My Journey Back to NCAA Basketball (Part 1)
by Ray Natilli
We are very pleased to present the account of Ray Natili, an X10 patient, and the first official from NCAA Basketball back to work after a bilateral total knee replacement surgery. This is Part One of a two part series, Back to Work After Bilateral Total Knee Replacement. In Part Two we will share Ray’s return to the courts in the fall of 2018.
Hi, my name is Ray Natili. I am 53 years old, and I am an NCAA basketball official. I live in Davidson, North Carolina, and between playing basketball in college and started officiating almost 30 years ago in high school, I had pretty bad degenerative osteoarthritis. I had some pretty bad bow legs. And through January, February, March this season was as big a struggle as any. I was limping through airports and everything along those lines.
I did a lot of research beforehand trying to look into therapy, what’s the best thing for somebody my age and what was going to be able to get me back to being able to officiate. I came across the X10 when I was online looking for the best ways to rehab bilateral total knee replacement. I came across this and started watching the videos and reading all the literature. I showed it to my wife who’s a physician, and she was impressed with what she read, so we scheduled my surgery for Monday after the Final Four. I didn’t work the Final Four this year. So I worked Elite Eight, and after that, I was in for bilateral total knee replacement.
My orthopedic surgeon was Dr. John Masonis, Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. I did a lot of research on him, came through as good as they could hope for based on what they were telling me. I had a minor setback, and it had nothing to do with the machine. When I got home, one day, I sat down and getting back up, I had some type of blood clot, and I just stopped doing anything for five days. Went back and saw them, and they gave me the green light.
I came home, started using the X10 immediately a couple times a day. It doesn’t hurt because the machine knows when it’s putting too much pressure on you, and it will stop if it realizes that you’re getting too much pressure. It’s incredibly easy to use. I am so far ahead of where I would have been if I hadn’t found it simply because you don’t get any feedback on your own.
Perfect Range of Motion on Both Knees Within Two Weeks
Fortunately, for myself,I had pretty good range of motion prior to the surgery. I am 0 to 130 with both knees, and I got there in probably a week with both of them. And I do the exercises, and I do the leg lifts and everything else, but those activities do not give me any feedback as to, “Okay, where am I” range of motion, or “How did I get to this point based on how much resistance” and things along those lines.
Back to Work After Bilateral Total Knee Replacement
I would wholeheartedly recommend it. You don’t have to do bilateral. If you just had one done, and you’re worried about your range of motion and “How am I going to get back to where I was?” I think this is a no brainer. To be honest with you, now, that it’s been with me here since my surgery, it was worth every dime.
The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog” because we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health, surgery and recovery.
In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, writers related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. Whether you have a surgery upcoming, in the rear-view mirror, or just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery, you should find some value here. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org)