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Joint Solutions Center Patient Stories

It’s an almost universal sentiment our patients share. They all wish they had “done it sooner” when it comes to knee and hip replacement. Perhaps not unlike you, they were living with chronic hip and knee pain every day. We hope these Joint Center testimonials will help you as you make the choice that's right for you. Does it hurt to walk? Let's Talk! Call 404.501.TALK (8255) or email us at letstalk@dekalbmedical.org.

For Rosetta Ash, having total knee replacement surgery was life changing. She initially injured her knee at home then she re-injured it after walking down 11 flights of stairs during a fire drill at work. She treated her knee pain, inflammation and osteoarthritis with medications and cortisone shots for months. She was fortunate to receive DeKalb Medical’s first outpatient surgery and care from a coordinated team of experts. “The doctor, nurses and everyone gave me excellent care,” said Rosetta Ash. “They told me what to expect every step of the way, from pre-op to surgery through post-surgery. I didn’t have to guess about anything and I really appreciate that.”


Sometimes our past catches up with us, or at least for Decatur librarian, Diana Berry, that seems to be the case. The 57 year-old total knee replacement patient says a 25 year-old skiing accident took its toll on her right knee until one day, it even hurt for her to do simple things like walk her dog.

Standing on her feet all day in the school’s library/media center also aggravated the old Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury and kept it inflamed. “I tried to ignore the pain,” shares Berry, who underwent cortisone injections and other therapies with little noticeable improvement in her knee. “When it got to where I was waking up in pain, I knew it was time to do something,” remembers Berry.


As a child, I grew up on a farm and spent a lot of time on my hands and knees planting and harvesting tobacco, watermelon and collard greens. While I loved working the land, the hard labor left me with some pretty stiff knees and painful joints- a condition that only worsened after 20 years of wear and tear driving a school bus.

The pain got so bad that I chose to sit on the school bus after dropping off the students because I knew it would be too hard to get up and down the bus steps. I always had ice pack and pain ointment handy when I got home from work, but the first-aid only went so far before it was time to get back on my feet and start the whole cycle over again. I tried medications and shots to alleviate the swelling and just set my mind to tolerate the pain, but it kept getting worse.


“When I got to the point where I had to give up some of my pleasures, that’s when I knew it was time to do something about my hip,” recalls 66 year-old Beverly Brett whose arthritis had caused severe deterioration in her hip joint.

An active woman all her life, Brett could be seen out on the tennis court two to three times a week. Her other love was going for morning walks with her husband around the three-mile lake near their home in Lawrenceville. Until one day, Brett says, “I just couldn’t do it anymore.”


What do a trip to Italy and the Walt Disney World® Half-Marathon have in common? They were both reasons for Richard Brock’s decision to undergo knee replacement surgery in May 2011.

“I had my left knee replaced in 2010 but at the time my right knee was not as bad,” explains Brock. An avid runner since the 1970s, 66-year-old Brock continued exercising after his first knee surgery, eventually running again. “My right knee was painful so when my church choir began planning a trip to Italy for September 2011, I decided to have the surgery in May so I’d be fully recovered in time for the trip,” he says. “I did not want a painful knee to interfere with my enjoyment of the trip.”


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Barbara Huff was living in constant pain in her right hip. Another patient, Rosetta Ash was in excruciating pain in her right knee, even after taking medication and receiving months of conservative treatment. Both women found relief from their pain after joint replacement surgery performed by Dr. Nathan Jové of Atlanta Bone and Joint Specialists.

“Patients should always make sure they work with their physicians to determine if joint replacement surgery is their best option,” said Dr. Nathan Jove. Prior to hip replacement surgery, Huff had tried multiple anti-inflammatory medications and living in constant pain. “I didn’t want to use these drugs for the remainder of my life,” she said. Because her bones were deteriorating and with a diagnoses of bone on bone osteoarthritis, she knew that her hip would not improve over time. After exhausting all other pain relief measures, Dr. Jove recommended the surgery and Huff decided to get her hip replaced.


At 63 years old, Michael Roper was surprised to find himself still paying the price for a skate boarding accident that had occurred in his youth. “But my hobbling was testimony to the truth,” shares the minister at Valley Brook Baptist Church “I tore my right knee to pieces in my thirties, but I thought it had healed,” recalls Roper, who says that he overcompensated with his left knee and over time, developed a limp. An avid cyclist, Roper also began to experience difficulty pedaling uphill without suffering pain. Going up and down the stairs wasn’t much easier, and that’s when he went to see his doctor.

“I tried injections to temporarily replace some of the worn cartilage in my knee and anti-inflammatory medications, but the pain persisted,” he adds. When his doctor suggested knee replacement surgery, Roper says, “I had a lot of fear going in initially… but the procedure turned out to be a piece of cake.”


“Every single one of the nurses and technicians were amazing.” Edward Schuppe can now enjoy simple walks and other recreational activities without worry of pain thanks to two successful total knee replacements performed by Alan Bircoll, MD. “I played baseball, basketball, football and track and field in high school,” says Schuppe. “Then I continued playing sports in college and semiprofessional baseball for a couple of years.”

At age 65, after a lifetime of playing sports and stress on his joints, Schuppe was finally ready to have knee replacement surgery. His decision to have “the surgery” didn’t happen overnight; he thought about it for years before moving forward with the idea.


Prior to having a full knee replacement, 45 year-old Culver Simmons had difficulty putting on socks much less playing his favorite sport, golf. The trouble first started 17 years ago when he tore the connective tissue (anterior cruciate ligament or ACL) around his knee during a skiing accident.

Arthroscopic surgery in his twenties held him for a few years, but eventually the wear and tear on his knee turned into activity limiting daily discomfort. Simmons couldn’t do the things he loved to do anymore. He couldn’t run at all and stopped playing baseball. “I learned to live with the pain and worked around it,” says Simmons who eventually developed chronic back pain from the way he carried his weight as he attempted to compensate for his bad knee. The results of his MRI confirmed that he needed a knee replacement. Five minutes later, he says he had a date for his surgery.


I’ve spent most of my life on my feet working as a cashier, and it took a toll on my joints. At work, they let me sit on a stool when I needed, but eventually even sitting became painful. The pain was horrible. On a scale of one to ten, I’d say it was a 12. For seven years, I sought relief with pain pills and anti-inflammatory shots in my knee, but it just wasn’t getting any better. Finally, when it began to affect my work and my income, I decided to have a total joint replacement.


“It used to be that I planned my life around my knee pain. Stairs were my enemy and I avoided the movies or anywhere I had to sit for long periods of time. Now, that I’ve had knee surgery, I can enjoy life's simple pleasures again.

The procedure has made a 110% difference in my life. Now, I wake up every day feeling like I won the lottery. I have no pain and can go to the cinema or sit for a long dinner without feeling stiffness when I get up. I can even go dancing!


As a child, sports was a great way for Wilson to have fun and to be a part of a team. As an adult, he continues to stay active. One of his favorite activities is jogging, which he started over 30 years ago. He has run in the Peachtree Road Race as well as participated in multiple half marathon’s.

After years of wear and tear and after injuring his hip several times, he began to notice pain in his right hip. The pain continued to get worse; every step was painful. It got to the point where he could hardly walk. Williams started to think about a hip replacement. He consulted with his primary care physician who recommended Dr. Lawrence Bircoll of Resurgens Orthopedics for the surgery. Wilson checked the online reviews about DeKalb Medical’s Joint Solutions Program and talked with several people before moving forward with the surgery.


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DeKalb Medical Orthopedic Services
2701 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033


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