• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Biking 100 miles after knee replacement

September 3, 2017

Sharing patient Julie Frisby sitting outside near her bike
Pain was Julie Frisby's constant companion after a series of injuries damaged her knee and spine. Knee replacement surgery at Mayo Clinic provided the relief she needed to resume an active life.

Before her total knee replacement surgery in February 2017, Julie Frisby was in excruciating pain from a series of injuries. The Ponte Vedra, Florida, resident had damaged her right knee in a water skiing accident 35 years ago. Then a fall in 2012 resulted in a spine injury that exacerbated the degenerative disc disease and myelopathy she already had, causing her right side to jerk and drag.

Her problems didn't end there. Over the years, scar tissue from orthoscopic surgery to repair Julie's knee after the skiing accident, along with arthritis, led to the development of valgus deformity — a condition where the knee bows inward. And that problem affected her back, too.

"I had excruciating pain in my back and knee. The only exercise I could do was water aerobics," Julie says. "I would ride a stationary bike, but my leg was so crooked it would knock into the bike."

Getting a good night's rest was also a challenge.

"Sleeping on my side put pressure on the knee that was bowed in, and sleeping on my back was hard because I couldn't straighten my leg totally. It was very painful," Julie says. Read the rest of Julie's story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.