In addition to chasing after her two young sons, Rachel G. found a new passion in running 8 years ago. Running became part of her life and she even started training for the New York Marathon. Unfortunately, it came to a sudden stop last February 15th when she slipped on black ice and had a severe dislocation of her left kneecap.
While in the ER they put her kneecap back in, and she ended up in a full leg brace for a month and a half. After the initial MRI, the initial Orthopedic Surgeon said that no surgery was needed and she should just come back after she completes her thorough physical therapy.
By March she started slowly running and biking. Unfortunately one day after exercising, her knee completely “blew-up” and she was in agonizing knee pain. Rachel went back to the Orthopedic Surgeon and he was not sure what happened. He told her to go back to physical therapy and take it slower. She could not believe his recommendation and she felt he barely spent any time really assessing the situation. “I felt like I was just a number to him. I had to find someone else!”, exclaimed Rachel.
After an in-depth search, she found Dr. Steven Struhl. She read Dr. Struhl’s reviews and watched his video testimonials from past patients. Rachel immediately scheduled a consultation for a second opinion by Dr. Struhl.
She was very impressed with Dr. Struhl’s in-depth assessment and his recommendation that they should perform an arthroscopic procedure on her knee to see what is really going on. His diagnosis was so thorough that he discovered that her knee was worse they initially thought; she suffered from a deep erosion of the cartilage covering her kneecap and also had patlellofemoral maltracking. Rachel’s patella (kneecap) was not tracking properly in the groove and as a result a portion of the surface of her patella was worn down to the bone. In essence her cartilage was severely damaged. Dr. Struhl then explained that patellofemoral maltracking is a very common problem for women between the ages of 25-50.
Dr. Struhl initially performed a simple microfracture knee surgery, and he also removed about 35 cc’s of fluid from her knee while they explored Rachel’s options pertaining to her patellofemoral maltracking.
Dr. Struhl explained that she is definitely a candidate for surgery to realign her patella, however the patellofemoral maltracking surgery is a big intervention. He then explained that the surgery would require his to make a crack in the tibia bone and move the attachment site of the kneecap tendon to enable the kneecap to track normally and take the excessive load off of the bone.
Dr. Struhl then suggested another option to help regrow the cartilage … stem cell therapy, and hopefully it could spare her the intensity of the patellofemoral maltracking surgery. He explained how stem cell therapy actually helped his situation with his own knee to regrow cartilage. Extremely impressed that he practiced what he preaches, Rachel made the decision with her husband to try the post-op stem cell therapy treatment first.
Appears that her issues have been resolved
“She is DEFINITELY a candidate for surgery to realign her patella …..BUT… only if what we did does not resolve her issues which for the time being it looks like it has”, explains Dr. Struhl.
Rachel is running again 4.5 months after the microfracture knee surgery and 3.5 months after the stem cell therapy. She is realistic that she will not be able to run a marathon, but she is back to doing what she lives for. ..being active with her two sons, running, cycling, and high impact aerobics. “This is the best result that I could have hoped for after the diagnosis and treatment by Dr. Struhl.”, shares Rachel
“Dr. Struhl was aggressive and took a no-nonsense approach. His patient centered care was the best I have ever experienced. I never felt like just a number. He was very honest in setting the right expectations of what to expect due to the level of my knee injury. Dr. Struhl focused on an in-depth diagnosis first before jumping into cutting me open. I highly recommend anyone who is looking for the best Orthopedic Surgeon in NY to call Dr. Struhl”, professes Rachel.