Pete Walz: Knee Replacement
A passion for playing golf drove Pete Walz to seek a total knee replacement at age 58. “I was reluctant, but my joint pain was getting to a point where I couldn’t straighten my leg, and I had trouble sleeping at night,” he said.
Several years before, orthopaedic surgeon, Khawaja Ikram, DO, had treated the knee pain with arthroscopic surgery, but he told Pete a joint replacement would eventually be necessary. “I was afraid an artificial knee would hurt my golf game,” Pete said. “I thought that if I lost some weight, my knee would get better. But the pain kept me from getting the exercise I needed to lose weight.” In February of 2011, Pete decided it was time for surgery.
Again, Pete chose Dr. Ikram. “He was always friendly and never seemed too hurried to talk with me,” Pete said. “He thoroughly explained the procedure and told me what to expect in recovery, and he was confident I’d be able to play golf soon.”
Before surgery, Pete had a tour of the Henry Ford Allegiance Joint Replacement Center. It is also known as the Joint Camp, because all the patients are there for hip or knee replacements, and they do their physical therapy exercises together for group support and encouragement.
Pete found the Joint Camp program to be “very well organized.” and he was impressed with the level of nursing care he received. “The nurses were exceptionally nice to my wife and me, and they did a great job of controlling my pain after surgery,” he said.
While the physical therapy was not easy, Pete said the company of other joint-replacement patients was “encouraging and made it less of an ordeal.”
Looking back, Pete said “It was all worth it. I am able to play 18 holes of golf, walking and carrying my bag, and that’s wonderful. I am able to remain competitive in local golf tournaments against the young guys. I finished second in the Jackson City championship five months after getting my new knee,” He is also riding his bike again and going for walks nearly every day. “I would recommend total knee replacement surgery to anyone with severe knee pain,” he said.