David advises that during post-op recovery patients to be "cognizant of the burden that you're putting on the person who's taking care of you.” David credits his wife with pushing him. She and David started training for a 10k. Working towards a common goal helped David recover and today he is back on his bike cycling 60 miles at a time.
DAVID: I started working from home, you know, three to four weeks. And I went back to work after five weeks. Eh, requires a little bit of adaptation. I-it was hard to sit. Sitting was harder than standing actually. And so I had to move my legs around, put my legs up, put them down. Keep them moving in order to avoid getting stiff and sore.
DAVID: I continued to do outpatient therapy for several months. I kept working on strength and-and conditioning and endurance. My wife and I would go out and walk the dogs and we just kept building up, you know, one mile, two miles, three miles out walking back and forth.
DAVID: At the end of five months she said let's go climb La Tuna canyon. It's about a four and a half mile climb and about 2,000 feet of climbing. So we did that after about five months. Up and down. I don't know. Six, seven months.
DAVID: I started building back up on the bike. I wanted to be sure my balance was good because I was more worried about that than I was about being able to ride the bike. So I went out and we started doing rides and built up to about 60 miles. We'd ride from down to the beach and back. So did that for about a year and then got a pass to Mammoth and went up and did-started skiing again.
DAVID: If you've ever trained for a sport you'll know that it's not all fun and games. You don't quit when it starts to hurt a little bit. That's part of the deal. But that's how you make progress.
DAVID: I was surprised even fairly early on that it was working as well as it was. I mean even the first day when they came in and stood me up and I was standing there by the bed and I looked down and for the first time in my recollection both my feet were pointed perfectly forward. I hadn't been able to do that probably 20, 25 years. And suddenly I was able to do that. It was kind of amazing. I actually became a better cyclist because I could apply power more evenly to the pedals. So I could actually ride faster than I could before.
DAVID: I skied better 'cause I could drive better with my left leg than I could before. My turns were much more even and consistent. Everything actually just got better for me after I did it. I always a-assumed that when I had knee replacements that they would somehow feel strange like there was a foreign body inside of me and it wasn't me anymore. And it frankly doesn't really. It feels like knees. They do pop a little bit sometimes. I'm told that's normal. It doesn't end up being that drastic a change except that its' better.
DAVID: Well my legs simply just work a whole lot better than they used it. I was really bow legged especially my left leg. So now I'm having a few issues with plantar fasciitis and ankle issues and things like that that I'm dealing with. Because my body is just aligned differently. My ankles got used to my legs being in one place and now they're in another place.
DAVID: I have some fairly severe problems in my back. I have, uh, spondylolisthesis. So I have a vertebra that's about a half inch out of alignment with the rest of my spine. And it's sitting on the disc which is sitting on my sciatic nerve. And all of that sort of resolved itself as a result of getting these knees done and being properly aligned.
DAVID: I was fortunate my wife was-was very attentive and she really wanted to take care of me. You have to be cognizant of the burden that you're putting on the person who's taking care of you as well. 'Cause it is a lot of work. And it is a lot of stress. You gotta be aware of that and the people who are caregivers have got to-to understand that you're gonna sign up for something that's gonna be difficult. I think it's important to help the other person and push and she pushed me. And I would not have done those things probably on my own. She suggested that we go for a walk, go up the canyon, do this kind of thing. Let's try this, let's try that. She wanted to do the 10K and so I said eh all right, I'll give it a shot. [LAUGH]
DAVID: Having a partner who pushes you a little bit and also engaged in some of that stuff is very useful. So if you're not married to one go find a friend I guess. My advice to people is, you know, sit down and think about it. Figure out on this side of what are the pros and what are the cons and then try to identify how important they are to you and come up to a-with a conclusion based on the research that you did.
DAVID: You-you can worry yourself to death about things. Knees are gonna probably turn out pretty well. The odds are in your favor. Way in your favor.