Christine Ricciardi is a people person. You see it immediately in the sparkle in her eyes and the zest for life she radiates. But this professional nurse and full time aerobics instructor was not always able to enjoy her family and friends the way she can today. "I was depressed for many years because I had to suffer with pain and pain medications."
The problem was her knee. Painful arthritis was making life difficult and unpleasant for her. "If I was in the car for an hour, my knee would lock up on me. And it would be embarrassing to get out of a car because everybody had to help me. I couldn't sit on a beach and on a blanket. Somebody would have to pull me up. I felt like this old woman."
To feel this way was out of character for Christine and she didn't like it. So when she heard about a new kind of surgery that was minimally invasive, she became very interested. "I had heard about this new minimally invasive surgery, the four-inch incision. I had a friend who had the surgery and I saw how fast she recovered. And so that kind of clinched it then. I said okay. I just have to set a date and do it. It's something I have to do for myself."
The decision is one Christine has never regretted. Looking back on her life, however, she wonders why she didn't do it sooner. Immediately after her MIS surgery she was up and about, coping for herself. "I was up and out of bed the next morning. I handled it all myself because it really wasn't that hard. It wasn't that painful."
But the real improvement was in her quality of life. The way she related to her family and the way her family related to her. Once she could get around on her own, without pain, things looked up for everybody. Even family meals, which had been a chore, became a pleasant and fulfilling focal point of her days again.
Today Christine feels great. "Like I said, I don't have any pain. I'm not depressed. I feel renewed. I'm really excited about getting back into a routine at the gym."
When asked if she had any advice to give she was quite forthcoming. "I'd say go for it. I'd say go for it and go for the surgery. Make sure you do all your research and get a really good surgeon that knows what they're doing...because there's just a world of difference."
A Stryker Knee coupled with minimally invasive surgery has been a powerful combination for Christine Ricciardi. Today she's upbeat, and happily living the life of a professional nurse and beloved family member. And she's doing it without the pain of degenerative arthritis.
Each patient will experience a different post-operative activity level, depending on their own individual clinical factors. Your doctor will help counsel you about how to best maintain your activities in order to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device. Such strategies include not engaging in high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.