My journey began back in high school when I injured my left knee playing field hockey in 1968. I tore my ACL & MCL, which were surgically repaired. Another surgery to rebuild the left knee in 1974 and subsequent meniscus tear repairs in both knees from the wear and tear over the ensuing years. I must say these repairs allowed me to continue playing 3 varsity level sports in high school-field hockey, basketball and softball. I also continued to play field hockey and lacrosse on the college level. Afterward I took up running to stay in shape jogging 5 to 6 miles a day.
Eventually my ortho told me to stop running or I would have no cartilage left in my knees. That was like a death sentence to me and I quickly started to put on weight now in my late forties. Facing retirement after serving over 23 years as a police officer in the Trenton New Jersey area, it was time to look at other career options that were not so physically demanding.
I knew knee joint replacement was in my future but because of my age I postponed having the procedure done because I was so young and was told that the devices would only last 10-15 years. I wanted the technology to improve so that they would last me the rest of my life.
It finally got to the point where I couldn't stand the pain and the physical limitations that I was suffering and started to explore my options. My sister, who is a surgical nurse, told me you want to be in the best place to have your knees taken care of; you need to look at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. She also had a fellow nurse who just recently had a hip done at Rothman and I followed up with her to get her experience. Convinced that I was going to have the best work on my knees, I made my consultation appointment this past January where I met Dr. Peter Sharkey.
I quickly gained complete trust and confidence that I was indeed in the right place and had the right surgeon for me. We set up my appointment for getting my surgery and this past March 24th. I had bilateral total knee replacements completed by Dr. Sharkey and his team. What an amazing experience!
After surgery Dr. Sharkey stopped in to see me and said to me you are tough. He said your knees were so bad, I could have put the devices in backward and they would have made a tremendous improvement. I told him how thrilled I was to have a new lease on life. I knew that once I healed there would be no more joint pain. I couldn't wait to get into physical therapy to start walking again.
I am now five months out from surgery and worked very hard to rehab my knees. Six weeks ago I began working out at the gym to build additional upper body strength on my 'off days' when I was still doing PT which really started to pay huge dividends. I am feeling like my old self again and am starting to enjoy the vigor and energy I thought I had lost so long ago.
I recently saw the commercials on TV about the patient ambassadors and looked at their stories. Each in their own right has amazing journeys! People should not delay this procedure if they are suffering with terrible knee pain. It is a new lease on life!
I was considering retiring at 62 this coming January. Not now, I am feeling that good. I am riding my trail bike again! Taking long leisurely walks on the wooded trails in my local park, allowing me to enjoy all that nature has to offer, experiencing the things I had not been able to do for years!
Rothman was the right place to have my surgery done. It is an amazing team of people who are extraordinary in their care for you at every level. From the moment you come in for your first appointment at reception, x-ray, the doctors, nurses, physician assistants, scheduling, pre-admission, pre op, anesthesia, OR staff, recovery nurses, physical therapists, post op nursing care; they are all top notch in my book!
Thank you all for what you do, I am truly grateful for all your hard work and skill. You all have made a tremendous difference in my life! There is no question in my mind, Rothman is THE BEST!