Relief After Years of Knee Pain
Milford-resident Laura Terpsma, 41, ran the Detroit Marathon in 2009, and it changed her life. During the marathon, Laura tore her ACL (short for anterior cruciate ligament), which stabilizes the knee. What should have been a simple ACL reconstruction turned into 12 knee surgeries over 18 months. Laura thought she might have to live with knee pain forever.
To stay active, Laura, a healthcare attorney, dedicated herself to yoga. Despite her busy work schedule, she opened her own yoga studio in 2015 and works with a nonprofit organization to train yoga teachers in Kenya. But on the way home from Kenya in spring 2018, Laura knew she need to do something, once again, about her knee.
“I always knew I’d need a knee replacement someday but held it off by practicing yoga and keeping my weight down,” Laura says. “But the pain began to severely limit my yoga practice. If I pushed my knee too far, I’d be in pain for a week. I couldn’t live like that.” Laura turned to the orthopedic team at Henry Ford Health System to put her knee pain behind her once and for all.
An orthopedic surgeon she could trust
After gathering research and recommendations, Laura scheduled an appointment with Jason Davis, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Henry Ford. “After my past experience, I was leery of having surgery again,” Laura says. “Dr. Davis alleviated my fears. He was upfront about my options and explained how each decision would affect my knee in the future.”
Laura and Dr. Davis decided to pursue nonsurgical options first. But after months of physical therapy and cortisone injections, Laura still struggled walking up the stairs and getting in and out of her car. Knee replacement surgery was the only remaining option.
Thrilled with a successful knee replacement
In April 2019, Dr. Davis performed Laura’s total knee replacement surgery at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. There were no surgical complications, and Laura went home the next day.
“It was a completely different experience from my previous surgeries,” Laura says. “I was so grateful that there were no complications and that everything went as planned. The whole experience was wonderful, from joint replacement preparation class to the nurses in recovery.”
Embracing a new knee joint
With physical therapy, Laura has been able to rejoin the world of yoga. She was back to practicing modified yoga after only 3 weeks after surgery. At the end of May, Laura could complete a 75-minute power yoga class with very few modifications.
“I’m finally on track to being back to 100 percent,” Laura says. “It’s been a long road. But my husband, friends and everyone at Henry Ford, have shown me what can happen when you simply ask for help and embrace your fears.”