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Celia Gerry

Procedure: Left Knee Replacement

Celia Gerry

I'm sitting at my computer on a glorious sunny October afternoon having just returned from a three-mile hike in the Santa Monica mountains with my husband and our dog. This wouldn't be unusual except for the fact that just six weeks ago you replaced my left knee!

Celia Gerry Please click here to read more.

Bill Rugg

Procedure: Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Revision Surgery

Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Revision SurgeryAfter torturing my knees with an over active life; 20+ years of abuse from healthy milk cows that kick hard while you try to extract milk and provide health care, the military and years on Ski Patrol resulted  in incredible pain and the beautiful photos to right.

At age 54, a doctor in the save-the-planet city of Boulder, CO convinced me the solution was a knee cartilage reconstruction procedure to resolve right knee issues. This Microfiber surgery did not work  and created baker cysts with more pain than I could imagine in my wildest dreams.  Bakers cysts can be  drained and cortisone cocktails injected, but finally, after a year passed, I was told by frustrated reconstruction surgeon to “just get my knees replaced”.

Started research, found minimally invasive Zimmer  MIS procedure which could be done in Ft Collins, CO and was covered by insurance.  Had left knee replaced in 2006 - after one year it was very swollen, I was in pain and still required pain medicine. The surgeon took x-rays, said we would be laughing about this in a year. Another year passed, I still had anterior knee pain on recovering knee, but other knee hurt so badly I had it replaced with same Zimmer style knee but without Nickel.

Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Revision SurgeryNickel was thought to be pain culprit and reason first knee was still painful? Once surgery was complete, Zimmer knees looked like photo to the right. I worked with multiple  therapists from varied companies and venues. A healer tried chimes and acupuncture , but the anterior knee pain never went away. The Surgeon continued to say nothing was wrong.

I tried every natural  and holistic pain remedy, finally gave in to codeine-based pain medication and it was a terrible answer.  I still had anterior knee pain on both knees – my right knee was making lots of noise with each step.  Actually my brain never knew where my right foot was going to land,  creating lots of stumbling and more pain. Finally, I had to make a choice; either commit to life in a chair or have more surgery.

A family member in management at Consensus knees helped me meet a nurse who convinced me that revision surgery would solve the problems compounded by Zimmer MIS surgeries. I made an appointment, flew to California and met with Bert Thomas at UCLA Medical Center. Bert convinced me with  his knowledge and experience that my knee problems could be solved and he gained my faith that he could cure the problem with a revision. We decided to do both knees at the same time so that the body wouldn’t have to go through two surgeries. Surgery was scheduled at earliest opening in mid May 2011.

I prepared for surgery by working with massage therapists to have muscles in best shape possible.  First thing I did after surgery in hospital room was grab the bar above my head and raise each leg and bend my knee. They both felt exactly the same, and, at that point, I knew the operation was a success. I continue to work with therapists and can honestly say that this is the best life event change.

Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Revision SurgeryThe hardest part of this recovery was listening to doctor, therapist and wife about recovery time. Yes, you may feel really good and think that your legs and knees are recovered enough to fish in the largest offshore money tournament, until you have been on the boat for several days and find out just how quickly you had better back off or risk damaging your last chance to walk. I did mange to meet one of my goals and dance with my wife at Christmas.

The reason  for my success from an engineer’s view point is the design of the replacement. The long stems connected to the mechanical joint connection  can distribute the upper body weight more evenly than tiny adhesive joints in the Zimmer minimal invasive surgery design.

The photo to the right show actual length in my knees with both stems and I truly believe that made the difference in being able to walk today.

Life is getting better every day and I am taking recovery slowly with moderate excise program.  I appreciate all the people at UCLA medical center, especially Doctor Bert Thomas and Caren Black.  I am looking forward to hiking this summer in Rockies without knee pain.

Wendy Brogin

Today I feel like a lucky lady. After having a procedure to correct my congenital hip dysplasia and a total hip replacement over the past eleven years to the same hip, the last thing that I wanted to hear was that I needed a complete revision of that total hip replacement.

