After a 30-year career as a rural letter carrier in Marengo, total knee arthroplasty helped Susan enjoy retirement without her chronic knee pain.

Read on to learn Susan’s story and how she’s doing after knee replacement surgery.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Susan’s pain started shortly after retiring. She had taken a part-time job working at a veterinary hospital and was tolerating the pain by getting injections and taking medication prescribed by her Rockford-based physicians.

“I am on Celecoxib for arthritis, and my doctors gave me Tramadol to help with the pain,” she says. “Acetaminophen always helped a little, too.”

One of her physicians, IBJI’s Justin Gent, MD, suggested that it was time to see an orthopedic surgeon. “Dr. Gent was a great help for years,” Susan says.

She knew what to expect since she’d already had total knee replacement surgery on her left knee with another surgeon. She also knew the time had come to do something about her chronic knee pain.

“For many years, it would be tolerable pain, but I was limping around near the end,” Susan says.

Initial Visit for Knee Replacement Surgery

Susan schedule online with Orthopedic Surgeon Marc Angerame, MD, fellowship-trained in adult reconstruction and hip and knee replacement. “He is so personable, and he puts me perfectly at ease,” Susan says.

She described the snapping, grinding, and cracking sounds she had been hearing from her knee, and x-rays proved a bone-on-bone diagnosis.

“He showed me just how bad it really was. It was probably past time. I had waited as long as possible because I like to stay active, and I enjoyed my part-time job.”

Recovery After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Susan underwent total knee arthroplasty on her left knee in June of 2021. She recalls having the surgery on a Thursday, and the following Monday, she started her physical therapy at the IBJI Rehab Clinic in Crystal Lake.

“They were wonderful there,” she says. “I did a lot of stair climbing, and when I came home, I didn’t use a walker, crutch, or cane at all. It was amazing.”

Movement and Exercise After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Since she has different levels in her home, Susan practiced going up and down the stairs. “I kept moving those first few weeks. I exercised a lot more, and I really worked at it. Dr. Angerame kept in touch the whole time, and his staff was wonderful.”

Susan walks her show dogs
Susan walks her show dogs regularly with no knee pain.

Life After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Susan says she was excited to get back to doing the things she loves, like dancing, gardening, and hiking.

After six weeks of knee replacement recovery, she was back to doing the Cajun two-step while listening to Linda Ronstadt. She returned to working in her garden, where she enjoys planting flowers and tending to her large property. She also raises Scottish Terrier show dogs and is back to walking them regularly.

“Dr. Angerame did a wonderful job. I was more active sooner this time than the last knee surgery.”

Hiking After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

It has been more than 12 weeks since her total knee arthroplasty, and Susan sometimes forgets she even had it. She has hiked with her husband at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, and the conservation districts in McHenry County near her home.

“You’d never even know that I had this surgery, honestly. My knee is better than ever. I’m very pleased with this.”

Recommendations for Total Knee Arthroplasty

Since her surgery, Susan has recommended Dr. Angerame to her friends. “The difference is his compassion and thoughtfulness,” she says.

“I feel really blessed that I had Dr. Angerame perform this surgery because it worked out so well. Everybody at IBJI is just very professional, likable, and down to earth. I am 74 and feel like I now have another 20 years of activity left with this new knee.”

Schedule online With an IBJI Physician

If you are experiencing knee pain, schedule a consultation to diagnose your knee problems. Let us be your guide back to a fully functioning knee.

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute is one of Illinois’ largest orthopedic group practices. We have more than 150 physicians at 100 locations throughout the greater Chicago area. We’re experts in total knee arthroplasty and other orthopedic treatments and have complete diagnostic and rehab services.

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Last updated in May 2022.

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