Paul Monthie, 68, of Port Jefferson Station had put up with the pain in his knees for years. “It was a progressive thing where I just wore them out,” he said. “I had put off surgery until it really impinged on how I did things. I couldn’t carry my own grandson safely down the stairs. My family was after me for years to get (the knee surgery)done. I was a physician’s assistant for 40 years, 24 of which I worked at Mather Hospital.

“At times I would feel pain in every single step. Going up and down stairs, I would have to take one step at a time. If I put pressure on my knee, it felt unstable. It got to the point where it really impacted my lifestyle and that was a turning point.”

Mr. Monthie had a few consultations with orthopedic surgeons including Dr. Brian McGinley of Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group, Port Jefferson. “I knew people who had gone to him and had replacements and other surgeries, so I made an appointment with him. He basically said, ‘Why did you wait so long?’ My knees were bone on bone. I looked bow-legged. I couldn’t put my two knees together.

“I knew a lot of the people at Mather in the pre-surgical and post-surgical units and on the patient floors. I was comfortable coming to Mather to have it done.”

Mr. Monthie had one knee replaced in January 2022 and the second in March 2022.

“I was able to get up with (the help of) the physical therapist in the recovery room and walk to the bathroom. After the first surgery on my right knee, I was able to walk without any help within a week.

“The left one took a little longer to get over the pain and discomfort. But now I do everything I need to do. I go upstairs normally. I was able to do that by May or June. I pick up my grandchildren now and play with them. I still am very careful about doing certain things. I don’t want to reinjure myself.

“Most people I speak with who have joint pain are apprehensive about having surgery. I tell them if (the pain) really changes your lifestyle, it’s time. -If the pain is so bad you can’t take it anymore, that’s the time to have it done. I always encourage people to get it done because they’ll feel a lot better. I kick myself for not doing it sooner.”