Get Back to Nature
When Diana Convey’s doctor told her there was “nothing that could be done” to repair the damaged meniscus in her right knee, and that her only option for preventing her knee pain from getting any worse was to stop running altogether, her response was pretty simple. “No way!” she said without hesitation. “I just was not able to accept that answer.
In her mid-fifties, Diana had been suffering with knee pain for over ten years. It was no surprise to her, however, considering she played everything from basketball, volleyball, softball, field hockey, track and even badminton in college. She also found her love for long distance running in college.
After college, Diana continued with her passion for long distance running. She participated in countless distance races, from the 5K to the marathon, and pushed herself even further by running “ultra-runs” – marathon distance and above trail competitions. “The longest ultra-run I did was a 50 miler up and around South Mountain,” Diana added. “I even qualified several times and ran in the Boston Marathon, but of them all, my favorite distance to run is the half marathon.” A highlight was running together with her son and nephew in the PF Chang Rock and Roll Marathon in 2009.
During the course of all of this running, Diana suffered torn ACL’s in both knees and had surgeries to repair the damage. “It really was no surprise to me when I began experiencing knee pain again in my fifties,” she said. “But when my doctor told me there was nothing that could be done and that my only option was to quit my active lifestyle, I knew I had to find another answer.”
Diana found Stefan Tarlow, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Scottsdale Healthcare and one of only a few surgeons in the area who performs partial knee replacement surgery using Mako® robotic technology. The knee has three compartments, and often the damage is contained while other compartments of the knee remain healthy. In these cases a partial knee replacement can be performed. Using the Mako robot allows the surgeon to insert the implant through a relatively small incision and with an incredible degree of precision, resulting in quicker recovery times and a more natural-feeling knee.
Finding she was a candidate for this type of knee replacement, Diana scheduled her surgery in August of 2012 without hesitation. “It’s absolutely amazing how far technology has come and I couldn’t be happier with the results,” she said. “I used my walker one time after the surgery, to walk into the store to pick up my prescription, and after that I was done with it.” Diana was walking the same week of surgery, and back at work the very next week.
After a couple of months of rehabilitation, Diana is gradually returning to her level of activity before surgery, and without the type of pain she had previously experienced. “This was by far the best decision I could have made. It was absolutely worth it,” she added. “It is so nice to be able to enjoy the activities that I love with the peace of mind knowing that there is life after this!”
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