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Mary's Story

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Escaping the cold, Wisconsin winters is something Mary always looked forward to once she retired. She had hoped she’d be able spend her golden years in Florida with her husband taking in sun-filled days with bicycle rides along sand beaches. But after retiring, Mary found herself with serious knee pain which threatened to curb the active lifestyle she looked forward to pursing in the sunshine state. 

“I was experiencing a lot of leg pain and it was only getting worse,” said Mary. “I got to the point where my knee was hurting so bad, I could no longer ride my bike. Soon, I found myself starting to use a cane to walk and noticing how unstable I felt.” 

Having worked in health care for nearly 40 years prior to retirement, Mary was familiar with total knee replacement surgery. She suspected it was what she needed, and Dr. Matthew Colligan, orthopedic surgeon at the Prevea Regional Orthopedic Center in Green Bay, confirmed it.  

The Prevea Regional Orthopedic Center is located inside HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, providing Prevea orthopedic surgeons access to the hospital’s state-of-the-art surgical suites, staff and technologies; and the Prevea Surgery Center located closely to the hospital campus. Mary’s surgery was performed by Dr. Colligan at the hospital in about one hour, and she was discharged from the hospital the same day.  

Within just days after the surgery, Mary noticed her knee was feeling much better than expected. While she relied on the aid of a walker for about two weeks after surgery, she found her knee was more secure and steady than it had been in years.  

“I started to realize just how unstable my leg used to be before my knee replacement,” said Mary. “My leg had gotten so bad I was truly limited on what I could do.” 

Mary spent nearly eight weeks in physical therapy following her surgery. Twice a week, therapists worked with Mary on exercises designed to build back the strength in her leg. Before long, she was riding an exercise bike nearly a mile per session, and she was starting to consider taking her own bike out for a spin with her husband. 

“Within a few months of the surgery, I was back on my bike again and riding daily,” said Mary. “I gained back my independence and stability that my aching leg was starting to take from me.” 

Mary’s new knee has given her more freedom to pursue the hobbies she loves, which were sidelined for years. Now that she once again can embrace the activities she most enjoys, she questions what took her so long to get the surgery.  

“I really should have gotten this surgery sooner,” said Mary. “Today, I am easier to be around because I am not in pain, and I am going with the flow of things because I am no longer so limited because of the discomfort.”