When I was 34 I had my first total knee replacement due to traumatic arthritis from a sports injury. Once an athlete, always an athlete, as six months following this replacement I was back on the sand playing the best volleyball of my life. Imagine my distress and confusion when a year later I was nearly crippled with pain and disability worse than pre-op. Despite the original surgeon acknowledging that my tibial prosthesis was hanging over the bone, he told me just to accept the pain and disability as part of a total knee replacement. This had been my ninth knee surgery, on top of 20 other surgeries to control a chronic pain condition that had been triggered by the original injury.
After fighting so hard to control my pain and have a normal activity level, I was certainly not willing to accept a lifetime of crippling pain and inactivity. While an esteemed surgeon at Mayo Clinic was able to clearly diagnose the tibial implant in my leg as being both too large and in the wrong position, she was not supportive of my desire to return to semi-competitive beach volleyball and told me I would have to stop playing in order for her to operate.
Hospital for Special Surgery was recommended by a colleague. Following a search of the HSS physician profiles for a surgeon I thought might be a good fit, I selected Dr. David Mayman in hopes he would be willing to consider my goals and offer me alternatives more consistent with my lifestyle. While I was certainly impressed with his compassion, intelligence, and determination after just the initial consult, it was his personal efforts to collaborate my care with local providers, patient (personal) responses to all my questions, and consideration of my pain management needs that have won my lifetime loyalty and respect. Dr. Mayman is one of those rare physicians who practices his craft as a calling rather than a job. He is a true healer. What is even more stunning is that this professionalism and passion for treating the whole person is evident throughout the entire HSS spectrum of care.
I was especially touched by the exhaustive efforts of Heather W. and Kathleen H. in Dr. Mayman's office to help me plan my trip and coordinate my care as I traveled from FL to NY over Christmas to have surgery. They both never failed to cheerfully and efficiently respond to me. Not only was my tibia revised (the original part was removed and replaced with the proper prosthetic), but my pain condition was so well managed it did not rear its head and remains in remission. Six years later, I have won six beach volleyball championships, do yoga, heavy circuit training, cardio, and have no knee pain nor movement limitations. I'd say I chose well! Thank you will never be sufficient to describe the gratitude I feel to Dr. Mayman and the entire HSS family.