Cindy Griffith Hiking Hedgehog Brook to Appalachian Gap

Hiking Again After Knee Surgery

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 by UVM Health Network - CVMC

by Cindy Griffith, Vermont

Being an avid hiker and retired, my husband and I were finishing up hiking Vermont’s Long Trail when I injured my knee. Thankfully, the initial knee insult occurred on one of our last hikes of the season and at the end of our LT journey. However, my hiking was now done, barely being able to walk or go upstairs. I was very fearful I wouldn’t be able to return to my activity level and love of the outdoors.  

Initially, working with CVMC physicians and physical therapists, we hoped my knee would recover on its own with PT. Ultimately an MRI revealed my meniscus was severely damaged along with having age-related arthritis. My physical therapist knew of a new orthopedic surgeon with the CVMC physicians group and my primary doctor referred me for surgery. After meeting with the surgeon, we collaboratively agreed laparoscopic surgery would be utilized to clean up the damage in my knee.     

Within two days of the surgery, I could stand up without the crippling pain in my knee, which made me feel very hopeful. In a few days, PT was added back into my routine where I had to work at bending my knee again, which had been held straight for almost 3 months because of the pain in bending. Thanks to the PT team, my progress was swift and successful.     

Four months after surgery, I went for my first gentle hike. At five months post-surgery, I hiked part way up Camel’s Hump. Six months after surgery, I hiked Hell Brook Trail from Smuggler’s Notch to Mt. Mansfield. The trail is one of the steepest and most difficult to summit Mt. Mansfield and I’ve never been as thankful for my CVMC team as I was then as I hiked without pain and had almost full ability to hike again. I haven’t stopped hiking since! 

Thanks to the CVMC team I received the treatment which was necessary for me. Staying active is a critical part of my life. When I lost my activity, I feared it would never return to me. Thankfully, my mobility has returned by working together with the spectacular CVMC team including my GP, Orthopedic Surgeon, PT staff, all the supporting doctors, nurses, as well as support staff.

Thank you CVMC!