Lowell's Knee Replacement Surgery

Lowell underwent knee replacement surgery, performed by Dr. Richard Illgen. Here's his story.

I would like to share my partial knee replacement experience for the benefit of those who might be considering such an operation.


The interior portion of my knee joint had deteriorated to the point of bone-on-bone contact with associated pain when standing, walking, and even when lying in bed at night. Dr. Illgen performed a robot-assisted operation on Oct. 30, 2012. I was released three days later to my home for recovery with the assistance of home-health care (nurse and physical therapy).


My recovery was nothing short of miraculous. One week after surgery, the physical therapist measured my knee deflection in excess of 90 degrees. As a result, my outpatient physical therapy schedule was advanced by one week. After five weeks from surgery, my knee deflection was measured at 122 degrees.


Throughout the first six weeks of my recovery, the only discomfort I have experienced is when I do physical therapy of any sort. When at rest, I have no pain. With the concurrence of health care professionals, I eliminated all prescription pain medication after two weeks.


To anyone for which this procedure has been recommended I would say, "If you are experiencing pain due to arthritic deterioration of your knee joint, I have confidence that the UW Health Orthopedic staff can, after successful surgery and recovery, restore your knee joint to functionality without pain."


I am thanking God for my recovery, and thankful to Dr. Illgen, the orthopedic staff at UW Hospital's Orthopedic Clinic, and the home health and outpatient physical therapy professionals for their care and wise counsel. My story will not be everyone's story. Perhaps it is a best-case scenario for one to consider. But, six weeks after surgery, that has been my experience.