Her daily workout is what makes 74-year old Star Cole shine.
“It makes me a happier person, no stress. It makes me so much calmer,” says Cole.
It wasn’t always that way. One time her life was marked by pain and dysfunction.
“I had an accident 30 years ago and they removed my medial meniscus. So after that, you live with the pain and try to get your muscles to work better and build them up. But after a while your age gets to you,” says Cole.
In many cases, waiting is the hardest part. People delay treating a tear and pay a price.
“A lot of patients that I see in the office that have a large tear of the meniscus, they don’t even know how they did it. They’re thinking about a recent injury, maybe this injury happen 10 or 20 years ago and they never got any treatment over a period of time- it just became worse,” says Dr. John Kagan, orthopedic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
A meniscus is one of two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that cushion the knee. It’s especially important in stabilizing the joint and protecting it from arthritis. People may fear going under the knife to fix a tear, until they realize they may not have to if they act early.
“The majority of knee surgeries that are done, are done arthroscopically. You can repair the torn cartilage. You can arthroscopically replace worn out or damaged articular cartilage. You can arthroscopically trim up a meniscus tear,” says Dr. Kagan.
So Star was re-born, finally repairing her damaged knee. And found fixing a torn meniscus can put life back to your years.
“I was in a lot of pain two and a half years ago and now I’m not,” says Cole.