Now retired after a 30-year career as a rural letter carrier in Marengo, Susan had definitely put a lot of miles on her knees. The pain started for her 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.”
Total Knee Replacement Surgery
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.
Since she’d already had total knee replacement surgery on her left knee with another surgeon, she knew what to expect. She also knew the time had come to do something about her chronic knee pain. “For many years, it would be tolerable pain but near the end I was limping around,” Susan says.
Initial Visit for Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Susan scheduled an appointment with Orthopedic Surgeon Marc Angerame, MD, fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and hip and knee replacement. “He is so personable and he put 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 I possibly could because I like to stay active and I enjoyed my part-time job.”
Recovery after Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Susan underwent total knee replacement surgery for 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 a lot. “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.”
Life After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Susan says she was excited to get back to doing the things she loves – dancing, gardening and hiking. After six weeks of recovery, she was back to doing the Cajun two-step while listening to Linda Ronstadt, and 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 now been more than 12 weeks since her total knee replacement surgery, and Susan sometimes forgets she even had it. She has hiked with her husband at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan as well as 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 Replacement Surgery
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, likeable, and down to earth. I am 74 and feel like I now have another 20 years of activity left with this new knee.”
Request an Appointment 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. Learn more about total knee replacement surgery at IBJI.
*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.