Patricia’s & Caley’s Stories
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Originally from California, Patricia Senn was only 13 when she had her first bilateral knee surgery. Although osteoarthritis of the knee ran in her family—her mother had double knee replacements—being a girls’ fast pitch softball player since age 5 did not help. After recovering from surgery, Senn continued to play ball but by age 18, her knees had grown worse, and she was forced to give up the sport.
“I don’t believe the surgery helped,” she says. “I was told that I would only have two small incisions, but when I saw the long scars across my knees, I lost trust. It looked like someone had tried to cut off my legs.”
At age 24, Senn moved to Colorado, where she married and started her own family. Ten years ago, her left knee began swelling, and she dislocated it. “From that time on, I could not run or it would pop out again,” she says.
Senn went to see Dr. Christopher Isaacs, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Spine and Orthopedics. After her initial appointment, Dr. Isaacs performed a knee scope and lateral release on Senn’s left knee and prescribed cortisone shots to lessen the pain. The procedure provided relief, but over time, Senn’s knee continued to deteriorate. In June 2014, Dr. Isaacs recommended a total knee replacement.
“The surgery went fantastic,” says Senn. “He removed a lot of scar tissue and even the stitches left from my first surgery in California.” Senn remained at North Suburban Hospital for three days. On day one, she was up and walking, and by the third day, she could climb the stairs at the hospital.
After returning home, Senn began physical therapy twice a week for eight weeks and performed exercises at home. She also used the motion machine that Dr. Isaacs prescribed to keep her knee moving while she slept. While her left knee improved greatly, her right knee grew worse. Six months later, Dr. Isaacs replaced Senn’s other knee. “My right knee had a lot more damage than my left. The recovery was slower, but the grinding went away, and I had less swelling,” she explains. “Now, I can take walks with my husband.”
Senn and her husband, Bryan, who live in Aurora, walk the track behind the couple’s home and occasionally climb straight up the 200 steps at the Phillip Miller Park in Castle Rock. “Being able to exercise and lose weight has been the biggest benefit of surgery,” says Senn.
Two years after having her knee replacements, Senn’s daughter, Caley, a 15-year old volleyball player, began having knee problems, too. Senn took Caley to see Dr. Isaacs. “I would never trust any other surgeon with my daughter,” says Senn.
Dr. Isaacs performed a knee scope and lateral release on both of Caley’s right knee in December 2015 and performed the same procedure on her left knee in March 2016. “So far, so good,” says her mother. “She is back playing volleyball and recently tried paddle boarding for the first time.”