Patient Story: Stephanie W.

A Jour-Knee

Stephanie W.,  57.

In September of 2010, I had a total knee replacement.  By May of 2011, an infection set in my left knee causing excruciating pain.

The doctor who did my knee replacement opened up the knee saw that the plastic component in the knee was infected.  The doctor removed the plastic component, irrigated my knee (which means washing the knee out) and put a new plastic component in.  IV antibiotics and therapy did not work.  I began to decline, my mobility was compromised.  Just doing daily day to day things became a chore.

By November of 2011, I was fit to be tied and depressed.  My husband, an emotional wreck, seeing his wife getting worse and unable to help.  My knee was swelling at a rapid rate.  All this time, I was still on IV antibiotics and still trying to do therapy as the doctor recommended.  Finally, in late November, I could no longer take it.  The doctor drained my knee and said, “This would make it better.”  After a year of being in pain, I was willing to try.  Did it work?

This would not be titled A Journ-Knee if it did!

No, it did not work.  It eased up a little and came back with a vengeance.  A church member, who is also a doctor, saw me hobbling in pain and asked me “have you thought about getting a second opinion?  Ask your doctor about this,” so I did.  After all, it was now January 2012 and something needed to be done.

I could no longer bear the pain.  So my husband and I went back to the doctor hoping to find a resolution and get results.  The doctor referred me to another surgeon for a second opinion.  Guess what?  I couldn’t get in to see the doctor until September 2012.  Are you kidding me???  The pain and swelling became progressive and by now depressingly unbearable.  My church member approached me again and said you cannot continue on like this.  I told him I was told I could not get in to see this other doctor until September 2012.

“Ridiculous!” h, replied.  “Would you accept a recommendation from me?”  Finally, I said, “Okay what have I got to lose?”…  he said, “Your leg.”

Meeting Dr. DeClaire

So I took the recommendation, called Doctor Jeffrey DeClaire’s office in February.  On the 5th of February, I was in his office getting x-rays.  His staff was so sympathetic to my plight, my pain.  The x-rays showed the infection was spreading at a rapid rate to my muscle, bone, and tissue.  Dr. DeClaire informed me and my husband the replacement knee must come out.  His treatment was to take everything out.  Treat the infection by putting in an antibiotic spacer for several weeks.

This procedure was performed on February 15, 2012, with Dr. DeClaire.  Just like he said for eight weeks, I had this antibiotic spacer in.  On April 9, 2012, I was admitted into the hospital for the removal of the spacer and if everything was okay, no infection detected I would have a new left knee replacement.

Did it work?  100%! I recently rode on the back of our Goldwing Trike to Texas for vacation, I’ve started bowling again, and have joined several bowling leagues. And I have resumed my duties at my church on the Nurse’s Guild.

Thank you, Doctor Jeffrey De Claire and your staff for everything.  Thank you for helping me get my life back.  A new Journ-Knee has begun for me!