IN THE REHAB ZONE

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Post-Op Recovery: Time to Get Stitches Removed

I hate people who talk about “the good ole days.”  Face it; everything is better now than it used to be. Food is better, schools are better, technology is better, and the removal of stitches following surgery is clearly better.

The highlight of my second follow-up with the surgeon was going to be the removal of the surgical stitches.  I remember having stitches removed from my wrist when I was a kid, and although I don’t remember many of the details, I do remember it being like a scene out of Game Of Thrones. My dad was holding me down saying things like “Just look at me,” and “Time to be tough,” and “Stop crying, you’re embarrassing the family!”

But as I said, everything gets better. It was surprisingly easy to get stitches removed.

I had mentally prepared myself for the “stitches removal moment.” I was ready to just gnash my teeth and not let anyone know the horrific pain of having thread pulled from my skin … and then it was over.

post-op recovery stitches removal

Medical assistant Dave was already wiping down the area around the scar, and cleaning up to leave the room before I realized all the stitches were out and I could stop sucking my thumb.

Dr. Derek Ochiai entered the room, asked the routine, “How are things going?” questions and then put me through his evaluation of my hip. My passive ranges of motion were remarkable and continue to feel pain-free. This is a vast improvement from my status pre-surgery. Plus, no pain around the scars, only the remaining fluid in the thigh that continues to slowly reabsorb back into my body.

The one thing that I have started to pay attention to is that I have continued to have numbness over the front of my thigh. Often, I don’t notice it, but it is definitely there, and with everything else feeling so much better, for the first time, I’m a bit concerned about not being able to feel the front of my thigh.

And then Dr. Ochiai says those words we never want to hear, “You may have that numbness forever.  We really won’t know until much later on.”

The humbling reality — even after the best surgery performed by the best surgeon — is that you will always have a slight reminder that you are different now than you were before.

The good news is that I was now ready to start physical therapy. I was allowed to discontinue my crutches, assuming I was able to walk with a normal gait and there wasn’t any lingering or sharp pain while walking.

So long crutches. Its time for me to get moving.

Learn more about Dr. Booker’s recovery in the next installment of Bill Booker’s Fantastic Feats for a Faster Recovery.

1 thought on “Post-Op Recovery: Time to Get Stitches Removed”

  1. Hello Bill,
    I am glad to hear that your recovery is progressing well. Related to the numbness in your thigh, I can attest to things being different after surgery. My surgeon said the same thing – that the discomfort in my legs when I climb stairs would probably disappear after a year or so. The discomfort has lessened but it remains, and I have learned to ignore it as I plan to keep climbing stairs. To some extent positioning during surgery may be the culprit.
    Diane

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