Sports Medicine Center Patient Stories
At NYU Langone’s Sports Medicine Center, our doctors are leaders in providing care to people who have acute and chronic sports-related and overuse injuries that affect every major joint, including the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, and ankle.
Sara’s Story About Meniscus Transplant for Torn Meniscus
“It was a huge relief to have the ability to go up and down stairs and curbs again.”
—Sara, Age 32
Sara’s active lifestyle, which included bouldering, rock climbing, and yoga, suddenly came to a halt when she realized she couldn’t take much more than a regular walk without feeling pain in her knee. She hadn’t fallen and couldn’t pinpoint a specific moment when she’d injured herself—but she knew something was wrong.
Sara tried physical therapy first, but when she showed no signs of improvement, her physical therapist referred her to Dr. Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas at the Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Gonzalez-Lomas confirmed that Sara’s meniscus had torn so badly, it was no longer attached—an injury that significantly increased Sara’s risk of developing osteoarthritis within five years.
Dr. Gonzalez-Lomas advised her that the best chance she had to prevent additional damage to the cartilage and bone was to get a meniscus transplant. Sara’s age and injury made her a good candidate for this type of knee surgery, which is less invasive than a knee replacement.
Three months after surgery, Sara was able to get back to her daily activities, including keeping up with her 1-year-old daughter. “I’m able to pick her up, and I’m able to run around with her in the playground.”
Carl’s Story About Surgery for Lateral Tear and Torn Meniscus
“I felt like I had a real team that knew what they were doing, were very compassionate, and really understood what I was going through.”
—Carl, Age 37
Carl describes his old workout routine as aggressive. He went to the gym every day, and part of his fitness repertoire was Olympic-style weightlifting. It kept him in excellent shape, but this daily grind eventually caught up with him.
“I started feeling sore in my shoulder, and then my knee started bothering me,” Carl says. He made an appointment to see Dr. Laith M. Jazrawi at the Sports Medicine Center, and discovered that he had a lateral tear in his shoulder, as well as a torn meniscus. Dr. Jazrawi recommended physical therapy for his shoulder, but surgery to repair his torn meniscus.
While Carl recovered from knee surgery, he continued physical therapy on his shoulder. When there was no improvement in Carl’s shoulder after several months, Dr. Jazrawi advised Carl that he could live with tolerable pain or have surgery to repair the lateral tear. “I decided to go with the surgery, and had a surprisingly quick recovery. The pain is gone now,” Carl says.
It has been six months since Carl’s shoulder surgery. Although he’s not back to his old aggressive workout routine, he doesn’t really miss it. “I wouldn’t be able to work out at all if I hadn’t had these surgeries,” Carl says. “I’m able to have a really healthy workout lifestyle, and I don’t have anxiety or stress about my physical limitations anymore.”