Orthopedics Jun 21, 2018

Knee Pain Won’t Hold Chris Back

How a second opinion became her first choice for improving knee pain

Written by: Lauryn Feil

Chris, a knee patient at US Health Austin, stands smiling on a golf course, her hands wrapped around the handle of a golf club.

Chris wasn’t about to let her knee pain prevent her from playing golf, nope not this energetic, highly competitive woman, there was no pain that couldn’t be overcome. Even after her two daughters insisted she finally see a surgeon to get her knee taken care of, she didn’t seem to let her knee replacement prevent her from getting back in the game either. She came blazing back this spring season with her partner, winning tournaments and talking more game than ever describing herself as “an athlete to the end!”

Chris, a knee patient at US Health Austin, stands smiling in a garden with sunflowers visible in the background.

Chris and her husband Jack moved to Austin from New Mexico 14 years ago to be closer to their daughters. “We fell in love with Austin. There is so much to do here and so many parks, so, we moved here and lived in Onion Creek for 14 years,” said Chris.

Their house was situated on the 18th hole of the golf course and their friends often came over after finishing up a day of playing, always asking them to come join for a game but neither owned clubs or had played before. “One day my brother-in-law bought my husband clubs and I thought well if Jack is going to learn to play golf, I want to learn to play golf too,” she said. Next thing they knew Chris said they were playing daily and even traveling to the east coast to play on some of the most beautiful courses. “And that’s how we learned,” she said, “it’s such a great thing to do during retirement.”

Chris had a hip replacement in 2002 while still living in New Mexico and recognized the ache of a joint that would ultimately need to be replaced all too well. Her golf partner and two daughters became worried about Chris and urged her to see a doctor. “It was so offset I could feel it; it felt like my knee, if I stepped wrong, would pop out and break,” explained Chris, “I knew it was time to do something.”

Initially taking the advice of her fellow golf friends she went to a doctor they recommended. However, her daughter had met Kevin Bozic, MD, MBA, through her work and was familiar with his nationally recognized reputation among orthopedic surgeons and insisted she get a second opinion. “She was so insistent and kept telling me he was the best, so finally I said fine, I’ll go and get a second opinion,” said Chris, “I think there is a time when you need to listen to your children,” she chuckled.

After visiting the UT Health Austin Musculoskeletal Institute and meeting with Dr. Bozic, Chris ultimately decided she would do the surgery with him. “I really liked Dr. Bozic, he was able to work me in quickly and he’s done such a wonderful job,” said Chris.

She had her surgery just before Christmas in December 2017 and was back in time for the beginning of golf season in March. “I think the most important thing for me was the speed with which things happen here” said Chris, “I know there have been people who have had to wait a long time for a knee replacement or hip replacement and it seemed like once things were in the system, that they rolled along so quickly.”

Chris also explained how she appreciated the care team’s quick response to her at home physical therapy needs and willingness to work with her to make her treatment personalized to her needs. She also felt like a valued member of her own care and enjoyed the convenience in which the follow-up appointments and phone call check-ins were, “they were very attentive and really listened to me, it worked out so well,” said Chris.

Chris, a knee patient at UT Health Austin, lines up a putt on a grassy golf course.

Now, nearly six months post op, Chris and her partner are back in action and even won a tournament just last week, “this isn’t our first win, I know how to pick my partners,” she said with a competitive smile.

A graceful swing and attitude seems to keep Chris young and energetic and she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon especially when it comes to her golf game. Surgery helped get her back on the golf course, enjoying life and doing what she loves. “My knee gives me absolutely no issues at all,” said Chris, “I’ve recommended Dr. Bozic to several of my friends, I’m actually going back to see him to discuss my left hip that also needs to be replaced. Golfers need to beware after that,” she laughed.

Golfers beware indeed!

For more information or to make an appointment with the Musculoskeletal Institute, visit here or call 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737).

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.