Total knee replacement years after a sports injury relieves arthritis pain

09.22.2022

Constant knee pain and swelling finally forced David Bonham to say, “enough.” It was time for a specialist to take a look at his aching joint.
 
“I complained about my knee all the time,” said David, who is in his 40s. He had bone-on-bone pain and inflammation after every round of golf or an afternoon of yard work. The thought of a total knee replacement concerned him because of previous treatments that didn’t give him the results he wanted.
 
David had already gone through surgery years ago after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and both meniscus playing basketball. He had hoped the repair would take care of his aches and pains so he could get on with life.
 
“I had already done a lot of damage by waiting 10 years to have ACL surgery,” he explained. “The cartilage was gone and arthritis was happening.”
 
Joint pain is the most common symptom of post-traumatic arthritis. Pain develops slowly, starting months or years after an injury. Resting the joint can relieve the pain. However as chronic arthritis progresses, it can cause pain, swelling and stiffness all the time.
 
Damage from David’s sports injury had changed the mechanics of his joint. The torn ACL tendon that connects the thighbone to the shinbone at the knee gave him less stability. Tears in both meniscus meant he had less cushion in between the bones.
 
Without the body’s natural shock absorbers working properly, even the simplest activities, like walking or getting up from a chair, can cause bone-on-bone pain. David had used over-the-counter medicine and ice for years to relieve the discomfort, but with little success.
 
The pain needed to stop. It was interfering with David’s daily routines and his job. He couldn’t finish a round golf or go on hikes with his family without a flare-up of inflammation.
 
In 2021, David decided it was time to get some answers about his painful problem. He followed a recommendation by his primary care doctor to see a specialist at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. David’s wife also encouraged him to take the necessary steps to relieve his pain and get back to activities he enjoyed.
 
“My biggest concern was that a total knee replacement would not have the results I wanted, like the ACL surgery,” he said. He couldn’t let fear stop him and scheduled his surgery with Dr. Kyle Carlson for January 2022.
 
By the time David started a post-surgery rehabilitation program, he knew he had made the right decision. He dedicated himself to reaching his goal of walking pain-free as fast as possible so he could return to work and daily life activities.
 
“I can do everything I was doing prior to surgery without the pain,” he said. “Surgery is never fun. But it does help.”
 
Now David looks forward to a day when he will forget he ever had surgery.
 
“I see myself having a more joyful life because of the decision to have a knee replacement.”



If you have a bum knee or nagging hip pain, learn more about the specialized care at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Call (574) 534-2548 to schedule an appointment.
 
Kyle Carlson, DO, is an orthopedic surgeon with Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. He is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction orthopedic surgery and specializes in total joint replacement of hips and knees. Dr. Carlson has advanced training and experience in treating complex cases. He specializes in adult revisions to joint replacements and treatment for conditions caused by degenerative diseases, including arthritis.