May 25, 2022

Diary of a Mako Total Knee Replacement as Shared by Dr. Jamie Kay

Dr. Jamie Kay, CIO orthopedic surgeon and current president of the group, recently had a second total knee replacement using Mako SmartRobotics™ technology and is now over two months out from surgery. Dr. Kay had his first total knee replacement (left knee) at age 48, performed outpatient in our Muncie outpatient surgery center by Dr. Brent Damer using Mako technology. At age 52, he chose to have his other knee replaced (right knee) again by Dr. Damer at our Fishers outpatient surgery center. Both recoveries were very similar, and Dr. Kay strictly followed his rehab plan. Being a Mako surgeon himself, he had an idea of what to expect after surgery, but now uses his personal experiences to help prepare his patients on what to expect after a total knee replacement.

After this most recent knee replacement, Dr. Kay kept a diary to track his progress and share his experience. Read on to learn more about Dr. Kay’s personal experience after knee replacement surgery. It’s important to understand that every patient is different, and therefore every recovery is different. For more information about Mako SmartRobotics technology for hip and knee replacement, visit, or call 800-622-6575 to schedule an appointment to consult with a joint replacement surgeon.

March 7, 2022: 3.5 Hours After Surgery

3.5 hours after my total knee replacement using Mako SmartRobotics technology. Dr. Damer began surgery at 6:30am at CIO Fishers outpatient surgery center. I was walking at 10:00am and went home at 10:30am.

March 7, 2022: 12 Hours After Surgery

Feeling good and would rate my pain level a 1/10. I’ve been consistently icing and elevating my knee. While off to a good start, I know that the nerve block put in by anesthesia will eventually wear off. Need to stay ahead of the pain.

March 8, 2022: 24 Hours After Surgery

Experiencing minimal pain and minimal swelling one day after my knee replacement. Iced overnight. Gotta ride this nerve block while it’s still hot!

March 8, 2022: 36 Hours After Surgery

Nerve block is wearing off. To manage the pain, I’m taking Toradol 10mg and Norco 5mg every 6 hours and had two doses of Dexamethasone (steroid). (FYI, the beeping at the end of the video is from the device on my leg to prevent blood clots.)

March 9, 2022: 48 Hours After Surgery

My nerve block is mostly gone, and I’d rate my pain level at 4-5/10. Toradol 10mg plus Tylenol 325mg alternating with Norco 5mg every 3 hours works well to manage the pain. More swollen today, but expected.

March 10, 2022: Day 3 After Surgery

Pain level has improved slightly (yesterday, day 2, was rough). Upon standing, the first maximum extension was a little painful, but easier afterwards and felt balanced. Sitting down is getting easier. Swelling similar to yesterday.

March 11, 2022: Day 4 After Surgery

Ventured out to CIO Fishers Physical Therapy for a session with Dylan Lax, DPT. I’m improving every day.

March 12, 2022: Day 5 After Surgery

I’m BORED! Biking feels great and walking up stairs is easier, although I did have a death grip on the rail. I’ve stopped taking narcotics, and I’m managing the pain with Tylenol and NSAIDs, icing and elevating my leg.

March 13, 2022: Day 6 After Surgery

Reached a plateau on pain. Alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen. The pain is sore enough just to be annoying. Took another spin on the bike and a very slow 1/2 mile walk on the treadmill. Still bored, but staying occupied with basketball and working on taxes. (PS: That’s my wife, Kerri, in the video background kicking my butt on the elliptical.)

March 15, 2022: One Week After Surgery

Progress seems slower, but I’m very impatient. Also, I’m definitely a better surgeon than a patient. 😉 Biggest issue is sleeping…it’s difficult, but getting better. Took a walk outside today with my pup.

March 17, 2022: 10 Days After Surgery

Slept much better last night! Decreasing Ibuprofen/Tylenol intake. Nice 30-minute bike ride today.

March 20, 2022: 13 Days After Surgery

I busted out of the house and enjoyed an outing with my wife, plus a 30-minute bike ride and 30-minute walk. No longer using handrails when using stairs. Still not sleeping great, but feeling good overall. First day back in the office for a 1/2 day tomorrow.

March 23, 2022: 16 Days After Surgery

Went back to work this week two half days and one full day, and staples came out! Overall, went well. More sore as the day went on, but tolerable. Standing is the most difficult, walking is easier. Taking Ibuprofen and icing a couple times per day. Driving now with no problem. Working on range of motion by doing exercises and leg lifts. Finally slept better the last two nights! All in all, coming along nicely. Pictures show flexion and extension. Still needs work, but not bad!

March 28, 2022: 3 Weeks After Surgery

Doing great. Sleeping much better. Taking only Ibuprofen 800mg 1-2 times per day and icing 1-2 times per day. Working on range of motion. Went back to the office last week and had a few small surgery cases on Friday, including one total hip replacement and felt fine afterwards. Very happy with progress. Plan to go full-time at work next week.

April 7, 2022: One Month After Surgery

Worked full-time this week and going well. Standing a long time in surgery is still the toughest task, but getting better. Swam a mile this past Sunday and it felt good. Still working the bike.

April 18, 2022: 6 Weeks After Surgery

First time off the seat on the bike felt fine! Motion is great, really only sore when standing for a prolonged time (>30 minutes). Going up the stairs feels normal, down the stairs still just a little hitch, but close to normal. No limp walking. Incision looks good. Looking forward to not thinking about my knee anymore, but that takes a long time (12-18 months).

May 1, 2022: Two Months After Surgery

First trip to the range since surgery. Knee felt great! Still not beating the course record…

May 11, 2022: 9 Weeks After Surgery

Knee feels great in general. Walked 18 holes this past weekend with no problem. My knee does get sore with prolonged standing (>1 hour), and still have a little swelling at the end of the day, but improving. I’m ready to forget about this knee, but as I tell my patients, it takes 1-2 years. So much better than pre-op already!