Patient Stories

Keith W. Lawhorn, MD

My Story:

“Both your knees have to be replaced.” These are not the words I wanted to hear when Dr. Lawhorn said them to me years ago. I decided to wait, hoping some miracle would occur and someone would come up with a new treatment that would regenerate the damage done dancing ballet semi-professionally as a teen coupled with weight gain and losses as an adult. “I’ll see you back when you wake up at night in pain,” he told me.

It did take a couple of years, but my life became less and less mobile. On a trip to Hawaii, all I could do was watch my family run up and down hills to experience wonderful beaches. I could no longer dance and had to stop wearing heels. Walking even a few blocks became intolerable. And yes, I was waking up in the middle of the night in pain. Working out was challenging and I hired a personal trainer who come up with modified exercises, all the while telling me there had to be a better way.

And then my son got engaged in December. They set an October marriage date and I knew I wanted more than anything to be able to dance the mother/son dance with him. In heels.

I went back to Dr. Lawhorn,s who told me that with the new technology available, he felt confident that he could do a partial knee replacement instead of a full. Reluctantly and nervously I agreed to go forward when he assured me that I would be able to dance.

In May I had my first partial replacement done. The staff in the surgical center was fabulous and professional and I walked out that afternoon. I was in PT within a week and back in the gym a month later. My second surgery was in July and the recovery was similar. Soon I was also able to take long walks and life returned to the new normal. There is little I can’t do, i.e. run, but then again, I didn’t really before either. It was all well worth it and the advice I always give anyone who asks is: Don’t wait like I did.

I’m attaching a picture of the mother/son dance.. You may not be able to tell, but I’m in heels.

Thanks to my care at OrthoVirginia, I can return to a life that is incredibly easier and less painful.