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Serena Spence

Port Jefferson Station, NY
  • Serena Spence in the photo 1
  • Serena Spence in the photo 2

I was born with a knee problem that no doctor could figure out. My right knee was always a different shape, couldn't bend all the way, and never gained nearly as much muscle as my left leg. I have been in pain every single day of my life and not knowing if my pain could ever stop was very frustrating. I tried sports but my knee didn't cooperate and I've tried dance. I was able to run and do things like everyone else except not as long. When I was younger they told me the pain was just from "growing pains". I've had doctors tell me my knee was worn out like a 40 year old and another doctor tell me I will have to live with the pain forever. Well as I got older it became worse and worse with the amount of knee pain and I knew taking medication like Tylenol and ibuprofen could only last so long because it wasn't solving the problem. I'm from Long Island and I saw a few doctors at HSS and they referred me to other doctors there. When I was 17 I had found the doctor I was looking for and from the first visit I knew he was going to help me. He spent almost thirty minutes talking to me about my knee and the issues he already saw. I've been through so many X-rays and cat scans in my life that it has been so many I lost count! So he ordered that I get some pictures taken to see what was going on. Well he told me my bone structure was a little off, I had LAX ligaments, and my knee cap he could do a complete reconstructive surgery. I had never gotten surgery before but for the second time with Dr. Rodeo, I had trust and felt comfortable. My first surgery was over seven hours on March 28, 2014. Recovery was painful and being so small I got side effects to all the medication, it was insane, I would never even wish the pain I went through on anyone in the world. I knew going through all that physical and mental pain it would pay off. When I came back home on the Island my physical therapist would bet other people that I wouldn't go back, people would think I have a good pain tolerance but no. I had a procedure done to manipulate it to bend more summer of 2013. This summer in 2015 I got my screws taken out and it has been less painful, I go to the gym a few times a week to strengthen it up. I still can't bend it all the way and I have long scars on my knee but it was worth it. My senior year of High School when my first surgery was done I used to pull over from driving, could hardly walk upstairs to my room, and it was hard to focus in school. I was also told I wouldn't be able to walk my graduation and wear heels to prom and did both! I thank Dr. Rodeo and all the staff at HSS because now I am back to being me and back in the game.