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Young Patient Old Joints: November 11, 2013

A vibrant woman in her 40’s, Cheryl Maymon’s knee was bringing her down.

“I had problems for years, by the time I was in my early 40s it became to the point where its hindering my everyday life,” says Maymon.

A serious fall down a set of stairs in her 20s started the downhill process. When arthritis followed, Maymon had a decision to make - how long before knee replacement surgery.

“We had been trying to hold off saying ‘let’s make it until you’re 50, let’s make it until you’re 60’ well finally it’s like when? To me it's a matter of quality of life,” says Maymon.

“We’re seeing younger people who have gone through the gamut of treatments and are still having disabling pain,” says Dr. George Markovich, orthopedic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Dr. Markovich is Maymon’s doctor.

“Oftentimes people wait and then you’re really at a point where you can’t do anything but some type of replacement to alleviate that bone from rubbing on bone,” says Dr. Markovich.

This dilemma is popping up more often.  Knee replacement was once reserved for people in their 60s. Now there’s a growing number of young, active patients with few options and many years ahead of them. Making joint replacement an appealing choice.

“When you have something that works so well, and you have people that have tried everything else, you really have a powerful weapon,” says Dr. Markovich.

When she was 42 Maymon had her first knee replacement. A few months ago she had the other one done.  Still on the mend, they are carrying the load for her active lifestyle.

“I can bike ride 20 miles 30 miles in a day,” says Maymon.