Patient Stories

Keith W. Lawhorn, MD

Emmett is a self-proclaimed exercise fanatic. On any given day, you’ll find him running, biking, swimming or weight training in the gym. He regularly competes in marathons, ultra-marathons, trail running, cycling, triathlons and IRONMAN® events. 

With all this activity, the 48-year-old from Reston is no stranger to the orthopedic surgeon’s office. Overuse injuries are a part of his life. When he does get hurt, OrthoVirginia is his first call for help. And Keith Lawhorn, MD, is his surgeon of choice. 

Several years ago, Emmet developed pain and swelling in his left knee. Dr. Lawhorn diagnosed bursitis – an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that covers and cushions the bony prominences in the front of the knee. The condition results from injury or overuse, such as excessive training or athletic competition. Pain and swelling can sometimes lead to an obvious lump when too much fluid collects under the skin.  

Despite temporary relief from non-operative measures such as rest, anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroid injections, Emmett's pain persisted and limited his ability to train and compete. He ultimately underwent a bursectomy at OrthoVirginia’s Outpatient Surgery Center in Herndon. Dr. Lawhorn made several small incisions over the top of the knee to expose and excise the bursa. Since the bursa is in front of the kneecap, the knee joint was not impacted.

Emmett was up and walking immediately after his surgery. He returned to his IT job at Cisco the next day. “The entire process was so quick and easy it almost felt like drive-through surgery,” he says. “Walking right away was the best way to get me on the road to recovery.” 

Through the years, he’s referred many people to Dr. Lawhorn and always appreciates his candid assessment. “Dr. Lawhorn is an athlete himself, so he understands and supports my goals,” he says. “Exercise is my life. Dr. Lawhorn and everyone at OrthoVirginia have kept me doing what I love to do.”