Ron, a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel, has always been physically active and an avid marathon runner. In 2012, he began to suffer pain in his left knee brought on by severe osteoarthritis (OA). He tried to manage the pain, but eventually, it became so severe he was forced to stop running, and also struggled to enjoy his other hobbies like riding his motorcycle. Even activities that were once routine – standing, squatting, kneeling, carrying heavy items – became difficult.
One day, Ron was walking between two buildings at work, which were about 200 yards apart. He was only able to make it 15 to 20 yards before needing to stop and rest because of the pain. He had to ask the driver of a passing car to take him the rest of the way. That was when he decided enough was enough, and spoke with a doctor about his knee pain and what treatment options were available to him. In February 2014, Ron had his left knee replaced and then began physical therapy. After recovering, his knee pain was gone and he was able to get back to work and enjoy his hobbies again. In fact, just 7 months after his knee replacement, Ron completed his 54th marathon, and in October 2015 he completed his 55th marathon.
Millions of Americans suffer from knee pain. OA is the most common cause of knee pain, and one in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA during the course of their lives.[i] OA pain can impact many aspects of a person’s life, including work.
“I spent 37 years in active service, and can handle physical challenges. When my knee pain became so bad that it was making my job more challenging and preventing me from doing the things I love, I knew I needed to speak with a doctor,” says Ron. “Now, I am so thankful that my doctor recommended a knee replacement. It’s been life changing – it gave me my life back.”
Recognizing Hard Work and Perseverance
Ron is one of four inspiring individuals being featured as part of the DePuy Synthes Companies campaign called Hardest Working Knees. The goal of this campaign is to highlight the challenges that can arise for people with chronic knee pain and offer tips for keeping knees healthy to enable people to return to work. Multiple research studies have shown that workers in certain jobs have a greater likelihood of developing OA, particularly OA of the knee. This most frequently occurs in jobs with repeated stressful motions (such as frequent bending, standing for long periods of time, working long hours and continued physical activity despite pain/injury). Some of those jobs include farmers, construction workers, those in the nursing profession and active duty military personnel.
“If chronic knee pain is affecting your ability to perform your job, or any activities that you enjoy, speak with your doctor about treatment options,” said Dr. Steven Dellose, an orthopaedic surgeon at Delaware Orthopedic Specialists.
Visit AllAboutKneePain.com to learn more about knee OA and its treatment.
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[i] Arthritis Foundation. What is Osteoarthritis? http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php. Accessed May 8, 2015.