But such was the case, as the opinion of others was confirmed by Dr. Thomas. The failure of the cement was eating away at my femur, and it was just a matter of time before the hip would fail and the femur would fracture, resulting in a total mess.

I was convinced that Dr. Thomas' approach was the right process to correct the problem... to remove the old prosthetic and festering cement, without fracturing the femur in the process. This was to be both a tough circumstance and the need for an equally delicate patient approach.

The surgery went well, with none of the potential added problems occurring. The staff at UCLA have been tremendous, especially his assistant, Caren Black, who held my hand through the entire process.

Dr. Thomas' skill to complete such a complex process is matched by only his compassion for his patient. I, as a patient addressing chronic hip problems, could not have asked for more.

I am well along the road to full recovery, and am thankful that such resources as the skilled hands of Dr. Thomas exist in this region, with the support of a class facility and staff like UCLA

Patty Martinez

Patty MartinezI first became Dr. Thomas's patient when I was a college student. I had spent my childhood dealing with the results of congenital hip dysplasia that had not been diagnosed until I was three years old. The first surgical procedure performed by Dr. Thomas was a Chiari Osteotomy on my hip. I had had a Salter procedure as a child and there wasn't enough of a socket to anchor the eventual total hip replacement I would need. Dr. Thomas explained everything that would happen and why this surgery was necessary. He spent the time to answer all of the questions my husband and I had, realizing that this was a big deal to us. While in the hospital I saw him daily and one evening I mentioned the compression stocking had been off for a long time; Dr. Thomas put the stocking back on me rather than call a nurse to do it.

Patty MartinezThere were also some issues with my insurance company letting me spend the night before surgery in the hospital (like they used to do) and Dr. Thomas actually did some of the phone calling himself! The second surgery Dr. Thomas performed was my total hip replacement in 1997. The incident of note was the anesthesiologist attempting an epidural. I sat on the operating table as she dug around my spine with the needle. Dr. Thomas could tell I was in greater and greater distress as she didn't find her mark. He stopped whatever he was doing to prepare for surgery, came over, and stopped her as my tears were beginning. I thanked him, and later in my room (after I was lucid) gave him a hug, but I'm not sure he knew how grateful I was that he was perceptive in noticing how much pain I was in, because I wasn't supposed to move, and I tried not to complain.

It would have been easy for him to turn away and continue with his preparations, but I really felt like he looked out for me. That's what Dr. Thomas does; he looks out for his patients. We haven't always agreed; there were times when I think he wanted to kill me when I told him of some of the activities I'd done on "our" hip, but he's always respected my right to live my life the way I want. Dr. Thomas has enabled me to do that. Without him, I would not be the active woman I am today. I'm not running marathons, but I can do the things I enjoy doing. Thanks, Dr. Thomas!

Robert Grossman, MD

Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the Right Hip

Procedure: Right Total Hip Replacement

Robert Grossman, MD

I was extremely pleased to obtain a second opinion from Dr. Thomas for my chronic hip pain. Not being able to put on my right sock, walk up stairs or hills, carry my grandchildren, and play golf and tennis had caused me to have a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle.

Robert Grossman, MD Please click here to read more.

Young Lee

Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the Right Knee

Procedure: Right Total Knee Replacement

Robert Grossman, MD

Dr. Thomas
We feel very lucky and honoured to have you as my mother's Knee Surgeon.

Young Lee Please click here to read more.

Thomas Pfister

Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the Left and Right Hips

Procedure: Left Total Hip Replacement, Right Total Hip Replacement

Thomas Pfister

As Thanksgiving approaches, I again want you to know how grateful I am for the work you did on my hips.

Thomas Pfister Please click here to read more.

Malcolm Ridgway

Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the Left Knee

Procedure: Left Total Knee Replacement

Malcolm Ridgway

I would like to thank you and your team for my new left knee and for a very comfortable clinical experience that was made all the better by the exceptional attention that my wife and I received from your administrative assistant, Caren Black - the caring one. Caren really went way out of her way to see that I was treated as though I was a member of the family.

Malcolm Ridgway Please click here to read more.

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