Mary Ellen Boesen loves being active. As a teen and adult, she enjoyed volleyball, swimming, biking, water skiing, and snow skiing. By the time she reached her mid thirties, arthritis pain began to set in. She remembers getting her kids into bed and then heading to the sofa to ice her knees. Ice and Aleve were her two companions and allowed her to “keep up” with her young daughters.
She would struggle with this pain for another two decades. Mary Ellen loves dogs and during this time, she trained and showed her two Portuguese Water Dogs, Jillion and Peek-A-Boo. They performed in Conformation, Water, Agility, and Rally.
In 2004, Mary Ellen had her right hip replaced which offered some relief. Four years later, Mary Ellen and her family relocated to Richmond from the Midwest. Settling into Richmond meant finding and renovating a home. The physical effort of renovating along with her normal activities aggravated her arthritis even more.
After several more years of suffering, she decided it was time for help. She made an appointment with Dr. Jason Hull. A medical friend recommended Dr. Hull. She didn’t know him but found out that he received extra training in joint replacement at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Hull had also been an assistant professor of orthopaedics at the VCU School of Medicine.
Dr. Hull ordered diagnostic testing which revealed that she was suffering from the effects of advanced osteoarthritis of the left hip and knees. Between January 2012 and April 2013, Dr. Hull replaced her left hip and both knees. The knee surgeries were partial replacements. Partial knee replacement was a good option for Mary Ellen since her arthritis was confined to a single part of the knee. Only the damaged part of the knee was replaced. The healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee was left alone.
“Dr. Hull and I have spent a lot of time together. I like that he’s friendly and takes the time to listen. It was important for me to have both legs even. I am delighted to now have a smooth, even walk without pain!”
Even though the surgeries required a short hospital stay and physical therapy, Mary Ellen believes it was worth it! Says Mary Ellen, “It is nice to be off the pain meds that I took for many years. I’m told I can’t jump out of a plane. But, I can be active. I am back at my gym doing my NIA routine (NIA is a non-impact exercise program that draws from the disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts). And best of all … I can play with and train my dogs again!”