Get Back in the Game

Pain Free After All These Years 

Rich Passarelli

Rich PassarelliRich Passarelli had surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee more than 40 years ago. The procedure left a gap which eventually caused bone-on-bone grinding in his knee. The end result was severe arthritis and chronic pain. Today, at age 66, Rich has a brand new, titanium knee and is finally pain free. 

Prior to his knee replacement, Rich’s activities were limited. He loved to golf, but could only manage to play six holes before the pain forced him to stop. Putting his shoes on and walking a half block in his neighborhood became increasingly difficult. He wore a band around his knee and would ice it down after any type of physical activity. 

In May of 2009, after a consultation with Dr. Sherwood Duhon, Minimally Invasive Orthopaedic Specialist at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Rich decided it was time to stop suffering. 

“Dr. Duhon is a super guy,” Rich said. “He, along with physician’s assistant Becky Mapes, were extremely knowledgeable and explained the entire procedure to me. They both made me feel very relaxed, and I didn’t blink an eye in deciding to get my total knee replacement after meeting with them. They were outstanding and I would recommend them to anyone.” 

Rich was on a floor in Scottsdale Healthcare devoted strictly to replacement surgeries, giving him the best and most specific care possible. Prior to his procedure, he received an injection in his thigh, which he credits for the lack of pain afterwards. He saw a physical therapist about three hours following the surgery and was out of bed and walking not long after that. 

Rich says, “You must follow instructions and do the physical therapy to win the battle. I was in the hospital for two days, had home therapy for about two weeks, and participated in out-patient therapy for three additional weeks. All of the bending, biking, and swimming I did allowed me to play 18 holes of pain-free golf eight shorts weeks after my surgery.” 

He is now more active and mobile than he’s been in years. In addition to golfing, Rich also walks regularly and swims, an activity he became fond of during his physical therapy. He could never fully extend his right leg or kneel down during church. Without pain and without even thinking about it, he can now do both. 

His advice to anyone considering this surgery, “Don’t be afraid. I know replacement surgery can sound scary. I had friends ask me if I was getting a wooden leg! Today, there is no reason in the world to suffer from chronic pain. Follow your instructions and do what you’re supposed to do after the procedure. The end result is a better quality of life. I would do it again in a minute.” 

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