A Knee Replacement & The Road To Recovery

DavidFL

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As some of you may know I recently went in for a knee replacement.

The left knee has been troubling me for quite a while now & it really packed up when I was in Laos earlier this year. I was alone, stuck in Xam Neua for 4 days, unable to walk on two legs & was eventually able to make an escape out of Laos+ that I wrote up here

Escaping From Xam Neua & Laos.

My original plan had been to hold off until the end of the year, until after I had renewed my GTR insurance in October, but the knee really did start to cause a lot of trouble such that I’ve been struggling physically most of the year. And it does tend to drag your down mentally then as well I can tell you. So it was time to bite the bullet & commit to Dr Nantawit & get the op done a.s.a.p.

I double checked with the GTR Insurance policy & yes, they confirmed they would pay 90% of the bill. The quote I had from Dr Nantawit that was for about 250,000 baht depending on how many days in hospital & how straight forward the op was. 230-270,000 baht would be the price range.

Hospitals (Ram, Lanna, Sriphat) were discussed with Nantawit & he said he could do the op in any hospital, but perhaps Sriphat was the most convenient. We agreed on Sriphat to keep the insurance company from being fleeced by Ram.
Part of the problem that continued high medical bills is that they may influence the insurance company from not renewing your policy at a later date & dropping you in the poo getting new insurance if you are over 60. I am 64 now & don’t wish to be kicked out & seeking new health insurance coverage at my age.

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At Sriphat the procedure was for a 100,000 baht cash deposit on check in. Every 3 days the hospital provided a financial statement on the bill status.
The op took 2.5 hours & after only 2 days I found I was actually able to stand & take a few steps unaided, much to the dismay of the hospital staff. Please use the walker for up to 6 weeks was their general advice.
After 6 nights in hospital I was “mobile” enough to be discharged with a walker.

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For the record the hospital bill was 251,000 baht.
The knee cost 85,000 baht.
The doctor’s fee was 35,000 baht = extremely generous I thought.
The balance was made up of hospital & medical fees.
The private room at Sriphat cost 2,400 baht a night.
On check out, the final bill was faxed through to the insurance company & accepted. The hospital refunded 81,000 baht of my 100,000 baht cash deposit.. My share of the bill = 19,000 baht = I am a very happy customer in the GTR group insurance policy.

GT Rider Motorcycle / Health Insurance

I am having daily therapy at Lanna hospital. I opted for Lanna rather than Sriphat because of the greater ease of access.

10 days later the stitches+ are out.
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2 weeks down the road I am walking around unaided, apart from the leg brace, + riding the automatic scooter.
In another 10 days I reckon I will be on the Vstrom.

See you all back on the road, sooner than later.
 
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canthai

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Glad to hear the recovery is going well. My right knee - aptly called my "Sportster Knee" from owning a magneto, kick only Ironhead, has been causing me grief too. Hope mine goes as well as yours if I ever get around to fixing it !
 

richardgore

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Hi David,
It looks like you had the full works there!

Last July I went in for a unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (much less invasive that yours I think) on the left knee. Basically a horse riding accident many years ago, allied with lots of cycling when I was younger, too much missionary position, and old age. It all went well and I was up and about in no time (2-3 weeks without crutch or stick). I then buggered it up by coming off a bike in Laos about 8 weeks later (well, the surgeon said I could). Snapped the PCL, which put stress on the other knee. Hey presto, had the right knee done 4 weeks ago. All going well and I've got a trip planned in February around Vietnam and Myanmar so need to get completely fit (and lose some of the weight I added whilst limping around for the last year). Those physio girls are cracking!

So two new knees, out of pain (mostly) for the first time in 3/4 years and looking forward to getting back on a bike (after I thought I'd never ride again.

Hope you're up to 100% (or as near as possible ) soon as I need more info on Mandalay and you're the man to provide it!

Whilst I'm writing, I was in CNX in February (on a twist & go) with a mate who did the MHS loop and wanted a t-shirt or sweat shirt but couldn't get one at Mr Mechanic. Can I order one from you still?
 

ZCM

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So i go to visit David when he was in the hospital.
I take him in some fudge that friends had brought over from Scotland.
I tell him I need to put it in the fridge in his room.
He tells me "ok, but watch out for the knee cap"
Me: "huh..?"
David: "My kneecap. Its in the fridge".
Me: (curiosity got the cat, so goes and looks at the bag in the fridge..and it really is David's kneecap...!!
So i just place the fudge at the opposite end of the kneecap bag and go to sit next to David for a chat).
At least there would be no threat of someone stealing his fudge! HAHA!
 

DavidFL

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6 weeks out & I've done away with the full leg brace & am able to ride, get on / off the Vstrom ok.

On the Samoeng Loop today
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The initial problem riding the Vstrom has been dismounting from the bike on the left hand side, standing on the left leg fully loaded, pivoting & the turning to walk away from the bike. This however is now all under control & I'm a happy man again.
The initial recovery seemed to be a bit of a struggle after awhile, but then I got active on the recumbent exercise bike at home, plus start walking slowly "all the aisles in Makro / Tesco Lotus / Central on alternate days; and that really did bring on some dramatic progress strengthening up the muscles & reducing the stiffness in the leg = no pain no gain.


Now a couple of people have asked me about the doctor.
It was Dr Nantawit Sugandhavesa
Nantawit Sugandhavesa, M.D. - Department of Orthopidic, Faculty of Medicine, CMU.

Recommended to me by Dr Sudhee, he has a clinic on Mahidol road, the airport - Don Chan super highway R1141.
GPS: N18.76545 E98.99045
The clinic is on the inside of the super, 150 metres after the Esso petrol station.
The Esso is 950 metres from the airport plaza intersection.

The clinic entrance look a bit like somebody's front yard & / or a coffee shop.
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The hours of business
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The actual clinic
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The good doctor's credentials
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MOTOFSHR

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Hi David, came across your post & thought I'd chime in,
I had my left replaced back in March, just before surgery I went shopping (online) for new ride, thinking it would be a great motivation for making it thru all the exercise rehab ect... found a great price on a 650 V-strom...only I live about 3000K miles from the dealership...turns out an ole riding buddy lives just a few clicks away.. so I bought the bike,he rode it home..& in June I flew out and took the scenic route home.... anyway I was having some issues with the dismount, I ended up swinging off to the right (like the motorcops do here in the states)..
I'm 6 months out now and the knee is doing much better, currently planning to do some rental riding in north Vietnam this November... I see you ride a V-strom as well......so we have a couple things in common... Good luck with the new knee!
 

DavidFL

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Hi David, came across your post & thought I'd chime in,
I had my left replaced back in March, just before surgery I went shopping (online) for new ride, thinking it would be a great motivation for making it thru all the exercise rehab ect... found a great price on a 650 V-strom...only I live about 3000K miles from the dealership...turns out an ole riding buddy lives just a few clicks away.. so I bought the bike,he rode it home..& in June I flew out and took the scenic route home.... anyway I was having some issues with the dismount, I ended up swinging off to the right (like the motorcops do here in the states)..
I'm 6 months out now and the knee is doing much better, currently planning to do some rental riding in north Vietnam this November... I see you ride a V-strom as well......so we have a couple things in common... Good luck with the new knee!

Thanks for the response. Looks like I'm on good company. I'm happy now at 6 weeks riding the Vstrom