Or he may very well have a "lame foot" forever....I really hope for his sake that that's not the case, but we'll see.
The surgery lasted longer than they planned - a total of 10 1/2 hours - and unfortunately that amount of time under general anethesia caused his breathing to become very depressed. So, they've admitted him to ICU instead of putting him the regular recovery area just until his breathing is stabilized. He is not tubed anymore, though, so that's promising. He's very swollen from the fluids and he is in an incredible amount of pain. Unfortunately they can't give him too much morphine until his breathing gets better since the narcotics can further slow his breathing down.
So, overall things are going well. He has a LONG road to go with physical therapy and more surgeries in the future, but I am thankful that he is at least on the path towards finally getting better. I'm going to see him tomorrow and hopefully he'll be released on Monday if he's recovering well. From there it is 4 weeks of being in a complete immobilizer from the hip down to the foot, and then many more weeks of wearing a brace and attending PT 3 times a week. It'll be challenging to say the least, but I know we can overcome this obstacle and get him better .
Thanks to everyone who kept him in your thoughts and prayers today. I will update tomorrow once I get to see him.