I had accepted that I was going to live with an arthritic knee at 15, but you don't have to, you don't have to live with those physical limitations after an injury.
It was something that I lived with for 10 years. From 14 to 24, 25, it's just something that I accepted that I had this limited range of motion. And this new limited way of living before my injury, I was a competitive swimmer and I was considering becoming a triathlete. But this whole event changed everything and changed my quality of life, essentially. I got into dental school in Pennsylvania and that's when I realized that I need to reevaluate my knee again because the winters there are cold and there's no way that I can study in graduate school and be worried about a stiff knee that bends up on me considering how rigorous the curriculum is in dental school. So I looked around, did my research went to seven orthopedic surgeons. Every surgeon had a different way of doing the procedure.
We wanted to go and see a knee specialist instead of looking at just orthopedic surgeons. Somehow we realized we should focus on finding a specialist who is really good at just their whole scope is on knee injuries. And Dr. Stone was the only surgeon who noted that: not only do I have an ACL tear, but also a PCL tear because he was a new specialist. And because he said something that was very different from what we were used to, we took a leap of faith and we move forward with it. And it's been the best decision that my family and I made. As soon as I woke up from that knee surgery, I knew it was different and it felt like it was before my knee accident at 14 was pretty emotional because I knew it was going to be the start of something better.
The day after I did physical therapy, I was putting weight on it. I didn't feel that scar tissue anymore. My name was straight. It was fluid. It felt normal. Something I hadn't felt in 10 years. And everything just went, just went up from uphill from there, their diagnosis, and then just everything from that, the actual surgical procedure. And then the rehab process. It's all here. It's all under one provider. One goal once one space and setting. And I think that consistency is really what helps you and is key in recovery. If some operation didn't go well, or if you're going to enter your first surgery, you go back to your quality of life and the right procedure and the right commitment to the rehab process will get you there again, it's a tough road, but it's something that you can do. And my quality of life was not only improved. It was restored. Dr. Stone really saved my life because I was able to go through graduate school become a dentist. And then I even went further and specialized and stayed in Pennsylvania for longer without having the weather be an impediment to furthering my career and doing the thing, the things I love.
Sarah E. Profile
A serious injury or failed surgery does not mean you're destined for a life of limitations. Sarah was not getting the results from a previous ACL reconstruction surgery that would've allowed her to perform her favorite physical activities or achieve her life goals. Determined to find a knee specialist who could restore her quality of life, Sarah decided that Dr. Stone's plan to revise her previous ACL reconstruction and repair her damaged PLC was her best chance. Now six years on from her surgery, Sarah is thriving: completing dental school, playing soccer, hiking, and generally moving confidently without feeling any restrictions or limitations.
Sarah saw seven orthopaedic surgeons before choosing The Stone Clinic. Some of the key reasons Sarah and other patients choose to come to our Clinic for Dr. Stone's form of ligament repair is:
- Other surgeon's ACL reconstructions often harvest a patients’ own tissues—usually the hamstrings or patella tendon grafts. We believe that in the 21st century, we should not be taking one part of a person to rebuild another part. The harvesting of patients’ tissues permanently damages and weakens their knees, sacrificing normal anatomy. For our ACL patients like Sarah, we reconstruct the ligament with a sterilized donor bone-patellar tendon-bone graft. In our own experience, there has been no difference in outcome whether we took the patellar tendon from the patient, or received it from the tissue bank. So we see no reason to further harm the patient by harvesting their tissue.
- Dr. Stone repairs the posterolateral corner (PLC) of the knee. The PLC is not truly a ligament but a merger of soft tissues at the back (posterior), outside (lateral) corner of the knee. The area is significantly injured in up to 30% of ACL injuries, yet the injury is often missed even when an MRI has been obtained. Missing the diagnosis and failing to repair this corner when the ACL is reconstructed is a common cause of recurrent knee instability and ACL failure. We rebuild this corner with a donor ligament, which almost always makes the knee feel more stable and protects the central ligaments.