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Beverly Anderton – Knee Replacement Success Story

Brand-new knees, brand-new life

Beverly Anderton, knee replacement patientThe Anderton home in Fort Worth is a special place. The doors are open to young women aging out of the foster system who need a place to live while pursuing higher education, and the walls are bedecked with scripture verses and motivational truisms, like “Live for today, hope for tomorrow” and “The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing.”

Those words are soul food for Beverly Anderton, a self-proclaimed spiritual person who aims to live life to its fullest – something that was nearly impossible to do until last summer, when she received two brand-new knees.

“It’s like I’ve started my life all over again,” she says. “I have a new lease on life.”

Bad-news bones

Beverly Anderton taking a walkFor a decade, Anderton had endured inexplicable, hindering pain. Where she went, so did a wheelchair. Stairs were insurmountable, and chasing after her great-grandchildren was out of the question. Her sedentary lifestyle led to weight gain and, subsequently, high cholesterol, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Multiple specialists and incorrect diagnoses later, this strong-willed retired nurse, then 64, was frustrated, discouraged, and still in pain.

Things took a turn in spring 2011, when the pain presented in Anderton’s knees. X-rays showed that she had degenerative osteoarthritis – so bad that she was walking literally bone on bone. She was referred to Shane Seroyer, MD, independently practicing sports medicine and joint reconstruction specialist on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

“Over time, cartilage can wear down on the ends of the femur and tibia (the two leg bones that meet at the knee),” Dr. Seroyer says. “With the cartilage worn down, all of the cushion and protection for the knee joint are gone.”

Time for a change

Beverly Anderton and her familyDr. Seroyer first tried conservative therapies for Anderton, but it soon became clear that new joints were inevitable if she was going to stop sacrificing her quality of life. Anderton hesitated, wary that having her knees replaced too soon would mean she’d need a second replacement down the road.

“It is a myth that knee replacements only last 10 years, but it’s a fairly pertinent fact that we have a 90 percent success rate for joints lasting more than 20 years,” Dr. Seroyer says.

“We have a limited time here, and you have to be able to enjoy it. When arthritis in your knee or hip gets in the way of that, it’s time for a replacement.”

Two weeks later, Anderton had her right knee replaced. The procedure included resurfacing the ends of the joint bones with metal and a polyethylene implant that replaced the cartilage, allowing the joint to rotate smoothly.

“I was up four hours after surgery walking around,” says Anderton, whose recovery went so smoothly that her left knee replacement followed only six weeks later.

Growing stronger every day

Anderton is nothing but grateful for her experience.

Beverly Anderton spending time with family“I had a choice of hospitals, and I was quite amazed with Methodist Mansfield,” she says emphatically. “I don’t think there was one nurse I didn’t fall in love with. Everyone was so professional.”

Now Anderton is striving to get healthy, rebuilding muscle she lost over the years and taking daily morning walks.

“I have actually been on two-hour walks — two hours!” she says. “That coming from someone who couldn’t walk 20 minutes max. I feel like I got my whole life back.”

Anderton says she believes that for joint replacement to work, you have to have the right doctor, the right hospital, and the right mindset. Are you ready to look at your options for a pain-free future?

From the fall 2012 edition of Shine magazine.