I have played tennis my whole life. When I was 22 years old I had an injury due to playing tennis and had my left knee scoped, while I was in college at Auburn University. I bounced back pretty quick because I was ready to get back on the court and to my regular active lifestyle.
Years later, in my early 30's I started to have weakness in my knees. I would be walking/running/playing tennis and my knees would collapse (or give out on me). I went to several surgeons and had multiple MRI's and X-rays, and every doctor told me that I needed to have both of my knees replaced. I did not want to have them replaced at the age of 32 because I knew the level of activity that I am accustomed too, I would wear those out pretty fast and I saw my future of endless knee replacements.
One of the other doctors at Andrews recommended I make an appointment with Dr. Ricardo Colberg. I was skeptical because I had seen so many doctors but he was VERY different and I liked the way he treated me. He listened to me and treated me like I mattered. That meant a lot and I trusted him. He had a plan of action. He told me that basically I don't have any cartilage left in my knees, and that it was likely due to all the years of playing tennis and other activities.
First we tried the synvisc gel injections in my knees. That worked for a couple of years. Every now and then I would go back to him because to get a steroid shot when I had overdone it. Then one day, I had the weirdest feeling in my left knee. It felt like there was a rock stuck inside my joint. My knee was also very swollen in the back and I could not bend it all the way or straighten it out all the way.
I made an appointment and Dr. Colberg did an ultrasound and found a huge baker's cyst in the bend of my left knee. I had it drained that day, and it would come back and so on and so on. One visit Dr. Colberg told me about a new procedure he thought would work well with me. He would take bone marrow aspirate from my hips and (do whatever they do with them in the machine) and inject them into my knees. It was an outpatient procedure and on a scale of 1 to 10 I had literally zero pain. I was just a little stiff. A couple of months went by and I started thinking "my knees don't hurt when walk up the stairs anymore."
That will be 2 years ago this coming Christmas. I am still a little cautious with my knees and what I do when it comes to exercising. However, I can play with my triplet nieces and nephew, and my other niece and nephew on my husband’s side and not hurt all day and all week and end up back in his office.
I am not just another patient when I see him...which is not very often these days. However, when my cyst fills up with fluid and I do see him and his staff I always just want to give him a big hug for giving me back the life I had. He is kind, patient, brilliant, and intuitive. He is the only doctor I will let near my knees!
Side note: I probably wasn't his easiest patient to deal with in the beginning. However, he always treated me with the utmost respect. I find that rare these days. I could go on and on but I don't want to give him a "big head" about all of this. I’m kidding Dr. Colberg. I cannot thank you enough!!!