I grew up in Livingston, Alabama and have lived in the Tuscaloosa area most of my adult life. I’ve always worked in the warehousing industry and spend most of my days on a forklift.
Two years ago I was at work and my right knee swelled up out of the blue. It was so bad that I could not walk and my family had to pick me up from work and took me straight to the local ER. The ER staff evaluated my knee and prescribed some medication. Eventually, my knee improved with time. I continued to work; however, my job became more difficult due to the positioning of my knee driving the forklift during my shift.
In early January, 2020 I woke up one morning and I had a severe limp. At that point, I searched online trying to figure out why my I had knee pain, a limp and could no longer perform my job without the constant aching, sharp pain.
Finally, I decided to see a local doctor in Tuscaloosa. We tried a variety of options – ibuprofen, cortisone injections, gel injections – but nothing helped the ache and pain.
One day at work I was telling our human resource director about my knee and she commented that she was a patient at Andrews Sports Medicine. She had a great experience at Andrews and recommended I call to schedule an appointment with a doctor there. I called and I was scheduled to see Dr. Ricardo Colberg at Andrews Pelham office, which was most convenient for me driving from Tuscaloosa.
Dr. Colberg asked me a lot of questions, reviewed my x-rays and examined my knee. He confirmed that I had osteoarthritis in my right knee and recommended I try another injection, which he administered that day. He also prescribed me a knee brace, recommend some PT, and said that if I was able to lose some weight it would help relieve some of the pressure from my knee. Dr. Colberg also gave me a CoreLife brochure and recommended that I consider the program which enhances total health by providing a multifaceted approach to weight loss.
Over the next few months, I enrolled in the CoreLife program (lost some weight), did some PT and had another appointment with Dr. Colberg. Everything Dr. Colberg did/recommended provided some relief; however, the pain came back and none of the conservative treatments were any longer beneficial.
Dr. Colberg confirmed I had failed conservative treatment I recommended I see an Andrews surgeon to help determine if I was a candidate for a knee replacement. I told Dr. Colberg I wanted to get a surgical consult and he referred me to Dr. Michael Ryan.
During my initial appointment with Dr. Ryan he also asked a lot of questions, reviewed all of Dr. Colberg’s findings and told me that I had advanced osteoarthritis in my right knee. Dr. Ryan recommended that I get an MRI prior to making the decision to move forward with a total knee replacement. The MRI confirmed I was bone on bone.
I scheduled my surgery with Dr. Ryan for Tuesday, September 8, 2020. My entire surgery experience and time at St. Vincent’s Birmingham was amazing. Dr. Ryan spent some time with me prior to surgery, which calmed my nerves. When I woke up from surgery, I was surprised how well and felt and I had very little pain. Dr. Ryan and his team checked on me again and said if my overnight stay at the hospital went well that I would be discharged the next day. Dr. Ryan visited me the next morning and was very happy with my minimal pain and success of my PT session.
I was discharged from the hospital that day and Dr. Ryan’s staff set me up with a PT group that came to my house a couple of days per week. I currently 2 months post-op and my life has dramatically improved. I feel amazing – my quality of life has improved so much, and I no longer have a limp or knee pain.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Colberg, Dr. Ryan and both of their incredible staff. They all encouraged and motivated me throughout my journey, and their care has allowed me to be there for my children and get back to the job that I love.