Dr. Mark Jacquot is a recently retired optometrist living in St. Charles. Ever since his high school days, Mark has led a very active lifestyle. About 20 years ago, his knee pain started and kept increasing over time. He tried a number of different treatments, but they all just provided temporary relief. Then in 2019, he decided to come to Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) for total joint replacements on both his knees. And that changed everything.
“Prior to my knee surgeries, I had stopped walking the dog. I had stopped jogging years ago. It was painful to go up and down the stairs. In fact, we were considering buying a ranch home just so we didn’t have to navigate those. And so all that had really put a damper on my quality of life,” says Mark. “I wasn’t really cognizant of it until I started to look back and think, ‘Gosh, what am I missing here? And what about life am I missing?’ I like to joke that when some people aim to get their 10,000 steps in, I was trying to get no steps in because of the pain.”
Mark continues, “I was taking a lot of NSAIDs and icing my knees down all the time. I was trying things like steroid injections, hyaluronic acid and a number of noninvasive or reasonably noninvasive activities—including physical therapy and exercise—to try and remedy it. But at the end of the day, I just kind of ran out of steam on these.”
At this point, Mark was doing a lot of research and talking to his orthopedist about considering knee replacement surgery. Eventually, two of his friends recommended he talk to Sergey Kachar, D.O., an orthopedic surgeon at NCH.
“We met a couple of times, and Dr. Kachar ran some tests. He classified my arthritis in my knees as ‘impressive.’ I’m glad he was impressed; I was kind of depressed,” jokes Mark. After that, they decided together to move forward with total joint replacements in both knees.
In and out and moving about
Mark went in for surgery to replace his left knee in December 2019. He came back about six weeks later to have his right knee replaced. “The folks at NCH get you up and walking the day of the surgery. I had to be able to get around if I wanted to go home that day. I wanted this to be outpatient, so that was really a motivator to work hard,” says Mark.
And he did that both times. Afterward, he completed two weeks of home therapy and then some ongoing therapy at a nearby facility. “NCH coordinated my home care. It was very simple—I had to do nothing except answer the bell when the physical therapist came,” says Mark. “She really got me off to a good start to recovery. And she gave me, almost more importantly, the psychological strength that you need to get through this thing. I had the same therapist for my right knee as I had for my left knee, and I would recommend her to anybody.”
After about eight weeks of therapy for each knee, Mark could hardly tell he’d had the surgery so recently.
“Back to my old self”
Fast forward to five months after his second surgery and Mark is walking his dog about three miles a day, has no trouble standing for long periods of time and isn’t taking any NSAIDs or icing down his knees like he used to.
“I know people like to use the term ‘game-changer.’ But this has been a life-changer for me. And, like a lot of people who I’ve spoken with, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.”
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Note: Dr. Kachar is an independent physician in the community with privileges at NCH. He is not an employee or agent of NCH.
No case is the same; results may vary.