More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. Arthritis in the knee is especially common and can be extremely painful. Chris Deis had been living with knee pain from arthritis in both of his knees since he was 40 years old.
He ignored seeking treatment because he loved living an active lifestyle, which included volleyball and distance running; both activities that can be strenuous on the knee joint.
But the pain became relentless day and night. Chris had become bow-legged and walked with a limp. Over time, pain killers stopped providing any relief, which caused his knees to swell and become stiff. Finally, when he was 61, he decided enough was enough.
“The pain in my knees limited my ability to walk for any distance or remain standing for any length of time. Exercising was difficult to perform and the only sustained exercise I could do was cycling. The lack of activity caused my legs to weaken, making daily living even more difficult,” said Chris.
Even simple daily tasks became challenging. “Remaining seated for long periods at a desk or in the car was painful and caused stiffness in my knees, making it difficult to rise quickly. My sleep was often restless due to the pain in my knees, which affected my daily living.”
Chris decided to make an appointment with OrthoIndy total joint specialist, Dr. Chris Pomeroy.
“As an Indianapolis resident for over 30 years, I was familiar with OrthoIndy, but I also have personal reasons why I chose OrthoIndy over other health care providers,” said Chris. “While riding the Hilly Hundred about 10 years ago one of my daughters suffered a bad cycling wreck and had to have emergency surgery to repair a broken wrist, a broken elbow and a broken shoulder, which was performed at OrthoIndy. She had an excellent surgeon and has made a full recovery from her operation.”
The diagnosis-total knee replacement surgery
After an X-ray, it was clear Chris had worn away most of the cartilage in his knees and his bones were rubbing against one another. There is no cure for knee arthritis; however, there are a number of treatment options that can relieve pain.
Typically, all treatment for arthritic symptoms will initially start with nonsurgical treatment options such as physical therapy, shoe inserts, Corticosteroid injections or medication.
Unfortunately, Chris’ arthritis was so advanced that surgery was his only option. He would need a bilateral total knee replacement to remain active.
“When I met Dr. Pomeroy for a consultation we seemed to hit it off right away, and I knew he was someone I could communicate well with and I was confident in his ability to get me through the surgery successfully,” said Chris. “Since I was fortunate to be in overall good health, I chose to have both knees replaced at the same time. Dr. Pomeroy was supportive of my choice.”
During a total knee replacement your total joint specialist will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and replace it with new metal or plastic joint surfaces. Advances in technology have made this procedure much safer, reliable and recovery has become much easier.
“Chris had attempted and failed multiple conservative treatment options. Once his knee pain reached a level to affect his quality of life, knee replacement surgery was discussed as a definitive treatment option,” said Dr. Pomeroy. “Chris made the decision to proceed with surgery after we had a long discussion regarding the risks and benefits. It was clear he wanted to be more active and his knees were not allowing him to do this, we thought knee replacement surgery would be his best option.”
Total knee replacement recovery
After surgery, Chris is pain free. His legs are straight and his limp is gone. He no longer needs over the counter pain medication to sleep and he has returned to his active lifestyle. In fact, Chris was even able to dance with his daughter at her wedding without any pain, a moment he treasures.
For now on, there is no slowing Chris down. In June 2018 Chris and his wife plan to participate in the Greater Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), which is a bicycle tour that lasts 7 days and covers distances of approximately 50 miles a day on their tandem. They also plan to visit Chris’ daughter who lives in Colorado and do some mountain hiking.
“In retrospect, I should have had this surgery done 10 years earlier, but I was afraid of the surgery and unsure of what my outcome would be. If it was not for the urging of friends and family to “get it fixed” I would probably still be suffering today. Now I’m awfully glad that I did have it done, and I’m very grateful to Dr. Pomeroy and the professionals at OrthoIndy who made my experience a good one,” said Chris.
Don’t let joint pain stop you from living an active life. To make an appointment with Dr. Pomeroy please call 317.802.2868 or learn more about total joint replacement at OrthoIndy.
Do you know someone who is putting of a joint replacement? Send them an e-card to tell them to stop living in pain and learn more about OrthoIndy’s total joint program.