My name is Ricky Harris and I’m from Milltown, New Jersey. This is my HSS story.
My entire life I have been both an athlete and a bodybuilder and I chose construction as a career. Training as a bodybuilder and choosing construction as a career was positive because it kept my body strong and my mind focused. The negative to these choices was the damage that was done physically to my body over time.
I had my first setback at 20 years old I dislocated my shoulder after being pulled into a pool. After having my shoulder reset the doctor told me to find another career and forget bodybuilding. I refused to believe him. I immediately started to rehab my shoulder on my own going back to the gym and training to build my strength. 6 years later I was on stage at my first bodybuilding show. The doctor was wrong.
One week later, I was in the top 13 in the Nationals, the best in the USA before I could go pro. I decided not to make this my career but to stay in construction which I also loved. Construction takes a toll on your body, I tore my meniscus at 46 and had surgery- at 50, I started injections for my knees to reduce pain. For 7 years, I continued the shots in my knees until I had no relief. In 2016, I knew that I was candidate for knee replacement. At this point, I started doing some research on doctors and hospitals. I decided that I wanted to focus on HSS because of their reputation and attention to athletes. I found out that HSS specialized in orthopedics and patients having surgery were healthy - I didn’t want to be somewhere that I would be at risk of getting an infection. In my career, I couldn’t have anyone make mistakes. I needed to be able to work and absolutely not risk infection. I asked Siri on my phone, “Who are the top doctors for total knee surgery at HSS?” Based on the results, I decided to make an appointment with Dr. Steven Haas. When I called his office, I was told to send any x-rays and previous MRI’s to him before I could even be considered for surgery.
I met with Dr. Haas in June of 2017. After the consultation and discussing my MRIs, he told me I was a good candidate for bilateral knee surgery. He was honest about how and what the surgery entailed. He explained the class the hospital makes you take to prepare you for surgery, and the hard work it would take to get back to a normal life. We scheduled surgery immediately and 3 months later, I was back at the hospital.
On Sept. 18, 2017 I had surgery. Dr. Haas, like me, would “make things happen.” After surgery, Dr. Haas and his staff had me get right out of bed and walk - from that point on I didn’t give up, I knew Dr. Haas had done his job and now it was time for me to do mine. After having bilateral knee replacement surgery, I was at the gym within 3 weeks and started hiking after 3 months. The progress that I made is attributed to both Dr. Haas’s skills during surgery, my excellent PT experience, and my drive to make Dr. Haas and his staff proud. Included in my story are a series of pictures before and after surgery and the incredible progress I made. I would not go anywhere else for orthopedic surgery, HSS is world-renowned for a reason - they have earned an A+ from me!
Thank you HSS - I’m back in the game!
1. First Place middle weight overall Physique 1983. (My brother on the left, me on the right)
2. I continued my career and in 1985 and won middleweight and
overall in the Tri-State NYC championship.
3. Two months later I won middleweight and overall Eastern USA
4. September 18, 2017
5/6. Sept 19,2017 walking on my own 12 hours after surgery
7. September 23, 2017 working with the PT
8. December 2018 - 3 months after surgery (1st hike)
9/10 April 2018 (6 months) - Hiking large mountains and biking in the desert
11. May 2018 (7 months) - Climbing ladders without knee pain-never thought this would happen again.
12/13.Sept 2018 less than a year after surgery- hiking in Maine, first up the mountain!
14-19 recent pictures of being back in the game