Knee Replacement is Music to Marblehead Composer
Pain… pure and simple,” says Mason Daring when describing life before double knee replacement. “I was taking 10 Advil and 8 Tylenol every day to keep it at bay.”
The 61-year-old Marblehead resident is best known for his career as a film composer, producing scores for films including The Brother from Another Planet, Prefontaine, and Music of the Heart. An accomplished singer, he recently recorded his first solo album, but counts among his proudest moments, singing the Star-Spangled Banner at a Red Sox game in 2001. But behind the music is a man with a very active lifestyle.
“I exercise, golf, ride a bike, and ski,” explains Daring. “I did all these things before my surgery too, but I was always in pain. It got to the point where I had to do something about it.”
Mason Daring tells his story in this video
After explaining his problem to some physicians friends, Daring was referred to North Shore Medical Center’s chief of orthopedic surgery, William Murzic, M.D., to evaluate his options. Dr. Murzic recommended total knee replacement.
“Mr. Daring’s knees had been bothering him for years,” said Dr. Murzic. “Because he’s always on the go and wanted to remain that way, I talked with him about a rotating knee replacement.”
The rotating knee replacement implants swing back and forth (like a hinge), and also rotate inwards and outwards in a twisting motion, as a normal knee joint.
These rotating knee replacements are intended to replicate normal knee motion better than earlier models.
Daring first had surgery at NSMC Salem Hospital on his right knee in 2007, and then on his left knee in late 2009. When a knee replacement is performed, the bone and cartilage on the end of the thigh bone (femur) and top of the shin bone (tibia) are removed. A metal and plastic knee replacement implant is then attached to both bones to create a new knee joint. Depending on the condition of the cartilage underneath the kneecap, the kneecap surface may also be replaced.
“I am absolutely amazed with the results. Ninety-nine percent of the time I don’t even remember that I had the surgery,” said Daring. “My knees feel better now than they did when I was in high school.” Daring says recovering from the surgeries was not easy. It took a lot of time, commitment and motivation to get through some of the physical therapy that followed the procedure. Within five weeks though, the pain was disappearing, and he was getting back to the things he loved.
“Whether it is running, skiing or merely moving without pain, patients are always eager to return to activities they enjoy,” said Dr. Murzic. “And for most, they are able to do far more than they could before the surgery.”
Daring now participates in a spinning class on a stationary bicycle three days a week, spends time with a personal trainer, and participates in all of his favorite sports again. Thanks to his new knees, life is good.
“Because I can walk all day and ride a bike with ease, I’m much healthier than I ever was before,” explains Daring. “I’ve even lost 20 pounds. It wasn’t until after the surgery that I realized the benefits are much greater than just the absence of pain.”
In His Own Words
Watch Mason's video on our YouTube Channel.
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