Dancing On A New Knee

My name is Andria Utrie and I have a Conformis implant

Sitting on the sidelines was never an option for me, I’ve always been very active. My husband and I love hiking with friends, going kayaking, and taking strolls around the neighborhood. But recently we picked up a new hobby… ballroom dancing! Sure, the lessons got us off the couch and gave us an excuse to spend time together, but I quickly fell in love with the sport. It was about discipline and precision, which I found both challenging and rewarding. Sadly, we had to put our newfound passion on hold when the pain in my knee became too much.

I went to see a doctor and underwent arthroscopic surgery two years ago. I started to feel better and was excited to start dancing again. But within a few months the pain returned. This time it was so bad I could barely extend my leg during our lessons. I had another arthroscopic surgery, but it didn’t help relieve the intense pain I felt on the dance floor. I had become bow legged and couldn’t even take a walk around the block. For the first time, I found myself on the sidelines frustrated and unsure how to move forward.

My friends could see it was affecting my happiness and told me about Dr. Matthew Niesen at Columbus Community Hospital. When I met with him, he talked to me about a replacement option by ConforMIS. Dr. Niesen said he could fully customized each part of my implant and ensure it was just the right fit for me! At first it seemed odd, but then I thought back to my dancing. Before every competition I would spend hours at the store shopping for a dress and shoes that fit just right. So why would I want anything less from a knee replacement?

Dr. Niesen used ConforMIS to replace my knee on June 27th. The next morning the hospital staff already had me up and walking around my room. My husband could barely believe it! I was discharged with a walker that I used for about nine days. After that I only needed to use a cane for balance. Within two weeks, I was walking on my own. I am nearly finished with nine weeks of physical therapy and my therapist says I am ahead of the game with my recovery.

Before I decided to make this life change, all I wanted was to enjoy time with friends and family and be active without experiencing pain. It has now been almost two months since my surgery, and I have gone kayaking twice, and even rode my bike around the neighborhood for the first time in years! Of course, my husband and I are also back to ballroom dancing. My instructor has given me tons of encouragement. I no longer believe he is tailoring lessons to keep me from feeling like I can’t execute the more complicated routines. I feel more balanced and can even pull off a spin on one foot!

My husband and I even enrolled in a dance competition set in Milwaukee! I don’t want to jinx it… but I really think now more than ever we have a chance to stomp out the competition!


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