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Susan Wilson - (Right) Total Knee Revision Testimonial
Total Knee Revision Surgery – In July 2008 I had my right knee replaced by a doctor in La Paz. Not satisfied with the results of that surgery, we found MedToGo and Dr. Inigo. He successfully replaced my left knee in January 2009. But in June 2009, it became apparent that there were major problems with my right knee. A year after the right knee replacement, I still had a lot of pain.
Diagnostic testing revealed that I had an internal infection somewhere – of course the right knee prosthesis was highly suspect. This was NOT good news. The “gold” standard for revision surgery in the United States is removal of the infected prosthesis, installation of a temporary prosthesis with antibiotic interface and non-weight bearing status during recovery, then final revision surgery 3-6 months later when the infection is gone. We decided to consult Dr. Inigo.
Dr. Inigo proposed in July 2009 that first we do a gamma scan to determine the exact location of the infection. This test indicated that infection in the right knee had not spread to the left. He then recommended treatment of the infection – something that would never had been recommended in the US.
If this treatment was successful, we could eliminate the interim surgery. If it did not work, we could proceed with the standard two-surgery revision. My chance of getting rid of the infection, in Dr. Inigo’s opinion, was about the same with the conventional treatment (two surgeries) and his option (treatment of infection and one surgery).
Dr. Inigo put me on a course of antibiotics and immune system supplements; I was taking 53 pills daily! Another gamma scan revealed the infection was 80% reduced! Encouraged by these excellent results, I took even more supplements and we scheduled another gamma scan and possible surgery date.
On September 10, 2009, Dr. Inigo did the final right total knee revision surgery. A tissue sample from the bad prosthesis was found to be free of infection in lab tests. I was able to skip the interim surgery, following Dr. Inigo’s program. Obviously this was a financial savings – thousands of dollars – and my physical body (which had already tolerated three surgeries in 14 months) was saved from yet another health-depleting surgery.
My hospital stay was short – only one night post surgery – and the staff at Hospital San Jose in Hermosillo were very attentive. This hospital is newer than CIMA Hermosillo (where I had my left knee surgery with Dr. Inigo), equal to new hospitals in the US, with the latest equipment and technology, and very clean. I was taken by ambulance to City Express Hotel – again my home for recovery.
After the right knee revision surgery, as after the left, I again received a cell phone from Dr. Inigo to use if I needed to talk with him, visits from the nurse and the physical therapist to my hotel room, a venous pump to reduce swelling and the chances of blood clots, and extremely good care.
I continued to take the immune system boosters and supplements for another three months after surgery – but NO more antibiotics were needed. It was amazing to me how quickly I recovered from this right knee revision surgery. In only two weeks, I was using only a cane and driving the car. Typically revision knee surgeries are more difficult with a longer recovery period, but that was certainly not the case for me.
I will share a little side story about the healing nature of nutrient-rich foods as opposed to prescription pills. After three surgeries in 14 months, my hemoglobin levels were very low after this third surgery – about 7. Anything less than a count of 12 and a US doctor usually prescribes iron tablets. After the second surgery I had taken those prescribed iron tablets, and suffered from stomach cramp and constipation during the 3 months it took to return to a count of 12.
When I asked Dr. Inigo about doing this again, he said, “That’s like eating nails. Eat lots of beans and lentils and take Beano instead!” So that’s what I did. One month post surgery, my hemoglobin was 10; I told the US doctor that I was doing just fine and told him I would not be taking the iron tablets he recommended; three months later my count was 12. I suffered no stomach cramps, and obviously constipation was not an issue since I was eating beans and/or lentils and spinach at least once every day. Sometimes it seems that US medicine is overly driven by test result numbers.
What happened with my right knee revision surgery would not have been possible were the treatment done in the United States. Although not conventional, Dr. Iñigo’s consideration for my overall health as well as my budget was the reason behind his recommendation, and I am grateful. With Dr Inigo’s direction, I went against medical convention and amazingly beat the odds.
At this writing – July 2011 two years after the total knee revisiont surgery – I am doing well. There has been no further infection and I have returned to my usual recreational pursuits – sailing, square dancing and water aerobics. The quality of my life now is due in part to MedToGo and the most excellent Dr. Rafael Iñigo Pavlovich.