Doug Morris works on Apache helicopters for the military as a civilian, and needs to climb up and down from big heights daily to do his job. There came a point when his arthritis became so severe that he didn't feel comfortable or safe trusting his knee at such heights. When the pain and unsteadiness was something he could no longer endure, Doug decided to search for a different solution.
Q&A with DougQ: When did you have your surgery?
A: My surgery was in January of 2015.
Q: What made you decide to get knee replacement surgery?
A: At 45, I was diagnosed that I needed a new knee, but I was told I had to wait until I was 50. I had one surgery with three different things: I had an osteotomy, a full meniscus and my third ACL. During that time, 30 days later I got staph infection. So everything was just really going downhill. I weighed about 240 pounds at that point, I was in pretty good shape. From that point on the pain just kept going. More pain. More pain. Not being able to move. Not being able to do things. I have to climb on the helicopter to do my job, and I got to a point after that that there was no way I was gonna be able to climb up there because I did not feel safe at all, and I actually had fear about climbing and coming down. That's when I knew I needed a change.
Q: You had your total knee replaced at an outpatient surgery center - what was recovery like?
A: I was able to do outpatient, which I was very happy about. My surgery was 90 miles away: I got there at 6:30 in the morning, left at 10:30 in the morning and went back home. Got to the house, sat down for a while and I finally wanted to go upstairs. I actually walked upstairs the day of surgery. I quit taking pain pills two days into it, just didn’t need them. Why would you take something you don’t need?
Q: What did you find most interesting about the ConforMIS technology?
A: As a helicopter electrician, I’m a troubleshooter. To me everything has a solution. To me, the ConforMIS knee that was the only solution: there's nothing better as far as I could tell that’s made at this point in time.
Q: What are you doing now that you've had your knee replacement?
A: I lost 20 pounds. During that five years of having so much pain and not wanting to do anything, I had lost probably 30-40% of my muscle mass on my legs. So now with exercising, getting back, now I can climb up the helicopter with no problem at all. Not only that, I feel safe. That safe feeling is back. That gives me back my confidence and my life.
"That is my knee. Only my knee. There is nobody else that has this knee but me. So how in the world can an off-the-shelf knee be anything close to this? "
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