Back to Golfing
"Life is much more enjoyable now that I can keep up with my four grandkids, who are all under age four."
Retired dentist Dr. Gregory Cramm and his wife, Cathy, enjoy going out
for a nice dinner and glass of wine. But getting up from the table had
become so painful that Gregg had to stand for several seconds before moving.
“People must have thought I’d had more than one drink,” he jokes.
Gregg, age 73, suspected his left knee needed to be replaced, but held
off as long as possible, betting that technology and techniques would
keep getting better. “By the time I sought help, it was really affecting
my quality of life. My knee pain didn’t stop me, but it was slowing
me down, and I was starting to limp more and more,” he says.
From the moment Gregg walked into his HOI orthopedic specialist’s
office, he recalls feeling like he’d come to the right place: “Because
I’ve had my own practice, I have a pretty good feel for an office
vibe. I immediately had a terrific rapport with the surgeon. My wife and
I both felt very comfortable. He took lots of time going through the disease
process and how he’d solve it, and answering Cathy’s many
questions. He would make a small incision on one side of my knee, without
cutting the surrounding muscles. I’ve watched people struggle to
rebuild strength in those muscles after a knee replacement, but that wouldn’t
be an issue with this technique.”
Feeling confident, Gregg scheduled his knee replacement procedure to be
done after returning from an April trip on his bucket list – attending
the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
On Wednesday, days after the trip, Gregg checked in for his 10:30 a.m.
surgery. He was resting in his hospital room by 2:30 p.m., and strolling
down the hall with a walker by about 4:30 p.m. He reports having immediate
relief from the knee pain that had plagued him for years.
“Throughout my stay the staff showed genuine concern,” he says.
“They were ecstatic when I walked without a cane – they were
my cheerleaders. Before I went home Friday morning, three or four nurses
came to give me a hug.”
At his home in Laguna Beach, a physical therapist made a few one-hour visits
to strengthen Gregg’s leg and increase his knee bend. Gregg felt
so good that in a matter of weeks he was back to driving his car and playing
golf – earlier than he cares to admit since his surgeon still wanted
him to take it easy.
Two weeks after surgery he drove himself over to a physical therapy clinic.
“I walked in and the therapist said I was walking better than anybody
he’d seen this soon after knee surgery,” says Gregg. “My
incision scar is so minimal you can barely see it.”
He adds, “By gaining the ability to move again, my quality of life
is 90 percent improved. Life is much more enjoyable now that I can keep
up with my four grandkids, who are all under age 4. I’m riding my
bike. I’m playing golf twice a week and while I’ll never be
great, my handicap index has improved. Cathy and I can look forward to
more vacationing and seeing the world, now that I’m pain free.”