I am a new bike forum member and I introduced myself a couple of days ago. For a good bit of time, I have been a consistent guest that would read some of the threads. One topic of conversation that always impacted me or motivated me were conversations about Total Knee Replacement. This is the very beginning of my story.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 9:00 am, I underwent a Total Knee Replacement.
I am a 47 year old man that has been dealing with osteoarthritis in my right knee for many years. When I was 19, I had my ACL reconstructed. I sincerely believe that they cut me open with flint and sewed me together with sinew. Thankfully, times have changed. I have always worked around kids and athletes and stayed pretty active. On my 33rd birthday, I set up an appointment with a orthopaedic surgeon to check on my knee. It was sticking on me. He didn't seem to be too concerned, until he got the x-rays. His words were: "Man, you have really bad arthritis in your knee". I already knew that. He went on to say that my knee was so damaged that there was very little he could do for me. I needed a Total Knee Replacement, but I was too young. He asked me if I liked to jog, play tennis, hike, etc. I said yes. He said "stop". That is not something that you want to hear. So, at 33 years of age, I set a mental time frame of waiting 20 years to have surgery.
Like many of you, I have continually altered and adjusted my life. Not by what I wanted to do, but by what I physically could do. Over the years, my physical condition continued to deteriorate. It was slower at first, but during the last two years, I have noticed a significant change in the quality of my life. I was cheating myself out of time and activity with my incredible wife and children. Something had to be done. During this time, like many of you I would try my hardest to begin doing some type of exercise to improve my condition. Everything that I did just made me hurt more. About three years ago, my son and I revived my old Schwinn Super Le Tour that I had in the late 70's. When you get one bike rolling, you have to get another. He bought a used Trek and we started riding all over the place. Best of all, I didn't have much trouble at all with my knee. My wife was lonesome and we bought her a bike. We were all hooked. I might add, all of us have upgraded our bikes substantially. My son has a Cervelo S1. Punk
We have ridden a good bit and are very blessed to live in a region that is a great place to ride both road bikes and mountain bikes. The bottom line though was when our family visited Disney World last summer and I couldn't hang with everybody and had to go back to the motel. It really made me sad. There was no way that I could wait an additional 7 years to have a knee replacement. If I did, what would be left? After reading a few threads on this forum and getting to know a little about a local surgeon, I bit the bullet and made an appointment. There were no surprises. He told me that I had a really bad knee. He encouraged me to have the surgery within a 2 year period.
As we all know, I did have the surgery and everything seems to be going great. I am living in my CPM machine and walking as much as I can. For proof, I will try to attach pics. I don't have this whole image size thing down. One pic is of my incision when we were changing the bandages yesterday. The second pic is me standing by my Specialized Roubaix outside of my garage this afternoon. It won't be long.