A new procedure is helping people live pain-free almost instantly.
You wouldn't want to mess with Roy Reid.
"I absolutely love taekwondo, and I've studied martial arts for 20 years now," Roy Reid told Action News.
A third-degree black belt Roy also teaches the art. But a knee injury 22 years ago has proven to be his toughest opponent.
"In all reality, for the last 20 years, I've been somewhat limping around," Roy said.
Doctor Steve Nguyen is a joint replacement specialist and pioneer of the freedom knee procedure.
"What I noticed is even when the patient had crushed their knee if I made an incision to the side, it didn't hurt nearly as much as a total knee replacement," Steve Nguyen, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Florida Hospital, explained.
Doctor Nguyen says unlike traditional surgery, this technique reduces pain by sparing muscles and ligaments that historically have been cut during standard total joint replacement surgery.
"We actually implant the components without dislocating the knee," Dr. Nguyen "The muscle is not cut at all. It's actually lifted over and reflected on one side, so we can do our cuts."
A small incision to the side of the knee lets the scar rotate as you move instead of stretching. Patients leave the hospital in one to two days compared to five days for traditional surgery. Within one to two weeks, they're back to normal, something Roy couldn't believe.
"I went in. I had the procedure done, and I've been in less pain from the moment I woke up from the procedure than the days preceding getting the procedure done," Roy said.
Now that he's finally defeated his long-time nemesis, Roy's looking forward to his next challenge.
"What more can I do now that I couldn't do then, and so now, I'm taking advantage of that," Roy said.
Doctor Nguyen is currently the only one in the world using this approach. He says the lateral approach allows for less blood loss during surgery because it requires fewer blood transfusions. The procedure also lowers the chance of blood clots.
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