Postoperative pain control is provided with pain medicine and a cold therapy unit. The latter is designed to minimize swelling and inflammation and help with pain control. Because regaining knee range of motion is an early postoperative challenge, a continuous passive motion machine is utilized to optimize range of motion return. It is typically recommended to use crutches and avoid weight bearing on the operated leg for the first six weeks postoperative. This protects the transplant while it heals.
To restore full range of motion and regain athletic function, it is imperative that patients adhere to a physical therapy program. Committing to one’s rehabilitation regimen will ensure that the benefits of the procedure are long-lasting and that patients can safely return to their active lifestyles, a quality Dr. Schwartzberg says was no problem for Drew.
“Drew was very motivated and had great rehab folks,” he says. “She progressed through the process extremely well. Her knee doesn’t have pain anymore and she’s back training in the gym. She’s in great shape and I think her knee is going to hold out for the rest of her life so that she can do whatever she wants to do athletically.”
With her successful surgery behind her, Drew is looking forward to getting back to the things she loves to do and enjoying life to the fullest again.
“I’m looking forward to running again without having any pain and not being apprehensive about doing certain movements and just being confident in all the things that I’m able to do,“ she says.
“It’s important to get yourself checked out when you feel something could be wrong and taking the steps that need to be taken to take care of yourself. You only get one body in this life; you might get an allograft, but you only get one body,” Drew says with a laugh.