Irene: My knee, since it didn’t have any cartilage and it was bone-on-bone, after 17 years my leg was so bowed that it was truly uncomfortable, physically and emotionally, to walk around with a leg like that. The pain was so debilitating it would wake me up five, six times a night even though I was taking the pain killers. Walking up and down steps was almost ridiculous because I had to do a little jump in order to come down and I had to walk up very slowly. Also, it was difficult for me to actually get into the car quickly because my leg was so stiff I had to guide it into the car and I thought to myself, ‘There’s got to be a solution where someone can help me and fix this leg.’
My husband and I did a lot of research and I saw many different doctors. We waited for at least a year and a half. I brought films that we had done before; the doctor looked everything and he said that I am a very good candidate for a partial knee replacement and said he worked together with a company called ConforMIS that manufactures a very specific device that is measured to the millimeter and is fitted into your exact bone structure, which makes total sense. You wouldn’t buy a shoe that’s a size 13 when you have a size six foot. So, how could you implant a device on different bodies with different bone structures and expect to get the same result.
I was very, very hopeful and excited that this might be something that could change things for a lot better future. After the surgery, I am still amazed today how quickly everything fell back into place. I literally feel as if I have been given a brand new leg. I am back to biking, I mean I bike probably three or four times a week. The flexibility that I have regained in my right leg, it’s just as flexible as my left leg. I am back to kick boxing, which entails a lot of aerobic exercise – kicking, boxing, treading.
Frequently, I take the metro and obviously there are a lot of steps. [Walking up steps at metro]. This would have been hard for me to do a few years ago, but not now. It is so easy for me to go up these steps and just catch my train, even if I’m running late.
My knees feel completely natural. I would never think that there was a device in my knee because I literally do not feel any different on my right leg, which was the one that had surgery, than I do on my left leg. I feel as if I’ve been give another chance to really pursue the things I love to do.
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