It’s common in orthopedics to have patients come in who sustained an injury many years earlier that is now causing them problems. Such was the case with our patient Diana Portanova, who unknowingly sustained a torn meniscus in the gym in the 90s while bench pressing. “I recovered from that injury and didn’t think much about it,” said Diana.
“About four years ago, that knee started giving me pain again, and the pain continued to get worse,” shared Diana. “I went to my primary care doctor and he recommended physical therapy, which I did for eight weeks, but it was not successful.”
Diana also shared that she lost 55 pounds and hoped that would help with the knee pain. While it helped in other ways, unfortunately, it did not resolve the knee pain. After an MRI that revealed a torn meniscus, her doctor referred her to Brian Gruber, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeonfor further tests and follow-up.
Diana’s Before & After Weight Loss
Old Meniscus Tear Injury Requires Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
“Dr. Gruber was very friendly and really listened to me,” said Diana. “He reviewed my MRI results and said that unfortunately the knee would not improve without arthroscopic knee surgery. He said that in addition to the meniscus tear, that knee had arthritis.”
Diana had her surgery at SurgCenter at Pima Crossing, where she says she had a great surgery experience. She had never had surgery before, so didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the care and great communication she received at Pima.
“After surgery, I got into Integrated Orthopedics’ Physical Therapy with Jessica and Gary, who were both great. They really listened to me, adjusted my care as needed and kept me on track and improving.”
Pain in Opposite Knee: OrthoVisc Treatment
During Diana’s PT, she started experiencing pain in her other knee. “We found out that this knee – not the one I’d had surgery on – was actually worse than the other knee [regarding cartilage degeneration]. There was no cartilage left and it was bone-on-bone.”
Diana saw Dr. Gruber who recommended they try Orthovisc injections, a hyaluronic acid injection treatment to treat knee pain in patients with joint inflammation often due to osteoarthritis. “We did the injections every week for four weeks in both knees and it worked very well. I’ve had almost no pain at all since.”
Back to Doing What She Loves
Diana is very grateful to Dr. Gruber, Jessica, Gary and the entire team at Integrated Orthopedics for giving her quality of life back. “I love to hike and walk and was not able to do those things much at all anymore – I was depressed and starting to think I’d never be able to walk well or enjoy those things again,” shared Diana.
She is now back to hiking, walking and going to the gym. “For my birthday this past June, I wanted to do a good hike and was able to do it pain-free.”
Diana added the Dr. Gruber is very different from other doctors. “He is very caring and passionate about his patients. He really listens, rather than telling. His warm personality and great energy are unique in healthcare.”
Diana said she’s back to doing what she enjoys doing – often with her Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix Brandy. “I’m back to my normal life and goals and am very happy.”