Dixie, age 53, has been playing pro golf since 1997 and has won a number of senior events, such as the Orville Classic—which she won twice—and the Washington State Women’s Open. But she has missed several LPGA events since getting her metal-on-metal knee replacement last February, 2011 and had revision surgery three weeks ago.
“I am just getting the bending motion back in my knee and have flexion of 129 degrees, which is average,” says Dixie. But average isn’t good enough to get her back in the game. Dixie also says she had more range of motion before the knee replacement, and less pain.
Her first surgery cost almost $100,000 and then she needed a manipulation. Dixie says that, under anesthetic, they had to bend her knee back and forth because she didn’t have enough range of motion six weeks after the first surgery. She was at 110 degrees before the manipulation. Dixie got this manipulation procedure only because she was a female athlete and relatively young to have a knee replacement.
“My knee feels better three weeks post-op so I think the revision surgery did help, fingers crossed,” she adds, “but anything is an improvement from that first knee surgery. It was painful right from the beginning. When the swelling went down the pain didn’t subside and I constantly heard popping sounds, but my knee surgeon said that was normal and to give it some time. I didn’t believe him so I got two second opinions.
"The two other surgeons said my knee was loose and they both suggested that I get revision surgery—I needed a ‘thicker liner’. But they didn’t explain who makes the choice of the liner: was the size incorrect due to a defective design or was it my surgeon’s fault? I think my first surgeon was baffled by how soon it became loose.
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"I won’t know who is at fault until I talk to the revision surgeon—my follow-up appointment is in six weeks-- but why was it loose so soon after the replacement? I walked around for almost a year with a loose knee and playing golf was a challenge, to say the least. I just had to suck it up. I did play a bit after surgery but for months I couldn’t play at all.
My question to a knee replacement attorney is whether this metal-on-metal device came with a defective liner to begin with or if it was an improper size. You’d think that all the parts should work as a whole before surgery. Meanwhile I’m working on my game. I played nine holes last March but it was too painful—this knee surgery has taken the fun out of my game.”