Donald Thorn Patient Story – Knee Replacement

After more than 60 years of intermittent knee pain, Donald had a total knee replacement that changed his life.
December 18, 2019 | 4 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

"Back in the mid-50s, when I was about 10 years old, I ran into a brick wall at school and injured my knee. Nothing was done about it. My knee hurt to some degree throughout my life, but the pain got worse as I got older. I always liked to ride my bike for exercise, and I could ride for hours with minimal pain. However, activities like hiking or standing were very painful. Sometimes my knee would lock up. I couldn’t completely straighten my leg for years. The pain progressed until it was constantly waking me up at night. 

I needed to find a solution.

I talked to a few men who had total knee replacement surgery. I also did some research on the internet. I attended a pre-surgery class at the local hospital and started doing more quad exercises. My doctor and I decided that knee replacement was a good option for me.” Not all patients are candidates for this product and/or procedure. Only a medical professional can determine the treatment appropriate for your specific condition.

“On December 20, I had a total knee replacement. I went in on Thursday morning and came home late Friday afternoon. I decided to have a spinal anesthesia, so I was awake part of the time and actually talked to the anesthesiologist for a while during the surgery.”

“The day after surgery (Friday), the arthritis pain was gone, but it was replaced with soreness and stiffness from the surgery. But, I found that to be easy to deal with. By Saturday, I could go up and down to the basement, as my doctor instructed… up with the good leg, down with the bad leg. I used a walker for several days and started my exercises after a week.” It’s important to follow your doctor’s orders and work hard in the weeks and months following joint replacement surgery to complete your physical therapy.

“After 8 weeks, I got on my bicycle and rode back and forth on my street. All the while, I continued the exercises at home or at my recreational center. By spring, I was riding as much as 25 miles at a time. 

It just got better every day!

We even took a trip to Wisconsin in early June… we took the bikes and rode the trails for several days. The knee replacement made such a difference… no more pain! I can walk as much as I like.” Appropriate post-operative activities and pain will differ from patient to patient. Results are not necessarily typical, indicative, or representative of all recipient patients.  Results will vary due to health, weight, activity and other variables.

“I did physical therapy for about six weeks and continued exercises at home. After two weeks, I no longer needed pain medication. It’s a little hard to explain… you’re a bit sore after physical therapy, but the arthritis pain was gone. Gradually, the exercises allowed me to completely straighten and bend my knee to 128 degrees. Even after 10 months, I still stretch my new knee every day."

Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risks of infection, implant wear, loosening, breakage or failure, any of which can necessitate additional surgery or treatment.

"I love it and tell people with knee problems to do it. I wish I had it done much earlier."
Please let us know how useful this article was to you

Thank you for rating this article.