Patient Stories

Steps in the Right Direction: Knee Replacement for Severe Osteoarthritis

Winifred Davis had severe osteoarthritis (OA) in her knees for more than 10 years before deciding to proceed with knee replacement at the age of 65. She managed until then with medications and exercises. When Mrs. Davis was ready, she came to see Michael L. Parks, MD, Assistant Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.

“My husband, Joseph, and I were very impressed with the [patient education] class at HSS which walked you through every step of the process, from when you arrive in the OR to post surgery and pain management - it’s an excellent approach to making a patient feel confident.”

Dr. Parks replaced her left knee in March 2009 and her right knee in February 2010. According to Dr. Parks, cases like Mrs. Davis, an African-American, emphasizes the importance for all people of color and cultures to seek help for debilitating joint conditions instead of living with impaired mobility and pain. “We know that people of different cultures are either afraid or uninformed about getting treatment for arthritis,” explains Dr. Parks. “We need to get the message out so no one needs to suffer.”

Three weeks after her final surgery, Mrs. Davis was trying out her second new knee on the steps to her home. Now, at age 66 and semi-retired, Mrs. Davis enjoys spending quality time - pain free - with her children and grandchildren. Says Ms. Davis of her experience at HSS, “Both surgeries had gone better than I had anticipated - I tell people [with joint pain] there is only one place to go.”

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