by Dr. Neeraja Kikkeri, COO, Advanced Pain Solutions
At just 58 years young, I’m already facing the reality of knee replacement surgery. In twenty short days, I’ll be undergoing a right total knee replacement (TKR) procedure. I am plagued with worry and anxiety about the procedure, yet I know it is necessary at this time.
For those who may not be aware, a knee replacement involves having a damaged or worn-out joint replaced with a metal and plastic artificial joint. It’s usually done when the joint has been damaged by conditions such as arthritis, injury, or other ailments, and is causing immense pain, stiffness, or difficulty in walking.
The average age for someone to undergo knee replacement surgery is much later in life – around the 65-75 range. So, what did I do to deserve this fate at such a young age? Perhaps it was my love for dancing, which I pursued from the age of four until my mid-twenties. Maybe it was my struggle with obesity, or my lack of exercise in later years, or my over-exercising to lose weight that caused my knee to wear out prematurely. Whatever the reason, the reality is that the surgery is necessary, and the longer I wait, the worse my pain will get and the more my mobility will suffer.
Despite the fear and uncertainty, I’m grateful to be undergoing the surgery at my very own ASC – the North Texas Team Care Surgery Center (NTTC). I have complete trust in my surgeon, Dr. Adam Wright, and the wonderful nursing team at NTTC. But even still, as someone who works in the medical field, I know all too well the possible outcomes and complications that can arise. When YOU are the patient – you feel everything and you know every possible scenario.
During the next few weeks, I invite all of you to accompany me as I post blog updates in preparation for my surgery from a patient’s perspective. The actual procedure will be recorded, a truly “behind the scenes” look. Post-surgery, I will be posting about my progress.
For now, I remain positive and focus on the end goal – a pain-free, fully functional knee. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m determined to get through it and regain my quality of life.