LaurenDoctor: Navin D. Fernando, M.D.
Sometimes one footstep can lead to a long medical journey. For Lauren F. 66, her journey started when she took a step and twisted her knee at work. What Lauren didn't realize was this step was the beginning of a medical voyage through two knee replacement surgeries and more.
Lauren's misstep caused a meniscus tear in her left knee, a common knee injury that many patients may recover from with time and rest. Meniscus tears which don't heal may predispose patients to develop arthritis, which is what likely happened to Lauren.
Lauren underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean up the meniscus tear, but unfortunately was still in pain after six months. "I struggled with my left knee, which developed arthritis from the injury," Lauren said. "My right knee had to compensate, and after months of doing that, it also hurt me."
Arthritis pain begins with thinning or eroded cartilage, which typically functions to cushion and protect the knee joint. If the bone in the knee joint becomes exposed, sensitive nerve fibers can become inflamed resulting in significant pain. Currently, there is no reliable way to replace normal cartilage. Lauren endured the pain for two years before deciding to have a left knee replacement in 2013.