A Life With No Golf? No Way!

My name is Kim Kreyenbuhl and I have a Conformis implant

I have always enjoyed being active, and so my passion for golf developed quickly. It is a game of risk and reward (and some disappointment!), but I love the feeling I get when I pull off a risky shot. The game is constantly challenging and also relaxing and it lets me enjoy being outdoors. But as you also probably know, it can be tough on the knees. Whether it’s walking windy pathways and hills or digging in for that power drive, you can definitely feel it in the knee joints. And when I developed knee pain, all I kept thinking was my golf days might be numbered.

I had some problems with my knees as a high school athlete. As an adult, I developed arthritis, and a few years ago the pain became severe. I didn’t want to face the truth, so for many years, I played through the pain. Eventually playing and even just walking became too difficult. For my golf game, the pain also made it impossible to concentrate. I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t playing my best. After living with severe knee pain for a few years, I decided enough was enough. I had to do something about it.

I didn’t know much about knee replacements at the time. I started by doing some online research and asked friends for advice. My research led me to Dr. Bruce Bollinger at Custom Joint Center in Fort Worth, Texas. When I knew I needed surgery, I met with him to discuss my options. Right from the start, I felt like I was in good hands. He is one of the leading specialists in knee replacements, but I also felt like he could help me understand all my options and make a smart choice.

I told him I was worried about a long recovery and nervous I wouldn’t be able to return to the golf course and my normal routine quickly. He listened to my concerns and told me about a customized knee replacement called iTotal. Right from the start, it just made sense. He said that a customized Conformis implant could provide a better fit compared to implants that are “off the shelf.” He also said it could help reduce my pain and recovery time, which was music to my ears. I liked the idea of having a knee implant that was made just for me and that matched my anatomy, so I decided to go with the iTotal knee.

I had my operation in October 2012, and almost instantly I knew I made the right choice! I felt pretty good from the moment I woke up. I was able to walk around the halls of the hospital with my walker one day after surgery. After I was discharged, I started physical therapy and I was back to my normal routine in just eight weeks. I was able to return to my job at Kimball Midwest, a product distribution center. My job involves a good bit of physical labor, and with my new knee I was stable enough to lift heavy items and bend down frequently. Best of all, only four months after my procedure and I was back on the golf course in full swing—pun intended! I was so happy to be scoring in the 85-91 range again.
My surgery feels like ages ago and feel better than ever even though I am closing in on 60. My new knee has made it possible to take my love for golf to a whole new level. I recently relocated to Tucson, Arizona and I live right next to a golf course. My new knee is letting me play pain-free, and my new home allows me to be on the course more than ever. My one regret is that I didn’t take action sooner. If you have knee pain, don’t wait! Get the information you need and get back on course (another pun intended!)


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