Surgery helps those with extreme cases of arthritis

HOUSTON A woman whose knees have been destroyed by osteoarthritis and you'll see her transformed.

It hurts to watch Ruth Marshall walk, on legs twisted by arthritis. Extreme arthritis her doctor called it. It stole her job and even her life, limited for six years to a few rooms in her house.

"I couldn't stand up and sweep my house," she said. "I couldn't stand up and wash dishes. I couldn't do anything anymore."

Osteoarthritis is a common problem but in Ruth's case it actually destroyed her knees, causing her constant pain.

She had little hope until Dr. Larry Likover offered specially made knee implants called the signature knee using a 3-D measurements.

"It's custom designed for her knee for her deformity, the MRI measures the shape of the bone and determines the exact place it needs to be to bend so the knee replacement bends properly," said Dr. Likover.

Just two weeks after surgery look at the difference. Ruth's left knee is straight.

"Very good," said Dr. Likover. "You're doing great."

"It's mind boggling really because my leg hasn't been straight in so long," said Ruth.

The x-rays proved it her deformed knee was now straight.

"You're the worst case I've ever done in 30 years of knee replacements," said Dr. Likover.

"That's what I was told," said Ruth. "He just saved my life," said Ruth.

In the next couple of months Ruth will be ready to do it all over again on her other leg and look forward to the day when she will walk like other people.

"Six weeks later she should go dancing with me," said Dr. Likover.

Dancing? Ruth was grateful just to walk again.

"I'm just emotional about this because I never thought I'd be able to walk again," she said.

Dr. Likover says his patients like Ruth, who have had the Signature Knee made with MRI measurements, recover faster, often in 6 to 8 weeks rather than 3 to 6 months.

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