Jennifer, Knee Replacement Patient

“I have no knee pain whatsoever. I’m back to riding my bicycle and doing things with my family without pain.”

About 3-1/2 years ago my life was so busy.

I walked the track or trails daily.

I ran 5Ks, went bike-riding with my family, did lots of things with my grandson, and stayed busy with my job as a respiratory therapist at Johnson City Medical Center.

Then I did something stupid.

I strapped on 20-pound ankle weights one night while watching TV to prep for a 5K. During the race the next week, I blew out my knee.

From that time on, I was in pain all the time. Over the next years, I had a lot of injections, fluid aspirated, three orthoscopic surgeries, lots of meniscus tears. It was just a non-stop battle.

Finally, the doctor said, “Are you ready to get this knee replacement done?” And I said, “Yes!”

After deciding to have the surgery, I went to several pre-op therapy classes at The Wellness Center to get my muscles ready for surgery.

In a pre-op orientation class, Misty Jenkins, the joint replacement nurse at Johnson City Medical Center, told us what to expect before and after surgery, and she was right about everything.

The experience at Johnson City Medical Center was fantastic. I have worked at Johnson City Medical Center almost 20 years and feel very at home and safe there. I knew that they had my life in their hands and that they would totally take care of me.

From the minute we checked in until they wheeled me out the door after surgery, they treated me – and my family – like their family. They let them stay with me until I went to surgery which was very comforting.

I did fantastic through surgery and was discharged the next morning. My therapy started the day after I was discharged.

I’m seven weeks post-op now, and I’m not complaining of pain all the time, which is amazing.

I have no knee pain whatsoever. I’m back to riding my bicycle and doing things with my family without pain.

The surgery was life-changing for me.

My advice to other patients is not to wait until you’re older to have surgery. Don’t go through years and years of pain.

I’m 51 and had several years of misery, and it was time for a change. If I had waited it would have been just more pain, aggravation and limited activity.

The best thing about the surgery has been getting back to playing with my 7-year-old grandson, Hayden.

When I told him the surgery had changed my life, he said, “Mamaw, it was life-changing for me, too. Before, you couldn’t kick the ball with me. Now you can!”

Is knee replacement for you?

If you think surgery might help you get moving again – like it did for Jennifer – learn more about total knee replacement here.