Joanne Donoghue, Northport, NY – Knee surgery, Hip surgery
I was 19 years old when I tore my right ACL as a college soccer player. It wasn't a very common injury at the time for female athletes, and I had one surgeon already mess up my first surgery. I was referred to Dr. David Altchek by a fellow player. He was doing an ACL repair arthroscopically, which was a very new surgery at the time. For 20 years I was able to play soccer, snowboard, bike, complete 4 marathons and become a competitive triathlete. I was born with hip dysplasia, and unfortunately after 20 years of wear and tear, I had major hip pain. Again I was referred to HSS for my hip. Who, at 36 years old, goes for a hip consult? Dr. Coleman knew my athletic history and did my arthroscopic hip surgery. We hoped it would allow me to avoid a hip replacement in my later years. I finished the Miami Marathon 8 months after that surgery.
In a freak accident I tore my right medial meniscus within the year. I went back to Dr. Altchek who had pretty much saved my athletic life 20 years earlier. He said it was a quick fix, "we go in and snip it." I said okay. I was training for an Ironman, the mecca of all Ironmans, and figured I would let him fix it and move on.
I came out of surgery with a full length leg brace and was told I couldn’t train for at least 4 months! I ended up having a complete medial meniscal repair. I had never heard of this, and I never knew it was even an option. I freaked out at first, but it was explained to me by Dr. Altchek's P.A. that any other surgeon would have removed my meniscus and left me with bone on bone, which would have instantly ended my running and triathlete career on the spot - a concept that scared me to death. Although I was upset, I was thankful that I could still do what I want. I am now 4 months out of that surgery and in full training for my Ironman. I owe this all to HSS and the doctors there. I know eventually I will be back, and they will have to put me back together again, but I would not trust anyone else and I could not be living out my dreams without them.
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