Find relief from knee pain with replacement surgery through Marshall Health.
written by SHEANNA SPENCE
After dealing with bone-on-bone knee pain for more than a decade, Laurie Reasons was diagnosed with arthritis at 45 years of age. By age 53, the pain had become unbearable. “Every step made me want to cry,” Reasons recalls. “It came to a point where I wasn’t sure I could get through the grocery store and back to my car.”
Reasons made an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon at Marshall Health, Ali Oliashirazi, M.D. “Dr. Oli,” as his patients affectionately call him, is professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and surgical director of the Mary H. Hodges Joint Replacement Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital, a member of Mountain Health Network. His practice is solely devoted to various types of knee replacement surgeries, including computer and robotic surgeries.
Dr. Oli performed Reasons’ first total knee replacement in 2014. She experienced immediate relief but knew it was only a matter of time before her other knee would need to be replaced. Reasons heeded the advice of Dr. Oli and lost more than 80 pounds, taking some pressure off her joints and allowing her to postpone her second total knee replacement until September 2021.
She also did “prehab” on her knee, performing specific exercises and motions that Dr. Oli provided to prepare her knee for surgery.
“When conservative management—which includes arthritis medicines, injections, bracing, and therapy—is no longer helping and the pain is getting in the way of what patients like to do, it is time to replace the knee,” says Dr. Oli. “I tell patients that they will know when it’s the right time.”
Dr. Oli told her that, although full recovery takes time, much of the recovery happens in the first six weeks. By week eight, Dr. Oli had even cleared her to go on a cruise. “I was out of the hospital in a day, but the physical therapy was my biggest fear,” Reasons says. “It was hard at first, but every day was a little better.” Dr. Oli and his team gave her comfort before, during, and after surgery. “He expects, demands, and pursues excellence,” Reasons says. “Knowing he was at the helm gave me such reassurance. Not only that, but Dr. Oli is the most humble, kind-hearted person you’ll ever meet.”
Reasons now exercises daily, including 6 miles on her stationary bike and walking on her treadmill. Her favorite activities with her new knees include walking her dog and playing with her grandchildren. Most of all, she says, she’s enjoying being an active participant in her own life. Looking back, she wishes she had done the operation even sooner. “It’s sad to me that I let fear control my decision for a long time.”
The Mary H. Hodges Joint Replacement Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital has received more than 20 awards from Healthgrades over the past 16 years, including the Surgery Excellence Award. “I’m so glad it’s done!” Reasons says. “Life is vastly different. Mobility is not to be taken for granted. It’s a great thing.”
Marshall Orthopaedics sees patients experiencing any type of joint pain without a referral. To learn more about joint replacement options at Marshall Health or to schedule an appointment, visit marshallhealth.org/joint-replacement or call Marshall Orthopaedics at 304.691.1262.
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