THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
Over a period of a few years, Kathy Dildine began to experience increasing right knee pain with activity. In hopes of avoiding a knee replacement, Kathy made an appointment with OrthoIndy cartilage restoration specialist, Dr. Jack Farr.
Dr. Farr recommended Kathy complete physical therapy. Although it brought some relief initially, Kathy eventually began having issues climbing stairs, gardening, bicycle riding and even simply walking in the woods.
Degenerative osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee or hip. It is a degenerative wear and tear type of arthritis where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away over time, leaving the bone exposed.
Cartilage has no nerve endings, but bone does, and the nerve endings are exposed as the cartilage wears away. As the arthritis progresses, bone begins rubbing on bone, causing progressively worsening pain over time. This process can occur over months to years.
Again, Kathy returned to Dr. Farr. He only had one recommendation for her, knee replacement surgery. He then referred her to Dr. Eric Monesmith, a total joint replacement specialist at OrthoIndy.
“I found myself avoiding activities like walking and bike riding. Before I made plans, I considered how many steps and how much walking because I knew the pain would limit me,” said Kathy. “With too many flights of steps my knee would just quit working, often times giving out.”
Total knee replacement surgery
Kathy underwent total joint replacement soon after. “Kathy had tried all the non-operative therapies for arthritis, and was having activity and lifestyle limiting pain. Basically, her quality of life had diminished significantly. At this point, a total knee replacement was her best option to help her regain a good quality of life,” said Dr. Monesmith.
Total knee replacement surgery involves removing the diseased portion of the knee joint and resurfacing the ends of the bones with the new prosthesis.
“Dr. Monesmith was direct, informative and personable. I also think he pushes and encourages patients to know their rehab. He actually demonstrated the exercises he wanted me to do.”
Total knee replacement recovery
Now, Kathy is back to her active lifestyle. Last summer she traveled to Europe with her sister and had no problem walking through cities and various tours. She also hiked the Tatra mountains in Slovakia and her knee never held her back. She also walked the 2018 500 Festival Indianapolis Mini Marathon.
“Kathy is a great example of how well a total knee can work for an individual who is motivated and purposeful about their rehab,” said Dr. Monesmith. “Many people don’t realize how weak their arthritic leg becomes and how important it is after surgery to work diligently regaining muscle strength. Kathy has worked hard and is now able to enjoy an active and enjoyable lifestyle.”
A majority of patients resume most activities by six-weeks after surgery. Total knee replacement recovery can be difficult at first, but after returning home and completing physical therapy, most patients enjoy their new knee and resume a more active lifestyle.
Don’t let joint pain stop you from living an active life. To make an appointment with Dr. Monesmith please call 317.884.5166 or learn more about total joint replacement at OrthoIndy.