An excerpt from McLeod Health Magazine, featuring
Dr. Ardalan Sayan
McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon/Florence
Retired teacher Suzanne McLaurin of Dillon has always been accustomed to an active lifestyle – from enjoying sporting events and playing golf to spending time with her grandchildren. But over the last few years, knee pain began to put a damper on Suzanne’s mobility. The pain was constant and would keep her up at night. During the day, she had to ice her knee and rest frequently.
Although she tried knee braces and over-the-counter medication, neither provided any relief. Soon it became difficult for Suzanne to climb stairs and to get in and out of her car. A few months later, she made an appointment with Dr. Ardalan Sayan, a McLeod Orthopaedics surgeon.
“Suzanne explained that she had deep pain in the front and inside of her knee that diminished her quality of life,” says Dr. Sayan. “X-rays confirmed my suspicion that she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorder that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body tissues, most often in the joints. As RA progresses, swelling can begin to cause damage to cartilage, leading to extensive bone damage.”
Dr. Sayan began treating Suzanne’s condition with conservative measures, giving her several intermittent steroid injections in her knee to relieve her pain. Despite these efforts, Suzanne’s pain gradually worsened. After much discussion, Dr. Sayan and Suzanne agreed that surgery was the best long-term solution. She underwent a total left knee replacement – also known as arthroplasty – in May 2022. During the procedure, Dr. Sayan removed the damaged parts of the bone and replaced them with implants.
Soon after Suzanne’s surgery, a physical therapist arrived to help her start walking. “I could not believe how quickly I was back on my feet, just hours after knee replacement, and that I was able to go home the same day.” After several weeks of in-home and outpatient therapy, Suzanne experienced improved strength in her knee. Now she’s back to doing the things she loves and enjoying her independence.
“Joint replacement surgery has revolutionized the way people who have painful, non-functional joints go about their lives in terms of alleviating pain while restoring mobility and function of the joint,” says Dr. Sayan. “It’s a highly-successful procedure, with the majority of total knee replacements functioning for 10 years or more after surgery.”
To learn more, speak with an orthopedic specialist near you.