When Jim Chambers, a resident of Huntingdon, went to see orthopedic surgeon James S. Martin, MD, about his continual knee problems, he was expecting to hear that he needed a total knee replacement.
At age 61, the lateral movements his knee endured over many years of playing soccer, tennis, and skiing, had damaged the support structure of the knee causing continual pain. Compounding this was underlying damage from arthritis.
"Dr. Martin, from Martin & Suhey Orthopedics, State College, didn't think my knee arthritis was severe enough to proceed with knee replacement. After failing a period of non-operative treatment, he suggested that knee arthroscopy to clean the torn cartilage out of my knee was the next appropriate step to give me some relief and get me back to my active lifestyle. This procedure is done as an outpatient at the Mount Nittany Surgical Center in State College."
Jim arrived with his wife Janet 30 minutes before his surgery time. "I was really nervous," said Jim. "I thought the recovery was going to be painful, but I wanted to get back to my active life. My 15-year-old son Lance and I had biked 180-miles on the C & O Canal trail with the boy scouts about a year before. I knew if I didn't do something, I wouldn't be able to make a trip like that again."
The pre-operation time involved a thorough explanation of the procedure, verification of information, and physician consultations.
Surgery time was about 30 minutes. Jim was then taken to the post-recovery room. "Waking up after the surgery was amazing. The last thing I remembered was being wheeled down the hallway! I couldn't believe it was over, and I actually didn't feel that bad,” said Jim.
When Jim was taken to the recovery room, Dr. Martin came to see Janet in the waiting room to discuss the result. Once Jim woke up, she was able to see her husband in the post-recovery room.
“While I was waiting, the staff checked in with me about every half an hour," said Janet.
“The entire operation and recovery were much easier than I thought it would be," said Jim. “At home, I used the ice packs as instructed, but I never really needed the pain medication that Dr. Martin prescribed. I felt the entire out-patient surgery experience was well organized, and the staff was very friendly and helpful."
Jim continued with physical therapy as prescribed, and is now getting back to many of the activities he enjoys.