Over a period of a few years, Ed Miles began to experience increasing left knee pain with exercise and repetitive motion.
Although conservative treatment such as physical therapy and taking anti-inflammatories brought some relief initially, Ed had to curtail his exercise regimen and decided to make an appointment with Raleigh Orthopaedic total joint replacement specialist, Dr. Tyler Watters.
Degenerative osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee or hip. It is a degenerative wear and tear type of arthritis where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away over time, leaving the bone exposed.
Cartilage has no nerve endings, but bone does, and the nerve endings are exposed as the cartilage wears away. As the arthritis progresses, bone begins rubbing on bone, causing progressively worsening pain over time. This process can occur over months to years.
“I was finally at the point where I was avoiding activities I love to do. I have been an avid cyclist my entire life and was unable to even ride our Peloton bike or walk our golden retriever around the block,” said Ed.
Total knee replacement surgery
Ed underwent outpatient total knee replacement soon after. “Ed had tried all the non-operative therapies for arthritis, and was having activity and lifestyle limiting pain. Basically, his quality of life had diminished significantly. At this point, a total knee replacement was his best option to help him regain a good quality of life,” said Dr. Watters.
Total Knee Replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. The procedure involves resurfacing the ends of the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replacing with an artificial joint made of smooth metal and plastic. Advances in technology, as well as pain management and anesthesia advancement have made total joint replacements much safer and transition to surgeries being performed in an outpatient setting.
Outpatient joint replacement, or same-day joint replacement, is exactly the same as traditional joint replacement but the patient is allowed to go home in the first 24 hours after the surgery. The total joint replacement team at Raleigh Orthopaedic performs knee replacements and hip replacements at the Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center, with the goal to make patients better, faster, with less disruption to their life.
There are many benefits to outpatient joint replacement including a lower risk of hospital infects due to a shorter stay and better outcomes for patients as they recover at home, in their own space where they are most comfortable.
Dr. Watters explains, “By going home the same day, you are really committing to using your new knee immediately. The result is that you start walking and performing your daily activities sooner than if you were to stay in the hospital. With the right preparation you will start to see the results and become more confident in your knee.”
Your surgeon can discuss with you whether you are a candidate for same-day or outpatient joint replacement. Regardless of approach, patients are in good hands with the total joint team at Raleigh Orthopaedic. Our physicians perform more than 2,000 total joint replacements annually.
Total knee replacement recovery
Ed went home the same day of surgery and was able to walk right into his house when he got home. He did his exercises regularly, went to his physical therapy appointments and listen to Dr. Watters’ recommendation.
“Dr. Watters was very clear about the importance of post-surgical rehab. His advice, coupled with my own over-achieving personality, gave me the drive to succeed. To be clear, the PT [Physical Therapy] was tough, particularly those first couple weeks. But I was determined to get back to living.”
“As a joint replacement surgeon, my focus is usually on returning patients to routine activities of daily living. It’s been a pleasure to work with Ed, and watch him achieve his goals,” said Dr. Watters.
Now, Ed is back to his active lifestyle. In July 2019, only four months after surgery, he and his partner completed a hiking and culinary tour through Tuscany, Italy. He walked an average of eight to ten miles a day and had no problem walking through the city on various tours. He hiked approximately fifty miles, totally pain-free and his knee never held him back. He is also back on his bicycle and riding regularly.
Looking back on his progress now compared to life pre-surgery he states, “I had no idea how much my life was being constrained by my bad knee. Dr. Watters has literally given me back my life.”
Many patients get back to activities such as walking for exercise, swimming, riding a bike and golfing three to six weeks after knee replacement surgery. Many knee replacements function well for 15 years or more, even in young active patients.
To make an appointment with Dr. Watters please call 919.781.5600 or learn more about total joint replacement at Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic.
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