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Blocking pain after knee surgery
Jack Secord takes a walk on Constitution Trail in Bloomington after work on July 21, 2010. Secord walks regularly and said the fascia iliaca pain block helped him to recover from two knee replacement surgeries. (The Pantagraph/LORI ANN COOK-NEISLER)

BLOOMINGTON -- Jack Secord admitted he may be an extreme example. But he stands by his story.

He had both knees replaced "and I never had any surgical pain, only the self-generated pain of therapy."

"That's astonishing to me," the 67-year-old Normal man said.

He went into both surgeries in good physical condition. That helped. But the other factor was having a fascia iliaca block by Dr. Ben Taimoorazy to block pain during and after the procedures, he said.

Secord, a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in Bloomington, was a student-athlete at Bloomington High School and Northern Illinois University. He played softball until his early 50s and was a runner from age 35 until arthritis stopped his running 2½ years ago.

Despite the progression of arthritis - a disease he inherited - he lived with pain for years and had several procedures performed so he could keep active. He had surgery to remove torn cartilage from both knees when he was in his 50s and had another procedure a few years later to inject a cartilage-like substance into his right knee.

"I believe man is meant to be upright and moving rapidly," he said. "I have a healthy commitment to fitness."

But by 2008, the pain had become so acute, he needed knee replacement surgery. Even though he was running until February 2008, by the time of his left knee replacement in April 2008, he couldn't walk more than six blocks.

In October 2008, his right knee was replaced. Dr. Anthony Dustman performed both surgeries. An orthopedic nurse in Secord's running group recommended that he have the fascia iliaca block performed by Taimoorazy, an anesthesiologist.

Secord was told that nerves that carry pain from the knees to the brain would be blocked. He believes it. On the night of each procedure, he was able to bend the affected leg and was home on the third day after surgery.

He did all his therapy at McLean County Orthopedics and at home and he knows that helped his recovery and hastened his return to work. Therapy that began at six hours a day now includes walking and swimming.

Secord isn't allowed to run anymore because that would result in too much jarring to his artificial knees. But, in addition to walking and swimming, he can bike, ski and inline skate as long as he doesn't get too aggressive.

He remains impressed with the fascia iliaca block and what that has meant for his recovery.

"It was spectacular surprise to come through a surgery of that magnitude without pain."

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