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Whitehall resident Teri Orris says she was never able to pinpoint one thing that caused her debilitating knee pain, she just knows that it was gradual. “Over time fluid built up in my knee and caused a great deal of pain,” she said.
To combat the pain, Orris often iced her knee and took over the counter anti-inflammatories. But, when those methods stopped working and she was no longer able to do everyday activities like walking, cleaning the house and cooking she knew that she had to get help. That’s when she went to see Orthopedic Surgeon Wayne Luchetti, M.D.
After a thorough physical and an MRI, Dr. Luchetti told Orris that she had arthritis and there was essentially no cartilage in her knee, which meant that the bones were rubbing against each other and causing her pain. He told her that if she wanted to resume her daily activities she would need a knee replacement.
Although she was surprised, Orris says she was more than ready to have the surgery. “I wasn’t scared. I was excited about the prospect of regaining my life,” she says.
Dr. Luchetti’s team prepared Orris for the surgery by having her attend a joint replacement class. There she learned what to expect throughout the entire process. “It really helped me get ready for the surgery. I knew what I needed around the house when I came home and there were no surprises,” she said.
After her knee replacement, Orris stayed in the Coordinated Health’s Bethlehem hospital for three days. She says the day of her surgery she walked up and down the hallway with help from nurses. On the second day she began PT and on the third day she was discharged.
Orris says that her goal throughout her recovery was to be able to once again walk her dog Bailey and go for walks with her husband without any pain. She admits that reaching her goal wasn’t as easy as she thought, but she knew that going to her physical therapy appointments three times a week and keeping up with her home exercises would get her there quicker.
Orris claims that her physical therapists really kept her spirits up when she was feeling disheartened. “They were my cheerleaders and always encouraged me to keep going,” she says.
Three months after surgery Orris was able to walk Bailey up and down her street and she is now back to going on walks with her husband and Bailey. Though it was difficult at times, Orris says she is glad that she had her knee replaced. “It has changed my life. Everyday I am able to do different things, go on vacation and go on walks. I’m able to live my life without having to worry about being in pain,” she says.