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Real Patient: Repetitive Use Knee Injury


I first started noting something with my knee when I was still in the military. And they did the three point, first of all before I retired. And then the doctor said eventually I needed a knee replacement. This was in the year 2000.

And then I procrastinated until now because of the hard, painful that it is. And the long time that it takes, it’s been like three months. So, I said no I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to do it, but eventually I wanted a better quality of life so I went ahead and did it.

I first started noticing it like 20 years ago before I retire. And they did the scope. And then I started noticing that I was limping. I was limping. I couldn’t stand straight and I couldn’t walk straight. Then after they did the scope, the doctor said that I would eventually need a knee replacement. After I retire, they gave me disability for the knees, and they say you need to do a knee replacement.

But after I heard everybody say how painful the, and long-term that was, I didn’t want to do it. ‘Cause I was working, I was going to school. So, but now, last year I notice that there was pain 24/7.

So when I came to the base and talked to doctor… [inaudible]… he said, “Carmen, there’s nothing else that we can do except you need to decide when you’re going to do your, your operation.” So it took me another year and then finally I did the surgery and I’m very happy about it.

I ran a lot and I did a lot of calisthenics and exercises. So that probably made it, that happened, there was no injury, there was no accident. I was in pain 24/7. I used to come to the doctor. They did shots and everything, but nothing worked because he said, “You’re so advanced, Carmen, that not even the painkillers…” Even though I didn’t want to take them, but not even that would have helped.

So, my main getting into age that I want to see my grandkids graduate, get married, you know, be able to do that. I won’t be able to do it if I’m in a wheelchair. Which is what I was, the path that I was going if I didn’t do the surgery. It was one of the worst cases that he had seen.

So he said you will never be 100 percent like a person, you know, like my… [inaudible]… and I will probably be like 95, 100, instead of 115. Which is, you know, the measurement. But he said at least you don’t have the pain. And I’m so happy that I don’t have that pain anymore.

The physical therapy starts three days after you do your surgery. A person comes to your house and do one hour therapy everyday. Then after the two weeks you go to a place. Walking, they do massage and they do, they put you on the treadmill to learn how to walk again. It’s very intense. And they do, you know, they do it like exercises and massaging. And then after that my knee was so bad that they did manipulation. Which is you go back to the hospital and the doctor does it. You go under.

The positive attitude of the patient is so important because if you go into the surgery thinking, oh well, it’s going to be painful, I’m not going to be able to do it. It’s not. My, my thought was like, when I do this I’m going to be able to walk, I’m going to be able to do things, I’m going to be able to work in my garden. And that gives me that stride that I need to be able to continue with my therapy. Even if it’s painful, I know it’s going to be just for a little bit. It’s going to be for my good, not for anybody else’s. So, I’m so happy. Every time that I go in there they say, “Carmen, you have such a good attitude.” And I say, “Yeah, because I want to walk.”

So, the pain was so bad that, you know, it was, it was, I don’t know why I waited that long. If I had known that it was going to be like this, I would have done it a long time ago. The pain is like at almost zero now.

I don’t have no pain except when I, like I started working last week. And my work… [inaudible]… for me to be on my feet for seven hours. So at the end of that, when I get home I get like, I shouldn’t say pain, it’s kind of like uncomfortable. And so I put some ice on it and it’s good. I don’t take any pain medication anymore.

Don’t wait anymore. It’s so unbelievable when you do that surgery. The minute you do the surgery, the only pain that you have is the stitches. After they take the stitches out, there’s no pain. I haven’t had any pain at all. Your therapy is very, very painful. But it’s worth it. Because at the end of the day you’re going to be able to walk. So if you’re thinking about it and you want somebody to give you advice, go ahead and do it.