“I needed both knees replaced but I also needed someone to address the knock-knee situation,” she continues. “Every provider I met with wanted to talk about knee replacement or possibly platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, but no one was offering me a solution to straighten out my legs.
“My life was really being marginalized,” she says.
Then she and her husband moved to Palm Desert from northern California, and she continued her search for a surgeon — and a solution.
“I happened to see Dr. Boghosian’s name in a number of online recommendations, and discovered that he had an incredible track record,” Bishop says, referring to Ghassan Boghosian, DO, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center, who specializes in knees and hips.
“He addressed my concerns right away”
“I met with him and he addressed my concerns right away, explaining that it was something he could deal with, no problem,” she recalls. “Before then, I’d been ready to throw in the towel and deal with the legalignment issue separately, after getting knee replacements. But when he told me that he could do my knee replacements and straighten my legs, that was a game-changer.”
She also got repeated affirmation for her choice to go with Dr. Boghosian as she went about the preoperative testing that’s required prior to surgery. “Everyone I met with asked who my doctor was,” Bishop says. “When I told them Dr. Boghosian, angels came out of their mouths. When you start getting those kinds of recommendations from medical people, you know you’re on the right track.”
“When someone has an angular deformity like being knock-kneed, the knee joint will lose cartilage more quickly on one side than the other, causing the deformity to worsen,” Dr. Boghosian explains. “And when bone is rubbing on bone because of cartilage loss, it causes further inflammation of the knee — and pain.
“When we see a patient like Mrs. Bishop, we generally try a multitude of conservative treatment options, including braces to take the pressure off the affected area,” Dr. Boghosian explains. Other options may include cortisone injections, PRP and antiinflammatory medications.
“It was time to fix the knees surgically”
“But these are ultimately temporary solutions to a long-term problem,” he says. “At a certain point, it’s time to fix the knee surgically. And she had reached that point.”
Bishop underwent two operations — one on each knee — in December 2018 and August 2019.
“We can do both knees at the same time, but it’s a more difficult recovery,” Dr. Boghosian notes. “Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, we make them separate procedures, if possible.”
“I had him do my left knee first — it was the worst,” Bishop recalls. “And it was a miracle as far as I’m concerned. I was able to stand tall and walk within a couple of hours of surgery. And the angle of my leg was straight!
“When he did the second leg eight months later, it was immediately eye-opening to see not just what an excellent job he’d done, but how my whole stance had been changed,” she says.
“A truly gifted doctor”
“I’d been like that proverbial frog in a pot of water that acclimates to the water heating up,” she adds. “I kept adjusting to the deformity and pain in my knees, not realizing how far from normal I’d come. But with Dr. Boghosian, I got to normal immediately. He’s a great guy and a truly gifted doctor.”
“It’s amazing to me the transformation that patients go through after this type of surgery,” Dr. Boghosian says. “When they first come in, they’re in pain and don’t like the way they look. They’re not the least bit cheerful or smiling — that’s the toll that chronic pain takes.
“Then, when they come back after surgery, the real person comes out,” he continues, “They’re smiling, giving hugs and praise. I got to see Mrs. Bishop’s real personality. It’s so very gratifying.”
“Today I feel like Wonder Woman,” says Bishop. “I can stand tall and bebop around in ways I haven’t been able to in years. I walk for a half hour to 45 minutes at a time. I’m looking forward to doing hikes, getting back to tennis, looking into pickleball. All this was denied me for years due to my physical problems. Now it’s all within reach.
“I’m just really, really thrilled,” she adds. “I even see another Dalmatian in my future.”
To contact Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center, call 760.773.4545.