Patient Stories: Joint Replacement
Deborah DeMarco, MD
When a marathon runner had persistent pain in her knee that it made it difficult to walk, she knew she needed to see an orthopedic specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Deborah DeMarco, MD, a rheumatologist at the Medical Center, became a patient herself in 2008. After three years of prolonged pain and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, Dr. DeMarco met with David Ayers, MD, chair of orthopedics and physical rehabilitation. Dr. Ayers diagnosed her with osteoarthritis, a condition in which the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time. Dr. DeMarco inherited osteoarthritis from her mother.
In 2009, Dr. DeMarco underwent a successful knee replacement at UMass Memorial Medical Center. She chose UMass Memorial for the quality reputation of the physicians, exceptional nursing care, close location and the positive experiences her patients had. With diligence and hard work, including physical therapy three days per week plus exercising at home, Dr. DeMarco was back to work in seven weeks, pain free.
With the exception of running, Dr. DeMarco can do any activity she once did and has no pain. She is now an avid cyclist, and bikes in numerous long distance races each year. She is back overseeing the residents and fellows at the Medical School and doing what she loves to do – taking care of patients. View Dr. DeMarco's story and learn more about joint replacement in this special Charter TV3 Health Watch segment.
Janet Golden, a retired teacher, was living with knee pain for years. A visit to UMass Memorial Medical Center and Dr. David Ayers, chair of orthopedics, changed her life! After two knee replacements and successful physical therapy and recovery, Janet is now leading the active life she loves. Today, Janet is able to take daily long walks with her husband, enjoys biking and is able to volunteer, pain free. Watch Janet share her amazing, uplifting story!
"I'm a lifetime skier and climber. Indeed, my family has a legacy in skiing dating back to the 1930s in America.
I recently returned from a 14 day (dream trip) to British Columbia, Canada to a relatively new ski area called Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Many think, me included, it's the steepest, biggest, most challenging ski mountain in North America. Its vertical drop is 5,620 feet. It's longest trail 9 1/2 miles.
Thanks to my double knee replacment surgery, I was able to ski all twelve days I was there, and actually skied two non-stops from top to the bottom. My knees performed as if they were my originals. I did not ski bumps, but relentlessly steep trails all the way from the summit to the base. And my next ski day totaled my 80th of the season.
I owe this to you and your great staff at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Once again the big heartfelt thanks!"
"In 2002, I was in a snow mobile accident and hurt my leg. I was air lifted from Mendon to UMass Memorial Hospital, where I was treated by the trauma unit. They were well prepared for me and gave me immediate care. I had an infection in my leg and the doctors told me I would need 10 years of operations. Because of the infection, we then made the decision to amputate below my knee. I had twelve operations in twelve days.
"When I had my amputation, I felt that I needed to face life without pity and move forward. I then had a lot of pain in my hip, and went without surgery until I couldn’t walk anymore. I had hip replacement surgery in January of 2013. I was always in pain until the first day after my surgery and then I no longer felt any hip pain at all. During my time at UMass Memorial Medical Center, they explained each step of the process thoroughly to me and gave me great care. At this point in my life, I think twice about taking any dangerous risks."