Sandra’s Story: One Knee Replacement at a Time by Dr. Mark Karadsheh
written by Sandra Kirsch
My name is Sandra, and I had a total knee replacement first on my left knee and then on my right knee a few months later.
In my late 40’s I was involved in a car accident that severely damaged my right knee. I was told to hold out as long as possible as new prostheses and better techniques were in the horizon for total knee replacements.
“I knew in my heart I had to do something”
For the past fifteen years, I have tried countless approaches to avoid the surgery. This past year was the final turning point for me. My left knee which I called my “go to knee” had started to fail. I was waking up every 2-3 hours at night with unbearable pain in the left knee.
I could no longer walk more than 10 minutes and needed to rest. My love for exercising became extremely limited. I could no longer stand and cook, play on the ground with my granddaughters or enjoy any traveling experiences.
The quality of my life was diminishing in front of me. My ‘moment of truth’ had arrived. I am thrilled I was able to wait until 63 years of age before having my first total knee replacement in early summer.
My first order was to research and find the right surgeon for me. I took this order very seriously and saw four doctors before making my decision. Not everyone thinks alike and it was interesting but confusing to hear differences of opinion. I learned something new and was better informed from each office visit.
I found Dr. Mark Karadsheh to be the best choice for me. He is highly approachable, progressive and really listened when I asked questions. He explained why he was not in favor of not doing two knees at the same time. I wanted to move on as quickly as possible but so grateful I did one knee at a time. I really needed the support of the opposite knee for a strong recovery. I waited three months between my first and second surgeries. Although I am younger and healthy I could not imagine doing a bilateral surgery.
Dr. Karadsheh is all about the patient getting the best result possible. He explained the benefit of using the X10 machine for pre-surgery and rehabbing the knee. I love finding ways to get the best results possible, and welcomed the opportunity to use the machine. The machine was delivered to my home three weeks before my first surgery and was returned to my home before the second surgery. It is also very helpful that I have an X10 coach that I could call if any questions arise. I love using the machine and tracking my progress before and after both surgeries. I have found the X10 to be fun, easy to use, and allows me to work day or night to speed up my recovery time. It has especially helped in regaining my extension/flexion in a very short period of time. I returned to 0/130 after my first surgery in two weeks! Three weeks after my second surgery I am at 0/122. The second surgery was harder because I had more swelling and pain, but my family and friends still marvel at how quickly I am progressing.
You must be invested in your recovery if you want a great outcome. The surgeon has done his part and the ball is in the patient’s court for the final outcome. The tools are all there for success. I am grateful that the X10 was available at this time of my life as it was not available fifteen years ago. It is even more wonderful that my insurance company sees the value and covers the cost! The X10 along with in- home, outpatient PT, and a great surgeon are allowing me to regain the quality of life I had lost. I am on the road to pain free, cooking, exercise, travel and play time with my granddaughters. No one needs to settle for pain and discomfort any more. Join me by staying positive and working hard for what you want to achieve.
One knee replacement down, and the other is well on it’s way.
To watch a short video of my story, One Knee Replacement at a Time, click on the play button below.
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)