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Mona 2.0
Ratings Ratings Ratings Ratings Ratings - November 30, 2018

I was always active growing up but it wasnt until my early 20s that I discovered running. I started out as many beginning runners do, logging 1-2 miles at a time, increasing the miles over the years until I was eventually running 50-70 miles a week. Running became my constitution. As a twenty-something, my days were filled with working, running, sleeping and eating. I ran the local Chicago racing circuit, then marathons. I was happy and I felt terrific. In my 30s, as I married, held a full-time job and raised two kids, I continued running and, after all the swimming I did during my pregnancies, I started competing in triathlons too still happy, still terrific.

But then after 25 years of competitive running and a dozen triathlons not so terrific. The cartilage in my left knee was damaged. Agonizing pain, limping, swelling, and waking during the night from pain became typical. I depended on ibuprofen to get through each day. I was miserable, continuously in pain and unable to runor be active at all. Even gardening became too painful. From appointments with foot doctors, diagnostic x-rays, purchasing better running shoes, MRIs, orthopaedic surgeons, arthroscopic debridement, Pilates, microfracture procedures, injections, prescription pain killers, and physical therapy, I was desperately seeking a solution that would enable me to get back to running. Feeling frustrated that nothing helped, I was determined to run again.

Finally, in early 2008 I was referred to Dr. Brian Cole. Dr. Cole gave me hope that I could regain my mobility with surgery. In November 2008, Doctor Coles team performed an osteochondral allograft transplant (OAT) on my left knee. The surgery was immediately followed by 8 hours/day of continuous passive motion (CPM) and a full year of serious rehab. I learned to walk again after 12 weeks of no weight bearing. I swam laps when I couldnt put weight on my knee and lifted weights while sitting. I discovered creative ways to keep active during the long year of rehab.

In October 2010, two years after the surgery, my husband and I travelled to Italys rugged Amalfi Coast. This trip would definitely test my new knee. On a day trip to the Isle of Capri, we decided to hike the Phoenician trail an ancient walkway climbing over 1,000 feet to the islands summit. At the top, as we looked out over the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, I knew my knee had passed the test. Its been 2.5 years since my surgery and I am a completely pain free. I exercise vigorously every single day, swim with a strong kick, bike for hours at a time, hike miles up steep hills, and I even run an occasional 3.7 miles. Before surgery this never seemed possible.

I am happy and feel terrific. I have been given a second chance thanks to Doctor Cole and his team and I am forever grateful. I am Mona 2.0.