Danielle | Knee Surgery

If you’ve followed any high-level for sports long enough you’ve likely heard of Dr. James Andrews, who founded the Andrews Institute. Dr. Andrews is a surgeon for knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries and is a specialist in repairing damaged ligaments. Dr. Andrews became one of the best-known and most popular orthopedic surgeons for his work on many high-profile athletes. The Andrews Institute is home to nationally recognized physicians that utilize leading-edge techniques, technology and treatments for each and every patient.

Danielle has had trouble with her right knee for a number of years now. The first time it got to a level of discomfort that was enough to be seen about we scheduled an appointment and drove over to Gulf Breeze and met with Dr. Jordan at the Andrews Institute. Gulf Breeze is about a 2 hour drive from our home, which is well worth the expertise and level of care offered – it’s certainly second to none.

Dr. Jordan met with us, discussed the pain and discomfort, and sent Danielle down for x-rays… which ended up with a prognosis that she had a torn meniscus. Because of Danielle’s age, Dr. Jordan recommended a procedure where he would try to repair the meniscus… basically using stitches to pull and hold all of the torn portions back together with the intent for the meniscus to heal itself back together. This was suggested to mitigate arthritis if other procedures were performed instead. Unfortunately, after a LONG recovery process, it was determined that the surgery didn’t work and the meniscus wasn’t healing back together.

Later, a second surgery was scheduled to clip the torn meniscus. This surgery came with a shorter recovery process and it relieved pain for a while but eventually the knee pain came back. A follow up appointment with Dr. Jordan revealed that there was no cartilage remaining and she was basically having bone-on-bone contact and rubbing as she walked. With the relatively newborn twin girls, further surgery and associated recovery wasn’t ideal either. In effort to push out a surgery date, Dr. Jordan offered cortisone shots quarterly, and suggested an unloader knee brace that was intended to manually shift the knee to relieve some of the pressure.

Not too long after the girls turned 3, and them being lot more self sufficient and just much easier for me to take care of… along with Daniel, work (or time off from the Navy base) and managing Driven By Graphics as well, we scheduled a follow up appointment with Dr. Jordan late in 2022 to discuss a plan to lessen Danielle’s knee pain and improve her quality of life. He advised that he did not perform joint replacement surgeries, which was the ideal surgery for her given the circumstances – we were referred to Dr. Mayes, who specializes in hip and knee replacements.

During the consultation with Dr. Mayes, he offered two options: 1) being a partial replacement but follow up surgeries would likely be required in 5-8 years or 2) being the total replacement. Dr. Mayes suggested the total replacement, stating that the components used are much more durable and rigid than that used in the partial and would last significantly longer.

Today, May 1, 2023, is the day that will be marked and remembered for Danielle’s 3rd knee surgery – the total knee replacement. We had to arrive at the Andrews’ Institute Surgery Center at 6:45am for pre-op preparation. As I finish writing this, it’s now 9:45 and I just received the message that she’s out of surgery and is in recovery. I’ll wrap up in saying that I know the coming days and weeks are going to be tough and likely painful, but she’s a tough fighter and I’ll be by her side to help her through it all! I know she’s looking forward to life on the other side, hopefully being able to walk without pain… being able to follow and play with the kids more freely and so we can travel without being so concerned with constraints from the pain of walking.