Jun 17, 2014 8:00 PM by Kari Beal
Maureen Kromis was a 58-year-old marathon runner who had tallied 17 full races totalling more than 400 miles, but in 2006 excruciating joint pain brought her to a screeching halt, searching for relief.
Her doctor, Thomas Joseph Montgomery, told her that osteoarthritis had stopped her dead in her tracks and, that if she hoped to continue any activity, he recommended a total knee replacement.
"I was afraid I would be this old person that couldn't get around by myself," Kromis said.
Post-surgery, physicians told her she could still stay active and Dr. Montgomery recommended cycling and swimming.
Running--Kromis' passion--was now off limits.
"I give patients a binder. I wrote a small book on knee replacement and it goes through everything in detail. They go to a total joint class at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital," Montgomery said.
Immediately following surgery, Kromis barely could walk down the hall, but in six-months time, she was walking a few miles a day. Montgomery explained that his patient's recovery was not as uncommon as one may think.
"We get them in aggressive physical therapy for a minimum of four to six weeks. I tell patients that they're usually 70-80 percent recovered by six weeks usually 80 to 90 percent recovered by three months, but I can take up to full year," said Montgomery.
Dr. Montgomery said a knee replacement usually lasts 10 to 20 years. Two years later, Kromis walked two half marathons and her activity didn't stop there.
"I went hiking in Maine, cave swimming in Belize, and my leg...it has gotten me there," Kromis said
Kromis said her biggest piece of advice is to go into surgery with a realistic expectation of what's to come.
"Make your decision. Don't let other people talk you into it. And, when you do check who is doing your surgery, ask other people, 'Who did your surgery? How did it go?" Kromis advised.