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patient success story

Skating into a Full Recovery

By Tricia Beelman

Rebecca Waugh is a typical teenager who enjoys many activities including basketball, soccer, softball and hockey. She currently plays defense for the St. Louis Cyclones hockey team. Unfortunately the bilateral knee pain she experienced was holding her back from the activities she loved the most.

At the young age of 10, Waugh underwent a knee arthroscopy, but unluckily her knee pain returned only two years later.

Waugh was referred to the Bone and Joint Institute's, Board Certified, orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Joseph J. Williams. After consulting with Waugh, Dr. William's diagnosed her with osteoarthritis of the left knee. Knowing she was a definite candidate for knee surgery, Waugh decided she would rather wait until her upcoming hockey season had ended.

For several months thereafter, Waugh carried out physical therapy, took anti-inflammatory medication and tried to just live with the pain. But finally the pain was just too much for her to endure. Dr Williams proposed she have arthroscopic surgery of the knee, and by now she and her mother were never more willing to agree.

Dr. Joseph Williams performed the arthroscopy on Waugh at Des Peres Hospital in the spring of 2003. Her stay was less than 24 hours and even though she wore an immobilizing brace, she could bear weight that she could tolerate immediately after the surgery.

In less than a month, Waugh's half inch incisions were well healed and her range of motion increased dramatically. Within the next couple of months she regained full range of motion with no pain and returned to the ice rink, just in time to begin training for the year's upcoming hockey season.

Arthroscopic knee surgery allowed Rebecca Waugh to return to her active lifestyle, as any young teenager should be able to have. Unfortunately many people let knee pain go over looked and learn to live with the pain. Dr. Williams and the medical staff at Bone and Joint encourage people to not allow pain or injuries to be ignored. Instead they would rather help people live their lives without the pain.