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Newport Beach

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.”