October 11, 2022

Cycling into retirement after knee repair

Expert, compassionate care after orthopedic surgery helps speed up the road to recovery.

Mark Frey, a Kaiser Permanente member and retiree, had knee replacement surgery with same-day discharge so that he could recover at home.

For 23 consecutive years, avid cyclist Mark Frey has supported AIDS/LifeCycle, by participating in its 7-day, 545-mile, San Francisco to Los Angeles bike ride to increase awareness for HIV and AIDS-related services and to raise more than $170,000 for this cause.

Frey has enjoyed cycling, skiing, and running for nearly 7 decades. In addition to being a member of Kaiser Permanente, he is a Kaiser Permanente retiree, leaving his role in November 2021 after 9 years of service. Most notably, Frey was recognized by Kaiser Permanente with a 2021 David Lawrence Community Service Award.

“This spring, I decided I didn’t want to sit passively, just watching the crisis in Ukraine and Poland. I looked into my options, then made plans to fly to Poland, where I served 1,200 refugee children every day for 30 days as a volunteer at a fruit bar,” said Frey.

“I walked nearly 55 miles a week, and eventually my left knee was in so much pain that I was limping,” said Frey. “That’s when I knew I had to get home to seek care, again, by John Peters, MD, at Kaiser Permanente.”

Returning for help

“This was not my first orthopedic surgery performed by Dr. Peters. A year ago, I had my right knee replaced,” said Frey.

With the help of Dr. Peters, and a supporting health care team, Frey planned for his second knee replacement surgery with same-day discharge so he could recover at home.

“Post-surgery, our patients generally want to heal right in the comfort of their own homes, and we can make that possible through good pain control and the coordination of surgeons, physical therapists, and home care nurses,” said Dr. Peters.

Frey’s healing process started in the post-anesthesia recovery unit, where a physical therapist assisted him in putting weight on his new knee immediately. “This gives patients the confidence to begin their recovery at home,” noted Dr. Peters. Frey started home-based physical therapy the day after his surgery, and a home care nurse checked his incision and removed his stitches at home.

Thriving in retirement

“Kudos to the expert, compassionate care delivered by Dr. Peters and his support team. From scheduling to check-in, and the professionalism shown by the nurse, anesthesiologist, and surgical team, everything was just a pleasure. Going into surgery, they even played my favorite song. They relaxed me, and I was having fun. I had a team of people, and it was all about me,” said Frey.

With both knees replaced, Frey is on the road to recovery. The team at Kaiser Permanente showed their dedication and commitment to helping Frey heal and return to charitable bike rides and new hobbies he took up in retirement, such as part-time acting on TV shows and commercials.

Thanks to the excellent orthopedic care available for Kaiser Permanente members, Frey is once again thriving in retirement.