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Patients with Pain-Free Knees
Dr. Ginsberg has given me back my knees! I had been suffering with knee pain for quite some time due to bone-on-bone arthritis in my knees. I was scheduled for a knee replacement when my orthopedic surgeon suggested I delay replacement and see Dr. Ginsberg for Supartz injections.
Dr. Ginsberg's program is amazing! I quickly went from excruciating knee pain to being almost totally pain free. Supartz reduces inflammation, relieves pain and puts the "cushion" back in my knee joints. I can now walk, go shopping and even ride my bike with no pain. Supartz and Dr. Ginsberg have changed my life and I would highly recommend his program for anyone experiencing knee pain.
Dear Dr. Ginsberg;
Well, here is my story. Please feel free to use it as you wish.
"If something doesn't change today, I'm quitting my job and never leaving the house again!!!" Those were my last words before my first visit to Dr. Ginsberg and his Center For Joint Therapy. The events leading up to that point of despair include a series of accidents, and medical conditions resulting from those accidents.
About 12 years ago, when I was 43 years old or so, I herniated four discs in my lower back, due to a lifetime of abuse by smoking and improper lifting, plus the expected accidents of a clumsy person. This would prove to alter my normal fitness routine forever. Everything I had been doing to stay fit was now forbidden. I couldn't ride my bicycle or stationary bike. I could only walk or jog in water. In fact, any exercise had to be done in a pool.
This new fitness routine was fine until Autumn, when the weather turned colder. Then it became hard to make myself go to our local inside pool, knowing that I would be freezing all the way home with my wet hair and swimming suit still on under my sweats. I wasn't about to dress in front of all of those strangers!
So, eventually the water workouts ceased and the out-of-control eating began. It wasn't long until my thin-for-me weight of 160 had increased to 200; then 250; then to the unimaginable 300 pounds!
As my weight increased, my physical activity and abilities decreased. By the time I reached my all-time highest (known) weight of 361, I couldn't walk more than a few feet without using my walker or a shopping cart. I refused to use the riding carts. I just couldn't admit that I had let myself get that bad.
By then, my only hope for "fun" was to drive my family to Six Flags and then sit in my van (I couldn't fit in a car) reading, napping, or playing video games on my laptop while they enjoyed seven or eight hours of rides and other entertainment. Even if I could have done the walking, none of the rides would have held me.
It's a shame how much in life we take for granted until it's taken from us - our own fault or not. I couldn't play on the floor with my grand-kids anymore. I couldn't have fun at the St. Louis Zoo or Science Center, go shopping with my youngest daughter, or even shop for Christmas and birthday presents for my family.
So now, after missing a month of work following a fall (one of many) that sprained my knee and ankle, I was set to meet with a new physician who offered a whole new approach to treating osteoarthritic knees. At that point I would have tried almost anything - short of surgery.
Dr. Ginsberg and his staff, (Susie and Gigi) were everything my primary care physician said they'd be - and much more. I could tell immediately that they thought of me as more than just a patient. I literally had three new friends, and I was thrilled!
After his initial assessment of my situation by watching me try to walk and examining my x-rays (plus chastising me for my choice of shoes - crocs!), Dr. Ginsberg determined that I could benefit from his Supartz knee injections. I found out recently that my knees were so covered with fat that it was difficult to find the exact spot for the injections. Thank God for the fluoroscope that helped show the way.
Dr. Ginsberg's treatment plan didn't stop there with just the injections. He explained that I would also have a part to play. If I wanted to reap the full benefit of the injections, I would need to lose weight and get more exercise - period. It would be my three-part equation for success.
At age 53, I knew that I had to take this seriously, and that time was of the essence. I needed to lose 200 pounds as quickly as possible, so I began to research weight loss surgeons on-line. After choosing the best one, I proceeded with that whole process, which thanks to insurance stipulations, turned into quite an ordeal. Finally, on March 5, 2009, the second step of my equation had been accomplished - gastric bypass surgery.
Here I am now at eighteen months post-op, 130 pounds lighter, and still losing. My surgeon advised me to expect to lose 25 to 50 pounds of skin when I undergo the reconstruction surgery. Considering that, I hope to lose about 40 more pounds before arranging the final operation.
As my weight has decreased, my level of activity has increased, and now I can play on the floor with my grand-kids again. Trips to Six Flags have taken on a renewed joy for me now. I absolutely LOVE the water park there!
Probably most significantly, I have no idea where my walker is anymore. I actually "ran" in the store the other day trying to catch up to my oldest daughter. She couldn't believe it. She said, Mom, you were running!" and I said, "Yeah, I guess I was!" I hadn't even thought about it. I just did it. How COOL!!!
I still get my knee injections twice a year, and will do so the rest of my life. There's no way to make my knees not be bone-to-bone without it. But that's ok. That gives me a great excuse to see my great new friends at least ten times per year.
Thank you, Dr. G, for doing what you do, and thank you for caring so much for your patients. You wouldn't let me give up hope, even when it seemed like the odds and everyone else were against me. I owe you a lot - even my life! Of course, my debt is one I can never repay in a million years. I don't even recognize the person in those before pictures. Thank God that person is not still me!
God bless you ALL forever. I'm so happy to have been lead to your office that fateful day so many months ago. Dr. G, Susie - you guys are the BEST!!!
With much love and gratitude,
Dear Dr. Ginsberg,
It's about time I write a letter. I put off coming to you for a long time and I could have saved myself a lot of pain by manning up earlier (you know I was afraid of needles).
It is no overstatement to say that you have now given back to me my quality of life with the Supartz injections into my woeful knee. Thirty years ago I tore my ACL and really did not do anything about it. Over the years the knee deteriorated, the dangling ACL faded away, and I now have the famous bone on bone situation, a ripe candidate for a knee replacement. About a year and a half ago, Dr. Scherer asked me when I would like to schedule it and I asked if I could try out Dr. Ginsberg. He said sure.
Over the previous couple of years I kept seeing you in the hospital saying I'll see you soon, but I never made the jump. I suffered with knee pain daily and it often kept me awake at night. I am a great sleeper but no one could sleep with that kind of pain. I popped Ibuprofen like candy and actually gave myself an ulcer trying to control my knee pain. Most of the time my knee was swollen, tight, inflexible, very painful, and put a cloud over any good mood I had. I tried to remain active and often just tried to ignore the pain which pounded through the medication with great power.
Finally I said "uncle". I can say this. For me, the treatment has worked 100%. I was reluctant to enter into this but I am so glad I did. The care and precision (under fluoroscope) that you use is awesome. It shows that you care about not causing any more pain and it allows you to inject this healing substance with care and comfort.
I have two granddaughters under three years old, Ava and Elise. When they say, "Come on Papa, let's have a tea party," I am now able to get down on the floor at their little table and sip pretend tea. When I go out on a run with Ava during the winter months in her golf course back yard (and when I say run I mean run), I am no longer in danger of losing her in the woods.
I have ridden my bike from Granite City to Edwardsville now and the only thing that gets sore is my rear end. The knee is painless. I walk for exercise and do yard work and crawl around in the attic sometimes, always with no pain. I climb stairs (flights of them) pain free. My knee was making feel very old. Now it makes me feel young again.
You and your staff are providing an excellent service. Technically, you are great at fixing knees, but really, you are doing much more than that. You are giving back quality of life. I know. I am living proof.
Merry Christmas to you, Susie, and Debbie. Thank you a million times.