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I Waited Way Too Long to Resolve Knee Pain

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The nagging pain in both of Rennie Swift’s knees began about 15 years ago. Looking for relief, Rennie had arthroscopic knee surgery on both knees, which helped with his pain for several years. “The pain returned with a gusto,” he admits. “Especially, the right knee.”

The pain became so severe that Rennie began to limp. As an educator at Memorial Hermann who conducts employee training, he is constantly on his feet, putting pressure on his knees. “Both my knee joints began to grind bone-on-bone, developing bone spurs around the edges,” he recalls. “I had to find a solution.”

Rennie looked at the Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital website and made an appointment with Brian S. Parsley, MD. “I had never met him, but I liked what I read about his experience and philosophy.” Rennie knew he was in good hands with Dr. Parsley, and he had total right-knee replacement surgery in April, 2017. “Everyone gave me confidence I was in the right place, whether it was with my diagnosis, the thorough explanations about my options, the surgery itself or the physical therapy,” he says.

Rennie participated in pre-op training with his wife, Monica Maxwell.  “We were encouraged to bring our spouse or friend who would help us after surgery and the training prepared us.  A support system is critical because when you go home after surgery, you need assistance or someone to check on you.”

Rennie had the surgical procedure in the morning and that evening he took his first steps. “Dr. Parsley reminded me that my knee wouldn’t break, and I had to get moving and keep bending my knee,” he recalls.

Rennie also loved the warm cookies offered by a hospital volunteer in the afternoons.

Advice: Work Hard at Physical Therapy

Rennie met his physical therapy goals, and he left Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital a day earlier than anticipated. 

His continued efforts in physical therapy got results: he was back to work within six weeks.

He describes his quality of life now as the difference between night and day.  “I have no pain, and I walk perfectly normal,” he explains.

According to Dr. Parsley, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in total joint reconstruction with an emphasis on hip and knee issues and injuries in patients of all ages, “It is important to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacements to fully understand the options to alleviate the pain.”

Based on the excellent life expectancy of the hip and knee implants used today, patients can expect 20-25 years of life without the burdensome pain of arthritis.

“I describe a joint replacement as a 50/50 operation,” says Dr. Parsley. “Fifty percent of the success depends on a good orthopedic surgeon performing the surgery. The other 50 percent depends on the patient having the right attitude and being focused on physical therapy and rapid recovery.  Rennie was onboard and did a great job.”

A Customer-Focused Specialty Hospital Is Important

Dr. Parsley also credits the importance of a hospital that is customer focused and has expertise in the area needed.  Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital is a specialty hospital focused on the orthopedic patient from the operating room to the nursing staff to the specialty trained physical therapists.  “This facility is dedicated to the highest quality service and we have the highest patient satisfaction rate of any hospital in the Houston area,” he notes.

Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement designation in 2016, the first hospital in Houston to earn this advanced certification.

Rennie recommends Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital to everyone he meets who is experiencing similar pain.  “I urge them to see an orthopedic specialist and learn about their options.  I waited way too long.  I won’t make that mistake with my left knee so I know Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital will see me again soon!”