All in all, my one-year post-op knee surgery appointment went well.
They measured the angles on my knees and they are the exact same! This is a huge win. Also, my bone is completely healed, which is amazing. The x-ray showed nice, solid bone and it looks really awesome. My surgeon is happy with my weight loss and the fact that I quit smoking. He called me one of his "success stories," which I was tickled about. I really respect this surgeon and so his word means a lot to me.
Really the only down-side is that I do have some pain still from the hardware. I have a steel plate in my knee along with some long screws. Most of the pain comes from the plate. He said that most people do not get the hardware removed, but some do, especially if it's causing pain. Taking it out would involve new bone growing in where the hardware once was.
Now, the idea of them removing the hardware is not something I want to go through and I'm doing everything I can to avoid it. I've been on the recumbent bike (13 mins a day for two days now). I'm starting off slow and steady so that it's something that I can build on and really build up the strength in my knee. My surgeon told me that the more that I build up the muscle in my leg, the more it will ease my pain.
I'm really banking on not having another surgery... (Well, I know eventually I will, but I want to avoid this hardware-removal if I can). The recovery would involve months of partial-weight-bearing and that just is something I want to avoid completely if I can.
The anti-depressant / anti-anxiety that I take (Viibryd) basically forbids me from taking any kind of NSAID or Tramadol. That leaves the oxycodone, which is what I've been taking. He wants me off of that eventually, which is the main reason for him suggesting removing the hardware... so that I'm not in the kind of pain where I have to take it. He is glad that I'm only taking about 15 mg per day, down from about 60, but we both want to get to the point where I don't need it anymore. Extra-strength Tylenol is about the only thing I'm left with, so I'm doing my best to build up my muscles to lessen the pain.
I've been staying low-carb.... but I wanted to give you guys an update!
Thanks for reading and thanks to Oct and Judith for checking in on me!