We managed to finish all the interviews and surveys today and it went really well. Some themes have emerged as we hear the stories of how the patients' physical activity and lives are changed by their surgeries. Many are able to spend more time with family and to visit neighbors. They are taking their grandchildren to the park, and several have described how wonderful it is to be able to lift, care for, and play with their grandchildren again. Some of the younger patients have resumed work or returned to work with renewed vigor. Another major theme has been the desire to" pay it forward". Many of the women who received knee replacements described their ability to visit home-bound neighbors and take care of sick community members, just as their neighbors cared for them when they were bed- or wheelchair-ridden with osteoarthritis.
Some have returned to dancing, and many more walk for exercise and feel much healthier since their surgery. It has been fantastic to hear the patients' stories as they share the joy brought by changes in their physical activity and the new or renewed opportunities their artificial joints afford. Our goal is to identify and define the ways in which patients' physical activity has changed since surgery, and we have also been asking about barriers that prevent even further renewed activity. We want to know what allows OpWalk patients to broaden their activity horizons after surgery and what might be holding them back so that we can address and help them surmount these barriers.