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New Knee is Driving Force for New Milford Golf Enthusiast

Brenda Wilkes patient success story image - new kneeDANBURY, Connecticut – October 15, 2012 - After meeting her future husband, Peter, on the golf course 32 years ago in New Milford, Brenda Wilkes is happily “learning the game all over again” with him, thanks to orthopedic surgery in February 2012.  They had many years of enjoyable play together, until arthritis pain and stiffness began chipping away at Brenda’s favorite game.  When the arthritis pain had outlasted more conservative therapy, the 65-year-old Newtown resident decided to get out of the rough with a total knee replacement by Robert Deveney, M.D., a total hip and knee specialist at Danbury Orthopedics. 

“I’ve been an active person all my life. When I was young, I played softball, basketball, jogged and water skied.  Over time, there’s been a lot of wear and tear on my knees.  But, I like to golf, garden and walk.  I still mow the lawn and shovel the driveway. I don’t know how to sit down for very long,” said Brenda.
The business professional, golfer and avid gardener returned to full-time work only 5 weeks after surgery. “People were amazed with my progress.  I worked very hard in physical therapy following surgery   Now, I do my exercises at home using my indoor bike.  I think the pre-surgery preparation I did to strengthen my quadriceps using an elliptical machine really helped me to heal and recover well,” Brenda said. 

According to Dr. Deveney, Brenda had the right attitude for success after total knee replacement.   “Brenda was an ideal patient in that she had very specific goals in mind with respect to resuming an active lifestyle after knee surgery.  She was realistic about the situation and prepared herself so that she had the right support to aid in her rehabilitation and recovery,” said Dr. Deveney.   

Specializing in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement procedures, Dr. Deveney explained that patient expectations have changed when it comes to orthopedic care.  “Better implant technology and surgical techniques help us to restore function at a level that allows many people to resume a highly active lifestyle following joint replacement.  Younger or physically active patients at any age have higher aspirations than ‘will I walk without pain again?’ They often are planning to get back into sports and other activities with better function and without pain,” he added.

Brenda is making great progress on the golf course.  “I’ve been told that it takes about a year to feel ‘normal’ again, and I have some sensitivity in the knee, but no pain.  I can now shift my weight onto my leg and don’t need to make adjustments any longer when I swing the club.  It’s different playing golf now, there is no pain and I can now shift my weight again when I swing a golf club.  I am happy to be out and about.  Life is good,” she said.

“Before my knee replacement, I had previously had surgery to repair the meniscus (cartilage that supports the structure of the knee).  Following my replacement the occupational therapist came to my hospital room to show me how to get dressed after the latest surgery, I already had my shorts on and had put the compression stocking on my leg.  She laughed and said, ‘You did a good job dressing yourself.  Well, have a nice day.’ You have to take charge if you want to hasten your recovery.  When I see something to be done, I do it,” Brenda said. 

Her advice to other knee surgery patients:  “If they tell you to exercise, do it.  There’s going to be discomfort, but don’t baby it. Do what you have to do.  It will pay off,” she added.

For Brenda, the payoff comes in driving, chipping and putting – and eventually reaching the green -- one stroke at a time, and hopefully under par.

For more information on total joint replacements or other orthopedic care please call Danbury Orthopedics at 203-797-1500.