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Michele McGuire

Perkasie, PA
  • Michele McGuire in the photo 1
  • Michele McGuire in the photo 2
  • Michele McGuire in the photo 3
  • Michele McGuire in the photo 4

At age 42 and leading a very active, healthy lifestyle, I was diagnosed with an ACL tear in my left knee. Little did I know what this injury would reveal, and how it would change my life so drastically over the next 4 1/2 years. After 3 unexplainable, failed ACL reconstructions, several arthroscopic interventions, a bone graft from my hip, extensive diagnostic testing, and a multitude of consults from some of the top orthopedic surgeons in some of the best hospitals all over the Philadelphia area, I was left with no clear understanding or diagnosis as to what was causing my graft failures. I was left in a full leg, locked ROM brace, on and off crutches due to weight bearing restrictions and extremely frustrated. My local orthopedic team put me in touch with Dr. Frank Noyes at Cincinnati Sports Medicine Clinic, who is one of the top orthopedic knee surgeons in the country. He agreed to see me. It was there I was properly diagnosed with having dramatic posterior tibial slope in both my legs. I was born with the slopes and functioned fine until I injured the left knee. The slope was so large that my neuromuscular system couldn't figure out how to work with the new ligaments we were trying to reconstruct. Dr. Noyes knew the orthopedic journey ahead of me was going to be difficult and the amount of care I would need was going to be extensive. So we had to find a more local option for me. My local team, along with Dr. Noyes, found Dr Robert Rozbruch, and so begins my story at HSS. At my 1st appointment I knew I was finally in the right hands. In Oct 2014 I underwent limb lengthening surgery and spent the next 4 1/2 months in an external fixator frame. After frame removal I was still experiencing significant instability. We knew my ACL wasn't functioning before the surgery, but after consulting with Sports Medicine and bringing Dr. Sabrina Strickland and Dr. Jo Hannafin in on my case, they saw that my postero-lateral corner would have to be reconstructed also. They were hopeful this would solve my instability but were concerned about the extensive soft tissue reconstruction the knee had already undergone. This would after all be the 4th attempt at this. My chances were not great but considering my alternative, which would be a fully constrained, rotating hinged knee replacement, at age 45, I knew we had to give this a try. In Aug 2015 I underwent my 4th ACL and PLCorner reconstruction with Dr. Strickland and Dr. Hannafin. Unfortunately after 2 months when I began weight bearing we knew this was not successful at no fault to anyone except my knee. Dr. Strickland brought Dr. Russell Windsor in on the case and that December he explained to me what the next surgery would entail. He had no doubt in his mind this was the final step in my journey. It would finally get me off crutches and out of the leg braces I had been wearing for the last 4 years. It did mean my new activity level would be different since this RHK-1 replacement system he would install was only meant for very low impact. But I was ready and confident to handle my new "normal". I am 8 months post-op from my surgery with Dr. Windsor and getting stronger every week. I have undergone extensive physical therapy for almost 4 years to rehabilitate this leg/knee from 11 total surgeries. My orthopedic journey has been long, painful and very grueling, but I am finally walking free of devices and I even stood in the ocean this summer for the first time in over 4 years. I am so extremely grateful to my team at HSS for taking such amazing care of me and also to my local orthopedics for continuing to support me. I am still strengthening and rehabbing but am closer than ever to being "Back in my Game"!!