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A GRATEFUL PATIENT
I have always had a love for sports. Growing up you could always find me outside shooting baskets or at the gym playing basketball, and I also ran track. As I got older I stayed active, running, hiking, and riding my bike. You never know how these activities will affect your joints as you get older and I don’t know if I can blame my wear and tear from being active, but I do know I was not expecting I would be dealing with knee pain in my 30’s. However, that is exactly what happened.
A simple motion, from squatting to standing, most days would have been routine. Not that day. I had been out washing my car and knew the minute it happened. The x-rays that followed would show that I had torn cartilage and would need surgery within the next five years. Since the pain was not constant, I put up with it, but I stopped playing any basketball or running except for very short periods. In 2010, an attempt was made to repair the damage through minor surgery. Which brings me to the real story I want to share.
For the next 7 years I dealt with chronic knee pain. I kept waiting for my knee to heel and the pain to stop, but while I was waiting, I found many important parts of my life changing. I had to stop all hiking and going for walks. If I did walk, I could only walk a couple hundred yards before I would have to sit down. I started having hip pain and my uninjured knee also began to hurt. Back in 2010 I was told that I would likely need a knee replacement in the 5 years, but like many people I talked to, I found many excuses for putting it off. I now look back at the last 7 years, I wish I had made the decision to have fixed my knee sooner.
The pre-surgery x-ray revealed that I had no cartilage providing cushion for the knee joint, simply put, it was bone-on-bone. Orthopaedic Surgeon, Randolph Peterson, MD, confirmed the need for surgery and in December 2016, I underwent bilateral total knee replacement.
It has been ten months since surgery and the muscles are still rebuilding, but I am pain free and back to doing activities that I enjoy. The pain in my hip and other knee, which hurt because I was favoring the knee that needed surgery, has gone away as well. Recently I was back to hiking in the mountains and climbing around stream banks without the fear that my knee would give out. I continue riding my bike and I now can go for long walks again.
The decision to have the knee surgery was a good one, and my decision to have Dr. Peterson perform the surgery here in Weiser at Weiser Memorial Hospital turned out to be a wonderful decision. It was a great experience from start to finish. For any of you reading this that have not used the hospital services, or may think that a small town hospital is “Hokey,” I can assure you it is as professional as you will find anywhere. From the very start of my decision to have surgery I had all of my pre-surgery questions answered, including many I hadn’t thought to ask. Dr. Peterson did an amazing job on my knee and has a very personable bedside manner. Also, I was able to rehab here and didn’t have to drive out of town for my follow-up appointments.
So, if you are reading this story and you are living with knee pain, don’t waste years of not doing what you enjoy because of pain. Once it is done, my experience says you will likely look back and wish you’d made the decision sooner.
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