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Ginger Zarske – Total Knee Replacement

GingerWhen I was 30, I slipped on some ice and twisted my knee about 180 degrees. It hurt, and it swelled up, but I was very stoic about pain and I pretty much ignored it. The pain and swelling came and went, increasing over time, until I finally said something to my family doctor. By that time, my knee had no cartilage left at all. It was bone grinding on bone. He asked me why I didn’t have it replaced. Well, I was about 54 then and I was under the impression that full knee replacements had to wait until later, like 70 or so. My doctor’s advice was basically: Do it now, while you’re young enough to enjoy life. It was the best advice I ever got, and having my knee replaced is the best gift I’ve ever given myself.

Dr. Haynes did a magnificent job with my replacement. It was a lengthy procedure because I had a lot of damage, but today my knee is better than ever (and it’s been 8 years since my surgery).
Some advice – I worked out with a personal trainer for about 3 months before my surgery because I wanted to be strong so that I would heal quickly. Lots of leg work. I also paid attention to what the physical therapists said, and I did my exercises. You have to. Otherwise, the knee won’t be flexible. I also took my pain meds. I had a co-worker tell me – don’t be stoic. Take the medication. Otherwise, you’ll be in too much pain to do your exercises, and you MUST do your exercises or you won’t heal. That was awesome advice.

I considered my knee replacement a process, like going to college or raising a puppy. You have to want it, prepare for it, and work on it to the exclusion of everything else. If you do, it will pay huge dividends.

Ginger Zarske

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