In Her Own Words

Meniscus Surgery Helps Debbie Strike a Pose

Debbie Oppold

Post-surgery, Debbie has taken up yoga to gain strength and flexibility.

All it took was a quick slip on the ice to tear Debbie Oppold's meniscus, a disk-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber inside the knee joint.

"Every step hurt," Debbie explains. "So I called my family physician, Dr. M.J. Merry, and he scheduled an MRI. Sadly, it showed the meniscus tear. She decided to confer with FHN orthopaedic surgeon Greg Dammann, MD, to evaluate her options.

She originally chose a steroid injection and physical therapy, but they didn't help much. Debbie realized that surgery was the only way to move forward with confidence. Dr. Dammann explained the procedure he would use to "clean up" the jagged meniscus tear that was causing her so much grief, and assured her she was "too young to be limping around."

The day of her outpatient surgery, Debbie was a bit apprehensive. "I asked Dr. Dammann to pray with me, and his sincere words and tender manner really helped me stay calm," she emphasizes. "I felt 100 percent confident in his care."

Debbie was in and out of the hospital within several hours and could do stairs pain-free and with confidence in four weeks. Dr. Dammann encouraged her to keep moving to minimize her risk or at least postpone the need for knee replacement surgery. He also gave her the blessing to pursue yoga, which she has been doing to gain strength and flexibility. "I can't say enough good things about Dr. Dammann, Nurse Navigator Keri Wall, and the FHN team," Debbie declares. "No more limping around!"