After enduring over 10 years of knee pain and attempting to alleviate the pain with cortisone shots and pain pills, Sharon’s knee was bone on bone, and it was time to consider knee replacement options.
Sharon was hesitant about surgery and its impact on her everyday life. While her husband had received a successful knee replacement a few years earlier, her sister, who had undergone knee replacement surgery the year prior, developed a terrible infection a month after surgery that required the surgeon to reopen the wound which was not at all reassuring to Sharon.
Despite Sharon’s reservations, she was willing to learn more about her options. She contacted orthopedic surgeon James Page, MD, at El Camino Health’s Mountain View Hospital, who had conducted her husband’s total knee replacement. After meeting with Dr. Page, she left the consultation admiring his approach to this surgery and his patients.
“I was also very impressed by the Joint Replacement Certification and the very low infection rate at El Camino,” Sharon recalls. “All of that reaffirmed my decision to move forward with the knee replacement with Dr. Page as my surgeon at El Camino Health.”
Once her surgery was scheduled, Sharon attended the Joint Replacement class taught by the Orthopedic Coordinator at El Camino Health, which helps set expectations before and after surgery and provides exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the knee even before surgery. The class also provided great pre-surgery reminders such as washing the bedsheets and towels, stocking up the home with easy-to-prepare foods, paying bills and more, all to make the recovery process easier for patients.
“A week before the surgery, my pre-op appointment with Dr. Page went very well, as did my meeting with the anesthesiologist,” Sharon said. “Every step of the way reinforced to me that the hospital takes a very cautious approach toward preventative measures, which was far more comprehensive than what was provided to my sister.”
Sharon awoke from surgery in a private room with a walker. She was encouraged to be up and walking the day-of surgery as this can jumpstart the healing process. This isn’t a pain-free process, but the pain management approach was very effective. El Camino Health requires that patients meet a specific discharge criteria like: walking for 75 feet, getting in and out of bed, managing the bathroom and navigating stairs. After quickly meeting these benchmarks, Sharon returned home the day after her surgery.
“The physical therapy and occupational therapy team coached me through using and relying on my new knee,” says Sharon. “After a decade of avoiding weight-bearing on that leg because of the pain it was definitely something I had to re-learn.”
Sharon is already walking independently and driving. She adheres to an exercise regime recommended by Dr. Page and her physical therapist. Sharon saw Dr. Page for her 6-week post-op appointment and has improved her knee flexibility to 120 degrees. It’s still early in the healing process of building strength and increasing flexibility, but Sharon is happy with her new knee. She said, “I will be back in the next 1-2 years to replace my other knee. Overall, I rate my knee replacement experience as 5 stars across the board.”