Curt Legvold is no stranger to joint problems. Growing up, his father experienced regular and intense knee pain. And as an athlete, Curt suffered tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in both knees.
But even with a history - both personal and familial - of knee issues, nothing but bilateral total knee replacement surgery could help him deal with the pain that resulted from even moderate activity.
"I had gotten to the point where if I worked in the yard for 15 or 20 minutes, I would have to come inside and ice my knees," Curt says. "And after that I was pretty much done for the day."
After his first ACL tear 24 years ago, Curt had reconstructive surgery performed by Dr. Stephen Taylor, M.D., of Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons, P.C. - West. The surgery was a success, and after rehabilitation, Curt was back on the playing field.
"I was able to play softball and some basketball," Curt says. "And for years, I ran a couple miles a day. That may not be much for some, but it was a lot for me."
Years later, he tore the other ACL, and opted to cut back on his activity instead of having surgery. Eventually, though, the pain led him to opt to have both knees replaced.
"I was to the point where I couldn't have run to get out from in front of a bus," Curt says with a chuckle. "It was that bad.
Curt was 54 when he had surgery in November of 2009. When he was wheeled into the operating room at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, he was greeted with a familiar face: Dr. Taylor.
"He'd done a number of procedures on my knees through the years and I had total confidence in him," Curt says of Dr. Taylor.
Dr. Taylor performed surgery on one knee on a Monday and on the other on a Friday. In total, Curt spent eight days at Iowa Methodist. From there, he returned home to Oskaloosa and performed physical therapy in the outpatient setting for about two months.
Now done with rehabilitation, Curt is getting used to his new knees. And he is loving the fact he doesn't have to come inside after a few minutes of activity to strap on the ice packs.
"I'm only a few months out, but I can get out and do things without coming inside," Curt says. "I can enjoy life again. I don't have to worry about the pain."
There is one activity in particular that he is already tickled about indulging in.
"I played 81 holes of golf over Memorial Day weekend," Curt says. "Before the surgery I could only make it four or five holes before I would have to put on knee braces and I was spent.
"I'm still not 100-percent, but when I get to that point, I expect things to be really easy for me."
And about that bus.
"If I had to run to get out from in front of that bus today," Curt says. "I could do it!"