Mike’s Story: Choosing Knee Replacement

‘Nonstop’ pain motivated landscaper Mike Taylor to choose joint replacement surgery
Landscaper Mike Taylor at work following knee replacement surgery

As a landscaper, Mike Taylor spends a lot of time on his knees. “They take a pounding,” he says.

After decades of kneeling and squatting, he began to feel pain in his knee.  He tolerated it for years and went to a specialist for gel shots — injections that temporarily reduce painful bone-on-bone contact. But the pain kept getting worse. 

It was nonstop, he says, until his knee almost gave out when he stood up. Realizing he needed a better solution, Mike went to see RUSH joint replacement surgeon Matthew Squire, MD, MS, who practices in Aurora and Yorkville. 

Finding a solution

Making the decision to go forward with a joint replacement is very difficult for a patient, Squire says, but Mike was a good candidate for the surgery. In fact, Squire recommended same-day discharge knee replacement, meaning no overnight hospital stay. 

“If they choose it, at least 30 to 40% of patients qualify for same-day discharge,” Squire notes. “Patients absolutely love it! There's nothing more comfortable than your own home, and patients recover better and faster with the support of their family. We've made it safe, easy and an excellent recovery process.” 

Although Mike was 57 at the time, he had never been a patient in a hospital before and was apprehensive about surgery. Squire’s bedside manner reassured him.

“Dr. Squire was very knowledgeable, calm, cool and collected,” he recalls. “He made me feel good about the procedure.”

Outpatient option

Choosing the outpatient surgery, Mike arrived for his procedure at RUSH Copley Medical Center at 7 a.m. and was home that afternoon.

“It was amazing,” he says. “From start to finish, I received the most outstanding care. I was so impressed with everyone I encountered. Dr. Squire did a great job!”

Mike was walking from the time he got home. Within three to four weeks, he was on a treadmill and after just a few months, he was kneeling again.

Helpful and accommodating

Mike had praise for everyone who contributed to his care, from those who helped him schedule appointments to those who performed his pre-op testing to the physical therapists. “They were all so helpful and accommodating,” he says.

He was especially grateful to the health care team for arranging his surgery in between landscaping and snow removal seasons. “That was so important to my livelihood,” he says. “I really appreciated being able to schedule my appointments at a convenient time for me.”

Following surgery, Mike followed the doctor’s orders, icing his knee and faithfully keeping to his physical therapy schedule. 

 “I’m not a good listener,” he says, “but I followed everything they told me to do and that helped my recovery.”

He advises others with knee pain to “definitely get the surgery. And follow the instructions!”

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