Winning at Knee Replacement – Curt and Venetia’s Story
Text: Todd Zegras
Video: Jessica Walsh
I had the pleasure of coaching both Curt and his mother Venetia through their knee replacement recoveries on the X10. And a true pleasure it was. Like most patients who reach out to us inquiring about the X10, Curt had done his homework. As a home contractor who willingly does much of the physical work himself, Curt put off knee replacement surgery for years, concerned that he would not recover well enough to continue working as effectively as he had.
Curt and his wife were also avid snowshoers at their second home in remote Maine. Snowshoeing together on the lake was something they loved doing together, but it became another activity that Curt was less and less able to do because of the increasingly excruciating pain of bone-on-bone in his knee. The pain had gotten so bad that not only was it cutting his work days short, it was now waking him up several times a night. So Curt got serious about what he realized was his only solution – knee replacement surgery. He dove into his research on the subject with extreme diligence – finding the best surgeon, the best knee joint, and the best recovery program. He was determined – if not paranoid – about getting back to his life after knee replacement surgery. And he did.
Therapy Started Three Days After Surgery
When I arrived at his house with the X10 machine three (3) days after his knee replacement surgery, he proceeded to tell ME all about how the magic of the machine works. And he was pretty much spot on. I spent the next few hours getting him set up, trained and going through our session protocols. Curt took the knowledge and ran with it. He was religious about getting on the machine three (3) times a day and, as many patients do, he began to “read his body” and thresholds, ultimately taking our X10 protocol and morphing it into his own version of X10 therapy that worked for his needs. Within four 4 days of using the X10, Curt was walking without a cane and making fantastic gains in his range of motion.
Curt was all in and absolutely loved the X10 program. I say that only because I heard those words out of his mouth on several occasions. “You sure I can’t buy one of these things?”, was also another common question. After three (3) weeks he was not happy to see the machine leave, but his progress was so fast and effective, that at the end of week four (4), Curt was doing sunrise snowshoe hikes with is wife across the lake in Maine. And upon returning to work as a contractor, Curt was once again able to go out on full days of the physical work he loved, without the hindrance of his knee pain. Curt was back!
Little did I know that throughout Curt’s recovery on the X10, his mother Venetia was watching very closely from the sidelines. While recovering fairly easily from hip replacement two years prior, Venetia witnessed knee replacement patients struggle with great pain and discomfort. Venetia had decided to put off having knee replacement surgery indefinitely.
The X10 is an advanced computerized machine used in your own home. Since its introduction the X10 has enabled thousands of patients to quickly regain two of the most important functions following knee surgery… range of motion and strength, without pain.
The X10 speeds up recovery of both range of motion and strength so much that restoring the range of motion requires 3-4 weeks on the X10 vs. six (6)+ months for standard therapy.
Fast forward two years and her son Curt makes recovery look quick, painless and somewhat easy. A snowbird, splitting time between Florida and her home up north (and down the street from Curt) Venetia intently monitored her son’s recovery on the X10, checking in with him daily from Florida and tracking his progress. Impressed and relieved with his quick and relatively ‘pain free’ recovery, she decided that she would move forward with knee replacement surgery when she returned to the northeast in the spring.
I arrived at Venetia’s home on a beautiful spring day to set up her up and train her on the X10. Venetia was excited to get going right away. Confident and knowledgeable about the X10 from watching Curt recover and with Curt as a secondary coach and cheerleader, we had her trained and off and running. By day 4 Venetia had made 112 degrees of flexion and 0 extension. Quite astonishing actually. And by the end of three (3) weeks she had full flexion – 130 degrees! Countless times I would hear them give the X10 credit for their successful recovery. Yes, the X10 is a fantastic tool which is instrumental in helping people recover from knee replacement surgery, and as a patient coach, I have worked with hundreds of patients recover successfully. But Curt and Venetia are both A+ examples of the type of patient who exceeds the expectations of a typical knee replacement patient, combining their knowledge and utilization of the X10, winning attitudes, patience, and creativity.
First the son, and then his mom. Two people at different stages of life. Both with high expectations for their knee replacement surgeries. Neither of them was about to let the recovery get in the way of returning quickly back to an active life. It was truly a pleasure working with each of them. I am very much looking forward to helping Venetia on her other knee when she is ready.
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.