What do a trip to Italy and the Walt Disney World® Half-Marathon have in common? They were both reasons for Richard Brock’s decision to undergo knee replacement surgery in May 2011.
“I had my left knee replaced in 2010 but at the time my right knee was not as bad,” explains Brock. An avid runner since the 1970s, 66-year-old Brock continued exercising after his first knee surgery, eventually running again. “My right knee was painful so when my church choir began planning a trip to Italy for September 2011, I decided to have the surgery in May so I’d be fully recovered in time for the trip,” he says. “I did not want a painful knee to interfere with my enjoyment of the trip.”
Because the Joint Solutions Center at DeKalb Medical has a thorough education program for patients prior to their surgery, Brock knew what to expect. “They had me moving as soon as possible after my surgery and I was only in the hospital for three days,” he says. “On my last day at the hospital, I was walking the hallway with my physical therapist and I told her I planned to run the Peachtree Road Race on July 4,” he remembers. “She said she’d like to see a picture of me finishing the race, so on July 5 I took the photo by the hospital for her to see. I wasn’t able to run but I did walk the entire course,” he laughs. Now, his plans include the Disney Half-Marathon in Orlando, FL on January 7, 2012.
Brock likes the Joint Solutions Center staff’s philosophy to get patients up and active as soon as possible after surgery. “I have always been very active and exercise has improved my recovery time,” he admits. Physical therapy and walking throughout the Center are important activities while still at the hospital. “I did take some prescription pain medicine in the hospital and when I first got home but I transitioned quickly to over-the-counter pain medicine.
Brock has not only continued walking every day but he also swims regularly at The Wellness Center at DeKalb Medical and participates in water aerobics classes. He adds, “I’ve always enjoyed swimming and it is an excellent way to exercise after knee surgery.”
“I always knew I’d have to replace my left knee but I figured I’d just wait until the pain interfered with my activities,” says Brock. “My only regret is that I did not do it a year sooner.”