Cable Removal Surgery

Today was my third surgery in 13 months to remove the cerclage cable placed around my right femur after my hip replacement on that side. It has done its job of holding my femur together while the bone knitted and formed around the stem of the implant. But, it has caused me a lot of pain and disability for these 13 months and it became very clear it had to go. 

Here’s the email I sent out this afternoon (I was actually able to comfortably sit in my chair at my computer and do it all by myself!):

Hello All!


I am so happy to report a quick, successful, pain free surgery and I was home by 9:30! We couldn’t believe how fast it all went, and easy, compared to hip replacements.


I went in at 7:00 and was out by 7:20. By 8:00 I was conscious and by 8:15 clear. They had me dressed and out the door by 9:00. Unbelievable!
I’m taking it easy at home, but feel well enough and can actually sit to write this email, so thought I’d do it myself. This also works well for Scott :-). 
You cannot believe what a nasty thing I’ve had around my femur for the last 13 months! No wonder I was having so much trouble and pain. It is large, with square rough edges. The end where they cut it after cinching it tight post-hip replacement (imagine a metal zip tie) is very sharp and frayed. If you aren’t careful while handling it, it can cut your finger. And that was rubbing on my soft tissue all this time! I started to cry when I touched it and felt how sharp and rough and bulky it is. I attached photos so you can see it. Scott, thought to add the quarter to show the size. I took one close-up of that sharp, frayed end. I’m so glad I decided to have this surgery to get that nasty thing out of there!

Scott put down a quarter to show the size.
It looks like something I’d have fixed fence with on the ranch!
This was the connector my leg muscles were snapping over.
There isn’t a smooth edge on the whole beastly thing!
Close-up of the connector and the sharp, frayed end where they cut off the excess cable.
This was sticking into the muscles of my outer thigh and I’m sure was causing most of my pain! It is so sharp that you can cut yourself just touching it if you aren’t careful.


I don’t have pain, though I am taking 1/2 a Tramadol every 4 hours to make sure I don’t get any when the blocks wear off… The really cool thing is that my muscles seem to be unaffected. I can walk, touch the floor, sit, bend my knees, reach my toes in a chair–all the things which are impossible for awhile after a replacement. I attached a photo of me doing tree even, on the surgical leg!

Photo was taken at noon, 5 hours after surgery and I’m standing on the surgical leg!


I came home with a new bandage (there’s a pic of that too). It comes with a battery/suction device that draws fluid out of the wound, so there is less chance of infection and improved healing. the surgeon explained that when he goes into the same incision a second time, there is greater risk and that this bandage system seems to ameliorate that significantly. The bummer is that I have to have this attached to me for the next two weeks! That means no pants and it’s getting too cold outdoors to be without them. I’m also not sure how I’m going to shower… May have to get creative with that! But, if it keeps me from getting an infection, I’m all for it in spite of the inconvenience. 

The Prevena bandage and wound suction system. Very cool!
Its main purpose is to remove fluids and prevent infection.
Attached to a battery pack in the black case.
This will be my little friend for the next two weeks…
I include this for my fellow hipsters in case you want to ask your surgeon about it. 
Here’s the link:
https://www.acelity.com/products/prevena-incision-management-system


My sense is when that bandage comes off, I’ll be doing awesome. I’m already noticing that the snap is gone when I flex my muscles. It is now fluid and easy like the other side. I also discovered that I’m already standing more on that leg than I have been. I usually favor it and list to port when standing. I have had to consciously remind myself to stand on both legs, but already that is changing! Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do?


Thanks to all of you for reaching out and keeping me in your prayers and thoughts. I always feel swaddled in all your love when I go in for a surgery. I dearly hope this is my last.


Much Love and Gratitude,
Rhonda

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *