Dick Riley hobbled around on a “bad knee” for a couple years before finally deciding to do something about it.
“I just kept putting it off,” the 85-year-old Pontiac man said.
On November 1, 2016, Dick went to see orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Lowe with OSF HealthCare Medical Group – Orthopedics in Pontiac.
According to Dr. Lowe, Dick’s initial diagnosis was osteoarthritis of the left knee. He began therapy with a home exercise program, pain medication, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and intra-articular steroid injections.
“Dick was getting minimal relief from the injections and an MRI of his knee was ordered,” Dr. Lowe said. “The MRI revealed a meniscal tear and it was thought to be contributing to the pain.”
Meniscus tears can happen during a rotating movement while bearing weight, such as when twisting the upper leg while the foot stays in one place during sports and other activities. Tears can be minor (with the meniscus staying connected to the knee) or major (with the meniscus barely attached to the knee by a cartilage thread).
Dr. Lowe recommended Dick undergo a procedure called a knee arthroscopy with partial medial and lateral menisectomy and chondroplasty. That outpatient procedure took place March 1, 2017.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure used for conditions of a joint. It uses a small, lighted, optic tube (arthroscope) that is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen. The doctor then removes the damaged tissue, allowing healthy cartilage to grow in its place.
Treated “like a king”
Dick said Dr. Lowe “is about the best doctor I’ve ever seen.”
“He has a good bedside manner. He’s always smiling,” he said. “He just makes you feel at ease. He’s a very good doctor. I recommend him to anybody.”
Having retired from the Army following a 22 1/2-year career, Dick said he and Dr. Lowe connected about the places where he served during his tenure.
“I spent my entire career in the Far East – time in Okinawa and Korea. Dr. Lowe had been to Okinawa, so we got to talking about that,” Dick said.
Dick also appreciated the care he received at OSF HealthCare Saint James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac.
“The nurses and staff in recovery are very good. While I was over at the hospital they treated me just like a king,” he said. “I’ve never ever been treated like that anywhere else. I felt like something special.”