I was referred to Dr. Minas in May 2019 after an unsuccessful autograft revealed that my 33-year-old knees had more damage to the bone than the procedure could fix. It was recommended that I get an allograft procedure, which was a specialty of Dr. Minas’ and his office quickly reached out to set up a consultation. The appointment was promising: I was a perfect candidate. I had X-rays and an MRI of my right knee and I was placed on a waiting list for an allograft from an organ donor.
I received a call on a Friday in November after work that they had found a match. It was exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time–I was told I had 6 days to get an appointment with my primary care physician to get medical clearance for surgery, notify my job, and book a flight to get down to Florida for surgery. It was a whirlwind and a lot to process, but the plans fell into place and I was able to accept this donor’s gift.
The staff at St. Mary’s was wonderful, the surgery was a success, and Dr. Minas and his team made sure I was set up for a successful recovery. Many weeks were spent on crutches and a cane, countless hours on a continuous passive motion machine, many months of physical therapy, but in the end, the payoff was worth it! My knee was almost pain-free for the first time in years.
I went back down to the Paley Institute for my 3-month post-op appointment and Dr. Minas was very happy with my results. I knew that my other knee was as bad or perhaps worse than the first, and I was eager to see if my left knee was also a candidate for an allograft, so we started the process over again! X-rays, MRI, the waiting list… with a global pandemic thrown in the mix. There were some temporary layoffs at the hospital which put things on pause for a bit, but once the staff was back at work, it was only a few short weeks before they found a match and I had my left knee allograft at the end of June 2020. The experience was slightly more stressful because of COVID-19, but I felt confident in the precautions the hospital had in place and the surgery went smoothly.
I’m now again around my 3-month post-op mark, and still have a long road ahead. My left knee had more damage than the right so I have spent 12 weeks on crutches and had a much more conservative physical therapy regimen. Even so, I’m looking forward to jumping on an elliptical at the 6-month mark, increasing my muscle strength, improving my balance and range of motion, and generally being more active without being limited by pain. Hopefully for many, many years.