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Lifestyle, Patient Stories

Getting Back to Running Pain-Free: A Q&A with Terri Tibbs, Arthrosurface PF Wave Knee Implant Patient

Terri Tibbs is a longtime runner based in Pueblo West, Colorado. Staying active has always been a top priority. She loves to bike, run and swim, but intense pain in her right knee made it hard for her to pursue these activities. Like many others dealing with joint pain, the cartilage in her knee had gradually worn away overtime. After being told to stop running altogether, Terri was determined to find a solution that would alleviate her pain and allow her to continue running. Now, it’s been almost five and a half years since Terri got the Patello Femoral (PF) Knee implant. We caught up with her for an update on how she’s doing and how her life has changed since undergoing the procedure. Scroll to the end to watch the video!

What can you tell us and others about your journey with the PF Wave implant?

Getting the PF Wave® implant on my right knee was the best thing I ever did! I’m a runner, and before I found this implant, I spent thousands of dollars trying every treatment out there. Nothing seemed to work. My knee was always swollen, and I was always in constant pain. I spent hundreds of dollars on braces that offered little relief. 

I love to bike, run and swim, and didn’t want to give that up. But from the wear and tear of running so much, my cartilage had worn away. Some orthopedic surgeons told me to stop running altogether. I had lost hope of ever being able to run again until I met Dr. Hanson, an orthopedic surgeon in Pueblo West, Colorado who told me about Arthrosurface and recommended the PF Wave® implant. I got the implant in July of 2015 and was back to running 3 months later, with zero pain whatsoever. 

How long have you had the implant and how has your life changed since receiving it? 

It’s been more than five years since I got the PF Wave® implant on my right knee, and I still think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve experienced zero pain for at least five and a half years now. I am no longer at chiropractor appointments or relying on steroids and acupuncture. It makes it much easier to run around with my grandkids and pursue my favorite hobbies like running and biking. Before getting this procedure done, my right knee was always swollen and in pain. That’s no longer the case!

For others considering this surgery, can you tell us a little bit about the recovery process?

Whenever you have surgery, you need to be prepared for some discomfort. The recovery process requires patience. You need to give your body the time it needs to fully heal. I was very diligent about going to therapy and doing everything I could to support the healing process. I wasn’t always good about taking my pain medication but would highly recommend taking it to relieve pain. I also believe in nutrition as medicine and eating foods that fight inflammation. Overall, I was really pleased with my recovery process. By the end of the third month, I was able to start running and biking again!

What is your advice to others dealing with knee pain and why they should consider this joint preservation surgery over traditional total joint replacements?

This implant is not only for people who are active like me and want to continue staying active long-term but also for others who may want to continue a less active lifestyle such as taking a walk or gardening. I’ve found that most people have never heard of joint preservation, or the PF Wave® implant. Once I read the success stories on Arthrosurface’s website, I was convinced. I’m a runner and I was willing to do anything to continue running pain-free. Anyone who feels strongly about staying active should talk to someone who has had the procedure done and read the success stories. The surgery and recovery process took a few weeks of my life, but it was exactly what I needed in order to continue staying active for the rest of my life! 

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