(BPT) - In 2009 Tomball resident Carrie Rand started running and hiking to stay active, and it wasn’t long before she found herself competing in 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons around Houston. Unfortunately, the wear-and-tear on her right knee eventually led to a meniscus tear, subsequent surgical repair and frequent cortisone shots to diminish the pain.
By November 2015, the pain had become too much to bear. Carrie had stopped exercising altogether, had gained significant weight, and was miserable. “We have a game room upstairs in our house where our grandchildren can play. I couldn’t go up there to watch the kids because of the staircase. That’s when I knew I had to do something about my knee,” she said.
After consulting with her physician, she was told that her knee was “bone-on-bone,” and the cortisone would no longer provide her the relief she needed. She sought the opinion of Dr. Daniel Le, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital, who concurred with the initial assessment, and suggested that it was time for Carrie to consider a total knee replacement.
Carrie was hesitant because she was only 52 years old at the time, and she assumed knee replacements were meant for people much older than she was — and she was also afraid that she’d always be favoring her new knee.
Dr. Le, who is on the forefront of joint replacement technology, convinced Carrie that by having knee replacement surgery she would not only be freed from the pain, but also regain the stability she needed to resume healthy activity. He chose to implant a MicroPort Orthopedics Medial-Pivot knee replacement, because of the implant’s ability to bend, twist, and rotate like a normal knee.
“Very little of what I do is purely medical or scientific — there’s real artistry as well,” said Dr. Le. “I take great pride in understanding not only the mechanics of replacing a hip or knee, but also the wants and needs of the people receiving those implants. By truly understanding patients’ hopes for the future, I hope I can deliver an experience that matches their expectations. With Carrie, it was important to give her an implant on which she could start exercising again.”
“Dr. Le performed the surgery on a Wednesday morning at 11:00, and I was up and walking by 2:00 that same afternoon,” said Carrie. “Immediately, I felt the difference. My knee was sore from the surgery, but there was no pain when I walked. My knee hadn’t felt that good in five years,” she remarked.
After completing physical therapy, Carrie broached the subject of running to Dr. Le at a follow-up visit, and he was encouraging of the idea. “Dr. Le reassured me that because I am young and healthy this knee will serve me for as long as I live.”
Carrie started running once again. And she found that her new knee gave her the stability to run comfortably. In fact, she ran her first 5K four months after her surgery — an amazing feat. Additionally, her new knee has allowed her to get back into shape, and since she started running, she has lost nearly 70 pounds.
“This surgery has given me my life back. I’m now able to do the things that I love — running and hiking and chasing my grandchildren — without pain. Heck, I’ve even started to take kickboxing lessons,” said Carrie. “I wish I would have had the surgery five years sooner.”