Christine Ricciardi is a people person. You see it immediately in the sparkle in her eyes and the zest for life she radiates. But this professional nurse and full time aerobics instructor was not always able to enjoy her family and friends the way she can today. “I was depressed for many years because I had to suffer with pain and pain medications.”
The problem was her knee. Painful arthritis was making life difficult and unpleasant for her. “If I was in the car for an hour, my knee would lock up on me. And it would be embarrassing to get out of a car because everybody had to help me. I couldn’t sit on a beach and on a blanket. Somebody would have to pull me up. I felt like this old woman.”
To feel this way was out of character for Christine and she didn’t like it. So when she heard about knee replacement surgery, she became very interested. “I had a friend who had the surgery, so that kind of pushed me to take the next step and talk to my doctor to see if knee replacement surgery was right for me. After talking through the benefits and the risks with my doctor, I said okay. I just have to set a date and do it. I have to do it for myself.”
The decision is one Christine has never regretted. Looking back on her life, however, she wonders why she didn’t do it sooner. With physical therapy and rehabilitation after her surgery, she was soon up and about.
But the real improvement was that she was able to become more engaged with family activities again. Once she could get around on her own, without pain, things looked up for everybody. Even family meals, which had been a chore, became a pleasant and fulfilling focal point of her days again.
Today Christine feels great. “I feel renewed. I’m really excited about getting back into a routine at the gym.”
When asked if she had any advice to give she was quite forthcoming. “I’d say go for it. I’d say go for it and talk to your doctor about whether the surgery is right for you. Make sure you do all your research and get a really good surgeon that knows what they’re doing…because there’s just a world of difference.” A Stryker Knee coupled with minimally invasive surgery has been a powerful combination for Christine Ricciardi. Today she’s upbeat, and happily working again.
All surgery carries risk. See your orthopaedic surgeon to discuss your potential benefits and risks. Not all patients will have the same post-operative recovery and activity level. Individual results vary.
Total knee replacement is intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative, rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis, and for moderate deformity of the knee.
Knee replacement surgery is not appropriate for patients with certain types of infections, any mental or neuromuscular disorder which would create an unacceptable risk of prosthesis instability, prosthesis fixation failure or complications in postoperative care, compromised bone stock, skeletal immaturity, severe instability of the knee, or excessive body weight.
As with any surgery, knee replacement surgery has serious risks which include, but are not limited to, pain, infection, bone fracture, peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage), circulatory compromise (including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs)), genitourinary disorders (including kidney failure), gastrointestinal disorders (including paralytic ileus (loss of intestinal digestive movement)), vascular disorders (including thrombus (blood clots), blood loss, or changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm), bronchopulmonary disorders (including emboli, stroke or pneumonia), heart attack, and death.
Implant related risks which may lead to a revision include dislocation, loosening, fracture, nerve damage, heterotopic bone formation (abnormal bone growth in tissue), wear of the implant, metal and/or foreign body sensitivity, soft tissue imbalance, osteolysis (localized progressive bone loss), and reaction to particle debris. Knee implants may not provide the same feel or performance characteristics experienced with a normal healthy joint.
The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if joint replacement surgery is right for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same postoperative activity level. The lifetime of any joint replacement is limited and varies with each individual. Your doctor will counsel you about how to best maintain your activities in order to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device. Such strategies include not engaging in high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding post-surgery activity, treatment and follow-up care. Ask your doctor if the joint replacement is right for you.
Stryker Corporation or its other divisions or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: Mako, Mobile Bearing Hip, Stryker, Together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.