OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Deborah

April 01, 2016

Photo of DeborahMeet Deborah – a wife of 23 years and a mother of two teenagers who is anxiously awaiting for warmer weather to return so she can return to the outdoor activities that she enjoys, including hiking, gardening, and beach trips. This time, however, she will be doing so without the constant arthritic knee pain that kept her from enjoying her life prior to having a total knee replacement.

Prior to surgery, Deborah’s life was significantly impacted by her knee pain. When asked how the arthritis in her knee affected her life before surgery, she recalled, “I was not able to do much of anything and I only walked out of pure necessity. My world revolved around how far I needed to walk and if there was a place to sit because of the pain associated with walking and standing. I also walked with a pronounced limp which caused stress to other body parts and resulted in even more aches and pains.”

While under care at another orthopaedic practice, Deborah sought out a second opinion from OAA Orthopaedic Specialists after hearing positive feedback from her colleagues who were prior patients. After nonsurgical treatment options failed to alleviate Deborah’s pain she met with Dr. Kevin Anbari of OAA’s Joint Replacement Institute.

Dr. Anbari is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and devotes his entire practice to hip and knee replacements. He performs the direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery, as well as partial and total knee replacements. Dr. Anbari performs approximately 300 knee replacements each year and is constantly reminded about how rewarding his job is: “I enjoy meeting patients like Deborah and making a positive impact on their lives. The most pleasing aspect of my job is when patients come back after surgery and tell me how happy they are that they went through with the surgery and are looking forward to a life without joint pain. I also work with great staff in the hospitals and at OAA, so spending time with these caring and wonderful people is also a great perk of my job,” Dr. Anbari stated.

When asked what advice she would give someone living with arthritic knee pain, Deborah shared, “My outlook is simple, live for today since no one is guaranteed tomorrow. My knee pain wasn’t allowing me to live, and I had to watch life as it happened before me. I was a burden to my husband and my children, and I wanted my independence and lifestyle back.”

Dr. Anbari also provided his professional advice for those with apprehension about joint replacement surgery, “Speak to a doctor who is experienced in the field, have a real conversation about the pros and cons, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I always tell my patients that this is an elective surgery and it should be done only when it’s right for them. I also tell them that most patients who have had knee and hip replacements are very happy with that decision and that they would gladly do it again,” Dr. Anbari shared.

Four months have passed since Deborah’s surgery, and her recovery has exceeded her expectations. “Recovery from the surgery was a process. There were days of discomfort, but in a few weeks I was feeling great and started to feel like myself. Physical therapy was an integral part of my recovery, and I benefited from working with a therapist that worked with me previously and knew of my condition before surgery. Every week, I saw myself getting stronger,” Deborah recalled.

Reflecting on Deborah’s recovery, Dr. Anbari said, “It is such a pleasure to see how well Deborah did. Her experience is the rule rather than the exception. Most patients are very happy with the outcomes of their knee surgeries. Our techniques have improved over the years to help make the recovery as pleasant and pain-free as possible.”

This was Deborah’s first surgery, so she had her fair share of apprehension. The fears and nervousness were helped by Dr. Anbari’s ability to answer Deborah’s questions and concerns. “Dr. Anbari is very experienced in this field, so I felt as though I was in great hands. Without any reservations, I would call upon Dr. Anbari again if I would need to have my other knee replaced,” Deborah elaborated.
“I am forever grateful to Dr. Anbari, for he gave me my life back as it was before arthritis.”

Do you or a loved one have a similar story? Share your story with us, and you could be next month's patient ambassador!