Patient Stories

George’s Story

george

George is conquering a new world of opportunity with two ATTUNE®  Knee replacements. As a martial arts instructor and Navy veteran, George prides himself on his active lifestyle. However, staying active has not always been easy. George, who began experiencing knee pain as a young sailor in the 1980s (at less than 30 years old at the time), pushed himself through mandatory workouts and training courses – at times with ice packs strapped to both knees. Always one to “play through the pain,” he never dreamed that a double knee replacement surgery was in his future.

After retiring from the military, George began working as a stock broker. In his free time, he remained active by training for triathlons and practicing an Okinawan martial art called Shorin Kempo. But as time wore on, so did the cartilage in his knees.

In the mid-1990s, George participated in the world-famous Escape from Alcatraz triathlon – gritting his teeth in sheer determination as pain radiated from his knees every step of the way. As he crossed the finish line of the 27.5-mile course, he knew that it was his last race.

George left his job as a stock broker shortly thereafter and began teaching Shorin Kempo full-time. He hoped that the martial arts would help preserve the waning mobility in his knees; but was disappointed when he continued to be plagued by joint pain and stiffness.

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George instructs young students of Shorin Kempo, an Okinawan martial art



Nearly two decades later, when the pain began to impact George’s profession as a martial arts instructor, he made an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon at the Veteran’s Association. After completing a diagnostic arthroscopy, George was informed that he had extensive cartilage loss in both knees. Determined to avoid using painkillers, George treated with ice packs, knee braces, and injections for several years. He went about life in excruciating pain and was forced to give up activities that he loved, like running and biking. He shared, “Eventually, it got to a point where I could not take it anymore.”

In early 2014, George was informed by his orthopaedic surgeon that his condition was progressing. His surgeon recommended replacement surgery. Skeptical and scared, George decided to do his homework before moving forward with the procedure. 

While reading a magazine article, George learned about the ATTUNE Knee System. The remarkable story of a tennis player with an ATTUNE® Knee replacement who resumed competing only 120 days after surgery gave him hope. Eager to learn more about the ATTUNE Knee, George consulted with several doctors, all of whom agreed: the ATTUNE Knee was an excellent option for George.

On October 1, 2014, George moved forward with a double knee replacement using the ATTUNE Knee. To his excitement and relief, everything went smoothly. He reflected, “When I pictured getting my knees replaced, I imagined being in horrible pain and wheelchair bound, but it was nothing like that. Within a couple days, I was on the road to recovery.” After being released from the hospital, George completed rehabilitation for three weeks. By the time he left the rehabilitation center, he already felt better. George explained, “Three or four weeks after my surgery, I had an epiphany. For the first time in over 30 years, I had no pain in my knees. Not even surgical pain.”

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This x-ray shows George’s right knee facing left with his ATTUNE® Knee implant


George attributed his success to both the ATTUNE Knee and his hard work with physical therapists, saying, “If you have the right equipment, all you need is the desire to get moving.” Six weeks after surgery, George was back to driving, working, and walking long distances every day. Feeling better at age 58 than he did at 30, he decided to push himself to jog – then run. To George’s surprise, he was pain free for the first time in 30 years.

Thinking back to his Escape from Alcatraz experience, George decided that he wanted to do the triathlon one more time. Excitedly, he shared, “I decided that if I qualified, by some crazy chance, then I would do it. To my surprise, I got picked!“ On the day of the triathlon, George’s knee journey came full circle, proving his triathlon story isn’t through.

George volunteered to share his surgery story because he feels passionately that the ATTUNE Knee has given him his “life back.”

 

References

122782-190909 DSUS