Shawn Todd is back doing what he loves -- on the football field coaching.
Walking the field and even standing is a milestone because a little more than a year ago, the Davidson County teacher and coach experienced pain in his left knee that became too much.
“I'm a PE teacher and to try to teach a PE class sitting in a chair, it's not good,” Todd said.
“I would get up and move as much as I could, but the pain was excruciating,” he added.
At one point, he was in and out of the doctor’s office getting medicine injected into his knee every three to six months.
Finally, it got to the point the injections weren’t enough, he would need to have a knee replacement.
Dr. Chris Bashore, an orthopedic surgeon at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, says that arthritis is one of the first things a doctor will look for to determine if someone is a good candidate for a knee replacement.
However, he also says arthritis does not automatically mean surgery is necessary.
The question for the patient really comes down to quality of life.
“When somebody's pain prevents them from doing things that they enjoy provided they’re reasonable low impact things that most people should expect to do. That's the time to have a conversation,” Bashore said.
Since Todd’s surgery, he has made improvements in his overall health.
He has lost 20 pounds and recently hiked to the summit of Pisgah National Forest.
“I even teach aerobics and PE and the kids just shake their heads. ‘He went from sitting in a chair to teaching aerobics, how did this happen?’ I've not been happier,” Todd said.
With rehab, a person can usually resume their activities around three months after surgery.