In May of 2010, at the age of 39, I had my third knee surgery, the DeNovo NT procedure performed by Dr. Cole and his team, which was a cartilage transplant from a donor. I decided to have the surgery because after two prior surgeries (micro-fracture and a clean-up of scar tissue), I was still not able to reclaim the active life I had had before my initial knee surgery in 2007. Dr. Cole’s whole focus is helping to keep a person active which is exactly what I was looking for. Prior to my initial surgery, I was quite active running, hiking and biking. The relief from my first two surgeries was an improvement but it did not last and therefore, I was never able to truly resume a fully active life without restrictions.
I am now almost five years out from my surgery with Dr. Cole and I can honestly say that I am fully back to an active lifestyle including running (two half marathons this past year), long distance biking, skiing and most recently, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet). While the climb was challenging, it was the altitude and the terrain rather than my knee that were most challenging. During the nine days of climbing and most importantly, the summit day which consisted of ten hours climbing up and two and a half hours hiking down, my knee held up amazingly well even in muddy and slippery conditions.
I had gotten used to a certain amount of knee pain on a regular basis prior to the DeNovo surgery, but no longer feel that type of pain on a daily basis. More importantly, I have no restrictions on my activity after this surgery. I am sure that I will have some knee issues in the future as I continue to age but this surgery allows me to engage and participate in the activities I enjoy without concern for the impact on my knee or potential limitations. In my mind, this is well worth the time for the surgery and recuperation. I would recommend this procedure to any person looking to continue to live an active life!