Total Knee Replacement: Honore’s Story
HONORE: My name is Honore Ashcraft and I’m 75 years old. I am a patient of Dr. Scott Wingerter, orthopedic surgeon, at Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics.
The knee pain I had prior to knee replacement surgery came in small to big doses. I started off with not too much pain, then eventually had more and more. Then the injections didn’t work, and then I eventually tried a brace. I was not very happy with that brace and my inability to go up and down stairs, etc.
HONORE: I already had experience with Dr. Wingerter and his remarkable orthopedic surgery because I had hip replacement surgery six months prior to the knee replacement.
DR. WINGERTER: Honore came to me complaining of knee pain after she previously had hip pain and hip replacement. Her knee pain seemed to possibly be related to a soft tissue injury—even a meniscus tear—but at the time of the MRI, she was found to have advanced arthritis within the knee.
DR. WINGERTER: Osteoarthritis within the knee—as well as in our other major joints—is essentially a loss of cartilage. It is inflammation of the joints due to loss of cartilage within the knee. Advanced osteoarthritis is when we have complete loss of cartilage and the bone is rubbing against bone.
DR. WINGERTER: Physical therapy is extremely important after knee replacement. In the early period right after surgery we really have to focus on range of motion because we are worried about scar tissue forming and possibly getting stiffness in the knee. If we are able to get through this early period with good therapy and good range of motion, we expect an excellent return of activity.
HONORE: Three months later after my surgery I decided that it was time again to go visit my son out in San Francisco. He lives on Potrero Hill, which is one of the highest hills in San Francisco, and I used to say to him, “I don’t know how much longer I can be coming here to visit you because these hills are difficult—the stairs leading to your unit are difficult—I just don’t know how long I can do this.”
This time, though, when I was there just recently, I was able to do the hills—I was able to do the stairs and my son said, “Mom, you’re really moving along!” And I was so pleased because it even elevated my mood! I could tell that I was vigorous—that I was happy—and some people even asked, “What happened to you?” And my response was, “What happened to me was I had knee surgery.” And they said, “Well, you look a lot younger.” That was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received…Hallelujah!