Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Youtube Logo Instagram Logo Linkedin Logo

David Skutch

Montclair, NJ
  • David Skutch in the photo 1

I blame weak genetics and bad luck, coupled with an unfortunate desire to play ice hockey. The right knee story starts with basketball in my 20s. Nowadays, they likely wouldn't have done a meniscus trim, but they did. The knee was never right after that. By my mid 30s, they went in to do the meniscus again and found the ACL was gone, but didn't repair it due to the level of arthritis. And that's what I ran on, squatted weights with, and played ice hockey on for the next twenty-five years. I also work long hours, on my feet. It wasn't pain that I lived with, but a feeling of instability, lack of range of motion, and a "swim" motion in the knee with each stride. What finally pushed me to the TKR is that my right thigh had become skinnier than my left, and my left hip was becoming an issue. Imbalance from the bad right knee was causing other problems that I could no longer shrug through. It had to go.

So it was back to Dr. David Altchek. Yes, he TKR was my third surgery with Dr. Altchek, and none of them had been on a knee. Like I said, weak genetics, bad luck, and unwillingness to quit playing. He had repaired a massively torn right rotator cuff, and then had to do a revision when I retore it four months later, but didn't go back to him for a year. He salvaged a mess. Also, he repaired a complete left biceps tear. That one was pure bad luck, I swear. I was hauling-in to a whitewater raft one overboard, twenty-something daughter when the other twenty-something daughter whacked my left arm with her paddle. Snap. That was the most straight-forward repair and recovery of the six surgeries.

But, back to Dr. Altchek and the TKR. Today, I am sixteen days out of surgery. Quit medications two days after. Quit the Tylenol five days after. Still on Celebrex. I'm in PT three days per week, and driving to the gym on my off days to put myself through the battery of "home" exercises. I am working to regain full range of motion. Not there yet, but getting more every day. Once I have the range, then I'll work on rebuilding strength. But the point is this, that Dr. Altchek did such a great job on my knee, I was walking in one week, no cane. In two weeks, I was on the stationary bike, and driving. Amazing job by him.

We'll see how it goes, but right now I see no barriers to the plan which is this: back on my feet at work full time by early April, public skate sessions by May, and pick-up ice hockey by.....June? July? Like they say at HSS, Back in the Game. Thank you Dr. Altchek. Too bad he can't protect me from myself.