Barb Mierzwa: Total Knee Replacement

“My knee pain felt like grinding gears.”

Barb Mierzwa was a busy professional with rewarding job a nurse, a loving family, and an active circle of friends. She took special delight in enjoying outdoor activities with her six grandchildren, ages 5 to 14.

All of that fun came to a grinding halt for two reasons—her knees. “My knee pain felt like grinding gears.”

Barb really wanted to keep up with her very active grandchildren. “But my knee pain kept me from being able to bike and swim with them like I used to.”

Then, while on a vacation to Mexico with friends, Barb was deflated when she wasn’t able to climb the Mayan ruins alongside her friends. Her pain meant she couldn’t join them for snorkeling either.

Disappointed, Barb said, “If someone was walking behind me, they’d think I was a hundred years old.”

Whether she was at home or away, and regardless of the time of day, Barb’s knee pain was calling the shots. Not only did it limit her vacation and family enjoyment, ordinary day-time activity like climbing stairs became a challenge. Her knee pain woke her up at night too.

Then, Barb heard Henry Ford Jackson Hospital orthopedic surgeon Timothy Ekpo, DO, speak at a community presentation. Barb was impressed by Dr. Ekpo, and she was intrigued and even tempted by what she learned about advances in total knee replacement. But, like a lot of people, she wasn’t anxious to rush into surgery.

Another six months passed, and Barb was able to do less and less, she began to consider surgery again.

“I’d had enough. I couldn’t do my exercises because bending or squatting was so difficult. More and more, it was like I had to plan my life around my knees.”

When Barb went for a consultation with Dr. Ekpo, he reviewed her X rays and discussed her treatment and surgical options.

“I appreciated the way Dr. Ekpo never made me feel rushed or pressured. He wanted the next step to be my decision, when I was ready.”

Barb decided she was ready to have both knees replaced. Dr. Ekpo performed the surgeries six weeks apart to ensure time for proper healing and rehabilitation.

“Now, it’s as if I never had my knees replaced because they feel so natural. I don’t even need to stop to think about them.” -Barb Mierzwa, Total knee replacement patient

Barb was thankful for the way Dr. Ekpo never made me feel hurried and always took time to explain what was happening both before and after my surgery. His regular updates made Barb feel well informed.

Barb is back to exercising, gardening, biking and swimming with her grandchildren. She even got to enjoy snorkeling with friends again in Cancun.

“Dr. Ekpo was so kind and caring. I’d give him an A. And I am so thankful to have my new pain-free knees,” Barb said. “I’d do it again in a minute.”

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