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Wanda Wood

New Knees Make All the Difference for This Richmond Resident

Wanda Wood couldn’t ignore the pain anymore. Her knees hurt so much that even walking was difficult — and Wanda loves to walk. So when a friend suggested she make an appointment with Dr. Mario Lee, an orthopedic surgeon with the Reid Hospital Joint and Spine Center, Wanda didn’t hesitate.

“Dr. Lee took X-rays and said I had osteoarthritis in both knees,” says Wanda, 84. “The cartilage had worn away, and my knees were just bone on bone. Dr. Lee was very caring and knowledgeable, and said the first step would be to try joint fluid therapy.”

Joint fluid therapy can act like a lubricant and shock absorber for painful joints, but it doesn’t work for everyone. When five weekly injections didn’t reduce the pain significantly, Wanda talked to Dr. Lee about her options. “Dr. Lee knows all the latest procedures and is not afraid to pursue them,” she says. “He recommended that I have a new type of minimally invasive knee replacement surgery. I decided to go ahead with my right knee first.”

The surgery involves using pre-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and specialized computer software to help the surgeon position the implant precisely. The result is a less invasive, shorter surgery, which can mean a better outcome.

Wanda’s surgery took place in April 2010, and even Dr. Lee was surprised by how quickly she recovered. “I think one reason I did so well was the rehab I had at Reid after my surgery,” she says. “My therapists Shelley Lamb and Laura Woods were really wonderful, and I did everything they said to do. I was determined to do well, and within about three weeks of my surgery, I could walk unaided.”

Wanda’s new knee felt great, but her left one was still very painful. So, in January 2011, she had it replaced, too. “About a month after my surgery, I had an appointment with Dr. Lee. He asked why I wasn’t using the walker, and I said, ‘I don’t need a walker and I don’t need a cane either!’ A month after that, I was able to take my dog, Augie, for long walks. Dr. Lee doesn’t need to worry about me.”

These days, Wanda is back to all of her usual activities — weekly Bible study, family get-togethers and, of course, walking. She even finds time to volunteer at Reid Hospital, in the Edelmen Heart Center in the cardiac diagnostic office. “Getting my knees replaced has made a big difference in my life,” she says. “I’m just as active as I was before.”

 

 

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