For years, I suffered with arthritis in both knees. Previous injuries resulting in subsequent surgeries made my knees functional, but over time I got to the point where, due to pain, I had eliminated most sports from my once active life and those that I could still do became so painful they were no longer fun. Walking, going up and down stairs, even just standing gave me pain. I knew it was time to get my knees fixed. Dr. Mayman was the third surgeon I met with. We connected immediately. He spend as much time as I needed discussing my condition and my goals. He agreed that a double knee replacement was the best course of action. Dr. Mayman made it clear that for a period of time it would be twice as hard to have both vs. one. But after 6 weeks it would be no worse and I wouldn't have to go through this again. He gave me the honest truth about what I would be up against. I had no illusions.
The surgery and hospital stay could not have been better or more professional. I had 4 previous knee surgeries. HSS is in a class by itself. I could not have asked for better care.
Over the next few months I did everything my physical therapists directed me to do. I live walking distance from a facility with a focused rehab plan and state-of-the-art equipment. I had pain, swelling, doubts, ups and downs, both emotional and physical. By 6 weeks post surgery I was feeling stronger, my range of motion was better than pre- surgery, and my pain was muscle and soft tissue, mostly a result of strenuous rehab exercises. My knee joint was not giving me pain.
I met Dr. Mayman for my 6 weeks post-op appointment. He was pleased with the results. He gave me the green light. No restrictions. It was kind of a double edged sword. I was a competitive athlete. I need restrictions. I want to keep these knees for the rest of my life and I plan to live a while longer. I had given up so much and now I can have it back, but I need to place common sense limitations on what I will do as opposed to what I can do.
I am now approaching 6 months post-surgery. I sold my mountain bike but put about 800 miles on my gravel and road bike. I have returned to my yoga practice that I gave up 3 years ago. I'm doing free weight squats in the gym. I ran a lap around the soccer field with my son. I hadn't run in 5 years.
I was planning on skiing this winter. Though I skied last winter, I was in so much pain that I could no longer enjoy it. But skiing is part of my soul. It defines me. I have skied every winter since I was 4.
Dec. 16 we got a big Nor'easter, and Plattekill in the Catskills, where I've been skiing for the past 20 years, got 24" of snow. This was it. The big test. I drove up for the day with my wife with the expectation of skiing a few groomers. Well, Dr. Mayman, you build good knees. I skied 10:00-2:00. Powder all day. No pain, no issues, no nothing. Just an awesome day on the mountain. I'm back. It's all behind me. I have been given a second chance. My new knees are great. I couldn't be happier.
Thank you HSS. Thank you Dr. Mayman.