James Vanderpost – Total Knee Replacement Success Story

Noteworthy knees

Arthritis no longer slows down former opera singer James Vanderpost after total knee replacement in both knees at Methodist Richardson

From the fall 2011 edition of Shine magazine

James VanderpostSomething to sing about: Arthritis no longer slows down former opera singer James Vanderpost. A total knee replacement in both knees at Methodist Richardson helps him climb theater stairs and walk the dog.

The day after his total knee replacement surgery at Methodist Richardson Medical Center, James Vanderpost felt like a new man.

"For seven years, I battled knee problems," he says. "I would cry because the pain was so unbearable."

Vanderpost, a retired opera singer who has traveled all over the world singing, suffered from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in his knees. He had become almost totally dependent on others to help him get around. "I would walk for two minutes and sit for three, even using my cane or walker," he adds. "I always joked with my friends, saying 'If you put a snail next to me, it will beat me.'"

Decision for surgery

After talking with his friends and physician, Sacheen Mehta, MD, an independently practicing orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Richardson, Vanderpost decided that his knees were so bad they couldn't become worse and a total knee replacement in both knees was the best decision for him. His left knee was replaced in February 2010, followed by his right knee in April 2010. He was walking a week after both surgeries.

"I'm almost 69 years old, and I have the knees of a 20-year-old," he says.

After surgery, he went faithfully three times a week to physical therapy and also did exercises at home, and his knees have become very flexible. The freedom and independence Vanderpost now has is one of the best benefits from the knee replacement surgery. He is able to go to the grocery store by himself, walk without a cane or walker, and exercise; his favorite physical activities include biking, swimming, and walking.

Better yet, when he attends the opera, he can walk pain-free up and down five flights of stairs. "This has been one of the best experiences that has ever happened in my life," he says with a big smile. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Is this surgery right for you?

"Joint replacements are one of the best surgeries a person can have," Dr. Mehta says. "They're 95 to 98 percent effective in relieving pain. When you reach a point and nothing else is helping, or you're in pain all or most of the time, it's time to have the surgery."

Dr. Mehta uses the SignatureTM system for total knee replacements. This system utilizes MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to create personalized guides for total knee replacements, allowing more accurate positioning of the implants.

"Mr. Vanderpost recovered beautifully from surgery, and his commitment to physical therapy was a huge factor in his success," Dr. Mehta adds. "It has been gratifying to see the difference total knee replacements have made in his life."

If you are experiencing joint pain, call 972-4 DR LINE (972-437-5463) to learn more about the joint replacement program at Methodist Richardson.