A Life-Changing Decision

The pain in her knees was unbearable. They just would not support her any longer.

By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2010

After just one simple knee replacement, life is no longer a pain for Fanny Campbell.

After just one simple knee replacement, life is no longer a pain for Fanny Campbell.

Fanny Campbell had no idea how much her life would change forever that morning in February, 2009, when she simply got out of bed and fell. The pain in her knees was unbearable. They just would not support her any longer.

For two years Fanny had felt the stabbing pain. She describes a typical day as “eating Tylenol like M&M’s.” She cried all the time, day and night. A good night’s sleep was two hours. She spent a fortune on liniments, balms, salves, oils, creams – anything that promised to help. And then there were the shoes. She bought about 100 pairs of “comfort” shoes, some costing as much as $200. Her knees still ached. And now she could not even get off the floor.

A friend drove Fanny to her primary care physician. The news was not good. The former athlete who had once played on a women’s football team had osteoarthritis in both knees. “And I was told I needed a ‘bone man,’” she recalls with a laugh. The ‘bone man’ she was referred to is Dr. Jeremy Thomas at The Orthopaedic Center in Claremore Regional Medical Plaza.

Fanny’s iron-strong will wouldn't allow anyone to cut on her. That was out of the question, but she nonetheless agreed to a consultation. Two knee replacements was the prognosis. Even in great pain that brought her to the floor again – this time pulling out kitchen drawers to make her way to her cell phone – Fanny still was not convinced this was the way to go.  

She researched everything while taking pain injections in the knees. Relief was very temporary. Debilitating pain was robbing her of freedom each day. She wanted her life back – working, shopping, helping people, going out to eat with friends. But Fanny was really scared to have surgery.

Not that medicine and surgery were anything new to her. The retired registered nurse had seen and done it all. But this time it was different. They were dealing with her knees!

After seemingly no end to the pain, and with assurances from friends who had gone ahead and had Dr. Thomas perform the same procedure, she agreed to a left knee replacement in January.

Six weeks later, the 62-year-old code enforcement officer was back at work for the City of Catoosa. And there was no pain in her left knee.

“I wish I had done it sooner,” she says. “The surgery was much easier than I imagined.” Fanny doesn’t hesitate for a moment to give credit to Dr. Thomas and his staff. “The nurses took care of me like I was family,” she adds. They monitored her progress every day, and someone was available 24/7 for any concerns that came up. There was virtually no bruising and no swelling, and only the slightest scar as evidence.

Fanny gets in and out of her patrol car as she travels from site to site. She walks in ditches and on uneven surfaces. And she is happy once again. “Friends tell me they are glad to have me back. I was mean when I was hurting,” she says.

Now Fanny is actually looking forward to having her right knee replaced next January, when her workload slows down. She watches people in stores as they shift their weight from side to side with each deliberate step. A friend videotaped her a while back as she did the same thing. Fanny shares her experience with anyone who will listen. “I feel that I have so much to give in life. This is just part of it.”

Dr. Thomas and his staff would be happy to answer any questions. The number to call is (918) 301-3170.

For more information, contact

The Orthopaedic Center

1501 N. Florence Ave. #350
Claremore, OK 74017
(918) 301-3170


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About Author Deanna Rebro

Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.

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