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Sports / Orthopedic

From Surgical Assistant to Patient: Reba’s Knee Replacement Story

Aug 5 2022

Early this summer, Reba Revan (pictured above, middle) was kind enough to share a powerful story about her battle with stage 4 breast cancer. Now, she is back and talking about a rather unique perspective she has on her recent total knee replacement surgery. Read her firsthand thoughts below.

“I’m certainly not the only health care provider to ever undergo total knee replacement surgery, but I do have an interesting story.

For many years, I was the surgical assistant standing across the operating room table from Stephen Ridgeway, MD, (pictured above, left) admiring his expertise, talent and skill. At that point, he had performed nearly 10,000 hip and knee total joint surgeries. His joint teams were equally dedicated to efficiency and care which leads to positive surgical outcomes for patients. Then, my bubble burst and I had to retire early because of a dire health issue, my breast cancer diagnosis.

During that issue, I found very comprehensive care across many specialties at Bon Secours St. Francis. Meanwhile, my right knee decided to really show out. After years of a valgus deformity, a condition in which the hip, knee and ankle are not in line with each other, my knee had sustained enough damage. It was fiercely painful, unstable, lax and unable to bear weight. I had decreased mobility, loss of motion and experienced lots of falls because my knee would not hold me.

So, you know who I called? You guessed it, my friend Dr. Ridgeway.

After scans, X-rays, ruling out back and hip issues plus months of conservative treatments, he determined that a total knee replacement was my route to freedom. Once I was cleared for surgery by my other medical providers, I was scheduled for June 10, 2021.

Basically, I went from surgical assistant to surgical patient without really looking back because of the trust I had in my doctor and my team at Bon Secours.

Before my surgery, on May 17, 2021, I attended Joint Camp in preparation for my surgery. I could tell you how to do the surgery all day long, but I didn’t know how to be a total knee replacement patient.  Joint Camp taught me what to expect. I received two booklets serving as guides to my care. Any and all information I needed was handed to me at Joint Camp. Physical therapy met with me there, too. They outlined my plan of care and left me with an exercise booklet. Julie McCormick, a physical therapist, then did all the exercises with me that would later be turned over to home care.

Surgery was a breeze. In no time I was in my patient room and so was Julie, ready for my rehab physical therapy. And so it began with my brand new knee.

I was home the next day and physical therapy was there the next. Lyndon and Risa worked with me two and a half weeks, but within a few days, I parked my walker for good. I could go up and down steps, get in and out of a car and was driving two weeks after surgery! My physical therapy team was wonderful and made all my progress enjoyable.

Today, I’m very grateful for the wonderful care I received from each and every one of my excellent health care providers. I’m almost one year removed from my total knee replacement surgery and I would do it all over again. It was a very positive experience and I think MAYBE I was a good patient.”

Learn more about the orthopedics and sports medicine services we provide at Bon Secours.

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