Ron, 68, is a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel, marathon runner and ATTUNE® Knee replacement patient.
Ron became an avid runner a few years after serving his country during the Vietnam War and completed his first marathon in 1978. Ron served 37 years in the Marine Corps, and has finished 24 Marine Corps marathons and 30 other marathons. Unfortunately, in 2012, Ron began to suffer from pain in his left knee brought on by severe osteoarthritis.
Ron’s knee pain affected his ability to enjoy hobbies like running and riding his nearly 900 pound motorcycle because he couldn’t hold the bike up at stoplights. After initially trying to live with the pain, Ron received cortisone shots and gel injections in an attempt to alleviate his pain – but the pain was so debilitating that he had to stop running altogether.
In addition to the negative effects on the physical aspects of his life, the pain also began to interfere with his daily work, which became a big distraction in the office. One day while at work Ron had to walk to another building, which was about the length of two football fields away. He walked about 15-20 yards, before having to stop and rest because of his knee pain. He made it about 75 yards total when a car passed by. Ron flagged the driver down and asked him to drive him the rest of the way to the building. That’s the moment that he fully realized he needed to speak with a doctor about his treatment options.
Ron met with his orthopaedic surgeon and together they decided that total knee replacement surgery was his best option. Ron’s surgeon went over the details of the surgery and even showed him a model of what the knee implant looks like.
“I knew I had to do something about the osteoarthritis pain I was experiencing,” Ron said. “I didn’t have reservations going into surgery because my surgeon explained the entire process to me.”
In February 2014, Ron had his left knee replaced with the ATTUNE Knee System. Shortly after surgery, Ron began physical therapy, which he describes as instrumental to his recovery.
“Physical therapy was tough, but it was important for me to be mentally disciplined and to follow my physical therapist’s instructions,” Ron said. “I found it helpful to focus on the next years, rather than the next days during recovery.”
For Ron, the recovery process included 10 weeks of supervised and in-home physical therapy sessions. Shortly after completing his physical therapy, Ron was able to get back to training for his next marathon. In October of 2014, just seven months following his total knee replacement surgery, Ron completed his 24th Marine Corps marathon (54th marathon overall), for which he received a medal. Now, Ron is back to doing things he loves like biking, running, speed walking and motor cycle riding.
“Looking back, I wish I would have gone to a doctor earlier instead of trying to live with the pain,” Ron said.
Important Safety Information
Individual activity levels may vary, and resuming physical activity after surgery should be discussed with your surgeon. The performance of knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level, and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee replacement is right for you.