For nearly 40 years, Michael Connolly, a 61-year-old Old Bridge resident, had suffered from knee pain that first began after a lacrosse injury in college. His career didn’t help matters; he worked for 36 years as a motion picture, theatrical, and television teamster, driving a truck to move stage sets and jumping into and out of the back while carrying heavy equipment.
In recent years, Michael’s knee pain progressively worsened. Not only did he have to sit at the bottom of the mountain while his wife hiked the Adirondack trails they used to enjoy together, but walking and even rolling over in bed had become unbearable.
Ready for Surgery
“After having several surgical procedures in the past few years that helped my knee pain temporarily, I finally said enough was enough,” Michael explains. “I was ready for knee replacement surgery, and I wanted to have them both done at once.”
He consulted Michael J. Greller, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon on staff at CentraState, who determined that Michael had arthritis in both knees and bone-on-bone erosion. When Dr. Greller confirmed that he was a candidate for bilateral surgery, Michael began preparing. He researched the procedure online, lost 27 pounds, took a joint replacement patient education class at CentraState, and prepared an extra bedroom at home to accommodate space for physical therapy exercises.
Michael underwent the procedure and was up and walking the same day with the help of his care team, including CentraState physical therapists. That same week, he was back at home.
Preparation Pays Off
“At the three-week mark, Michael’s progress was like that of most patients at 12 weeks,” Dr. Greller says. “Not everyone is a candidate to have both knees replaced at once, but Michael worked hard and came in physically and mentally ready. That type of motivation—along with a team approach to recovery—makes a difference in healing.”
Within three months, Michael and his wife were back to enjoying some of the smaller hiking trails in the Adirondacks together.
“I’ve already told about 15 or 20 friends with achy knees about CentraState and Dr. Greller,” Michael says. “There’s no need to travel anywhere else. Both the team and the hospital environment were fantastic.”
Dr. Greller adds, “In addition to a great outcome, Michael’s whole outlook changed after the surgery. He’s no longer worried about the pain that came with simple tasks like walking. Even better, he is now able to enjoy his retirement and his life again.”