When I was 16 years old I had a pretty severe right knee injury I sustained during a football game. I tore my ACL/MCL and tore a much of my lateral meniscus. I had the surgery to repair my right knee in Syracuse, NY and I healed well but they did remove 85% of my lateral meniscus.
I was never really told that this would cause issues later on in life but I was fortunate in the short term to rehab and get back to playing college hockey at Oswego State University. When I was 34 years old I tore the remaining lateral meniscus that existed in the posterior horn and had arthroscopic surgery in Syracuse, NY to clean it out. Immediately after the surgery I could tell that my knee was completely bone on bone. I had sharp stabbing pains throughout many of my activities and a lot of grinding.
At this point I sought out natural treatment regimens to try and build some cartilage. I had PRP/stem cell injections done in Chicago which did give some relief but ultimately led to a ridge of bone growth on my medial side and didn't build enough usable cartilage on the lateral side to offset my pain.
At this point I had to give up playing men's league hockey and helping to coach my 7 year old son's hockey team. I was at a loss and got the point that I could no longer run, squat, or even walk without pretty severe pain. When I started missing normal life activities and my family was worried I knew that I had to seek out a great doctor for next steps.
I wound up seeing 6 different orthopedic surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic and Syracuse, NY and everyone recommended a total knee replacement. My weight bearing x-ray showed a complete collapse of the lateral side and the ridge of bone on my medial side made it difficult to read the x-ray. I finally found Dr. Westrich at the Hospital for Special Surgery through one of these stories on the internet!
I was very nervous about getting a total knee replacement at my age (36) unless I really needed it. I explained my case over the phone to Dr. Westrich's office manager Denise and they were excellent about getting me in within a week! Dr. Westrich went through my MRI and x-ray and was adamant that he believed a partial knee replacement by Makoplasty was the best surgery at this point in time. I finally had an explanation that made sense to me and was confident with Dr. Westrich's diagnosis. The surgery went well and I received a lateral compartment partial knee replacement with a small microfracture for a piece of worn down articular cartilage in the trochlear groove. I am happy to say that 5 months later my swelling is almost all gone, I am back to the elliptical, biking, walking, skating, squatting, and golfing with very little pain. I don't know what I would have done without this surgery and I am so happy I took the time to find an amazing surgeon like Dr. Westrich! My family and I thank you very much!