Firefighter Todd Keisling Holds Off Knee Replacement with Conservative Knee Treatments

knee pain

Todd pictured here with his son, a football player at Cactus Shadows High School, where Dr. Gruber served as team physician. Todd’s son had a successful ACL repair surgery with Dr. Gruber, which is one of the main reasons Todd chose Dr. Gruber to treat his own knee pain. 

Todd Keisling, 57, injured his knee while on the job with the fire department. “We’re required to get one hour of physical activity each day while on the job,” said Todd. “I played pickle ball at work one day and by that evening during my 24-hour shift, my knee was really bothering me. By the next day, it was swollen the size of a basketball.”

Diagnosing a Torn Meniscus

Todd went through the fire department’s protocol and a saw a doctor who did an MRI and diagnosed a torn meniscus. Unfortunately, other damage to his knee was revealed including bone-on-bone, arthritis and a cyst.

“I decided to go see Dr. Gruber since he’d repaired my son’s ACL successfully after he injured it during football,” shared Todd. His son plays football for Cactus Shadows, a team Dr. Gruber serves as team physician for during football season. Since Todd’s job with the fire department is very active, he knew something was needed, as his knee was very painful, making it even hard to walk let alone climb up and down trucks and ladders as his job requires.

Orthovisc for Knee Pain and Arthritis

Dr. Gruber told Todd that since his meniscus was not catching or binding, they could try some more conservative options before considering surgery. “We started with cortisone shots and it worked great for about a month,” said Todd. He then went on to have a series of three Orthovisc injections that place hyaluronic acid into the joint where your body is lacking its own, which worked wonderfully for about a year.

“When they wore off, it really hurt again,” said Todd. “I’ve since done another round of Orthovisc injections and it worked great again.” Dr. Gruber told Todd that if this stops working, he might be a good candidate for platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), where you use the body’s own plasma for regeneration.

“I’d consider that, for sure,” said Todd. “It would be worth putting off surgery for as long as possible as the surgery would be a total knee replacement.”

For now, Todd is happy that conservative treatments have alleviated his knee pain by almost 100 percent and he’s been able to avoid surgery. “Before the treatments, it was hard to even walk,” shared Todd. “Now I’m back to hiking, biking, using the treadmill and elliptical.”

“The entire team at Integrated Orthopedics is great – they are all very caring and nice,” said Todd. “I feel like Dr. Gruber really cares about his patients. He always remembers me and my son, shakes my hand and takes time to really talk with me.”