Soccer coach back on the field with assist from UI orthopedics specialists
Joint replacement surgery can help people of all ages get back to doing the things they love.
Jon Cook can't remember a time when he didn’t have knee problems. A lifelong athlete who also serves as director of coaching with the Iowa Soccer Club, Jon had his first knee surgery at age 18 and has dealt with recurring knee pain ever since.
Now in his 50s, Jon was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in his knees, which is a common condition that occurs when the protective cartilage that surrounds the ends of bones begins to wear down with use or age. While symptoms can usually be managed, the joint damage can’t be reversed, eventually requiring joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty.
"I realized a couple years ago that I needed to have surgery. I had tried everything but ultimately knee replacement was my last option,” Jon says.
Despite being worried that he was too young for arthroplasty and that such an advanced procedure would prevent him from returning to his active lifestyle, Jon decided it was time to explore his treatment options.
Rapid recovery protocol: less pain, faster healing, same-day discharge
That’s when he connected with Nicolas Noiseux, MD, MS, FRCSC, an orthopedic surgeon with UI Health Care. Noiseux confirmed what Jon already suspected: He would need a total knee replacement.
During their consultation, Noiseux noted that many risk factors besides age can cause joint deterioration. He also reassured Jon that arthroplasty can help anyone with severe joint pain regain their mobility and improve their overall quality of life.
"When I first spoke with Noiseux, he was confident that a knee replacement would allow me to return to a very active lifestyle,” Jon says. “While I had some doubts, I knew I needed to get the procedure done to allow me to walk better and move better.”
Jon’s care was coordinated at UI Health Care's Total Joint Replacement Clinic. At the clinic, multidisciplinary specialists work together to create a personalized care plan specific to the needs of patients like Jon. This unique, team-based approach means faster recovery and less pain.
In January 2022, Noiseux performed a successful left knee joint replacement and Jon was able to go home the same day. His procedure included an implant with modern stabilizing technology to help athletes like Jon to resume full activities—including aggressive sports—after recovery.
“Joint replacement surgery has come a long way in recent years,” Noiseux says. “Applying rapid recovery protocols, we use nerve blocks and pain cocktails in the knee itself to help reduce the body’s stress response, which contributes to improved recovery and often allows for same-day discharge. These protocols also help patients heal faster through early physical therapy intervention and a multimodal pain management strategy."
Same-day discharge also means being able to start the recovery process at home, which has been shown to contribute to preferred outcomes by promoting better sleep and more movement.
It's been nearly a year since his knee replacement surgery, and Jon is back to doing what he loves: playing and coaching soccer. He could not be more thankful for the care he received.
“I recommend Dr. Noiseux to family and friends already. He assured me that I could live an active lifestyle even with an artificial knee, and thanks to his incredible surgical skill, I am the most active and mobile that I have been in over six years,” Jon says.
He also credited the UI team’s personalized approach to his care.
“The team understands that not one-size-fits-all, and I appreciate the time they took to figure out the best care and treatment options for my needs. It really makes a difference.” Jon says.
By sharing his experience, Jon hopes to encourage more people to seek out joint replacement care and get back to living their lives to the fullest.
“I really don't want to see other people put off knee replacement when I know how much the quality of my life has improved as a result,” Jon says.
Learn more about joint pain and arthroplasty.