Post Surgery Dementia

My dad had his second knee replacement (first one a few months ago) Monday. Talked to him yesterday, seemed really groggy but ok otherwise. We only talked a few minutes. Tried to call him today, no answer, figured he was still out of got. I got a call from my sister today (I knew it wasn’t good because my sister and I don’t call each other often). She said she visited my Dad today.

He couldn’t remember where he lived, that my dog Dodger died 3 years ago, that my mom has been bed ridden for about 3 years now. Didn’t remember that I am working now and don’t live home anymore. Pretty sad because my mom has dementia also, bad enough that she cant go to the bathroom on her own anymore. The last thing my sister was told, when my dad called her was that “he had to go to a meeting about his brain”. This was earlier this afternoon before she visited.

I just pisses me off so much that when she was in the hospital she didnt even ask a doctor what was going on. I was so mad I didnt even yell at her, I was in disbelief.

I guess I just dont know what I would do if my Dad has dementia now too…

Anyone ever seen this happen before?

I really feel absolutely lost and alone…And like I just want to give up. Im tired to taking all these hits in life.

Very likely just the medication he’s on after the surgery, so hold tight, it should be okay.

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:
Very likely just the medication he’s on after the surgery, so hold tight, it should be okay.[/quote]

I don’t think so. Sounds like dementia to me. Although it’s unusual for dementia to appear suddenly. It’s usually progressive. My mother developed dementia suddenly though - it was caused by starvation. She had oesophageal cancer and slowly starved to death. Towards the end she developed dementia because her brain was starved of nutrients. Then she went blind. Then stopped talking. Then either died or the Doctor killed her with a morphine overdose - I suspect the latter.

OP - I suggest you google “vascular dementia” and have a read. Should see a doc about your father ASAP too.

I have done some preliminary research. It might be due to inflammation regarding coming off of surgery and too high of a dose of anesthetics. My dad is 64 years old so he is susceptible. Not to mention just in June or July he had another surgery for his first knee. With inflammation it might heal partially.

I don’t have time for a long post, just google post operative delirium and post operative cognitive dysfunction. Sounds more like a post op delirium, vascular dementia is way less likely. Talk to his doc.

This sounds like a post surgery delirium. One way to find out is check his CRP-levels in his blood. A higher CRP-level indicates an inflammatory reaction which most certainly can cause a state of delirium. It could also be a vitamin B12-deficiency. I see it a lot at work (clinical psychologist in hospital). It should go away in a few days with the proper treatment. And indeed, don’t underestimate the effects of full anesthesia: cognitive problems (like problems with memory and concentration) can last longer due to the anesthesia. If blood levels are normal, but dementia-like state remains, further examination is needed.

Another possibility is stroke actually.

Due to bleeding and trauma from the knee replacement blood clots and plaque breaking off of arterial walls can cause a stroke.

My dad always did poorly for a few days after major surgery, it seems that the anesthesia had a bad reaction with him. He had his bypass at age 72, man was he a looney toon after that, but he came out of it. I suppose if you’re pre-disposed to dementia, that’s another story.

Age 64 is sort of very young to fall victim to dementia. But my BIL (age 65) has had something like that for maybe 7-8 years. His wife keeps him very busy.

My dad, once he hit age 89 or so, whenever he was not in a familiar environment he would lose it. Hallucinations, talking about things that happened back in 1947… you name it. This happened when he went to the ER after a fall in his house and when he was moved to the nursing home or back and forth for hospital visits.

You really need to be talking 1:1 with his doctor and I’d recommend a social worker/ patient advocate. These people are a ton of help.