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Couple's Knee Replacements Help Them Say Cheers to 50 Years

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute help Kenneth and Hollis Richter celebrate 50th wedding anniversary by resolving knee pain

Kenneth and Hollis Richter are fully embracing their retirement. The active couple split their time between Quakertown and Florida, and enjoy dancing, long walks and exercise classes. But their active lifestyle came at a price – joint pain.

Kenneth has had two hip replacements, and they both suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee. While Hollis controlled her knee pain with cortisone injections, after 10 years she knew it was time for a knee replacement.

“The pain was getting to be too much. I couldn’t even go for walks anymore. Plus, my back and hips were beginning to hurt because of the way I was limping,” Hollis says.

A familiar face

Hollis didn’t have to look far to find an orthopedic surgeon. She already knew Kevin Anbari, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute, because he had performed Kenneth’s hip replacements. Kenneth’s sister-in-law also had her robotic knee replacement done by Dr. Anbari and raved about the results.

Since she already had tried conservative treatments like therapy and cortisone injections, Dr. Anbari told Hollis she was a candidate for knee replacement surgery.

“Robotic knee replacements were designed for people like Hollis. The surgery is meant to ease joint pain and improve quality of life, especially for those who really want to remain active,” Dr. Anbari says.

Hollis had her surgery in June 2022 at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Surgery Center–Tilghman. Dr. Anbari used robotic technology to assist in her knee replacement, which he says improves accuracy and precision. During the robotic procedure, Dr. Anbari made an incision over her knee, removed the diseased and damaged bone and cartilage, and replaced it with a metal prosthesis. The robotic surgery took about an hour, and Hollis went home the next day to begin physical therapy.

“I knew that it was going to be a long recovery, so I stayed active prior to the surgery, and I think that preparation really helped speed up my recovery. I also did a lot of physical therapy at home so I would continue to improve,” Hollis says.

Déjà vu

During Hollis’ recovery, Kenneth’s knee pain began to worsen. He saw Dr. Anbari who confirmed Kenneth, too, was a candidate for robotic knee replacement surgery. Just three months after Hollis’ surgery, and three days before they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Kenneth had his robotic knee replacement surgery.

“I would tell people not to put off having a knee replacement. I am doing things now that I haven’t been able to do for years because of knee pain.” - Kenneth Richter

“We ended up planning our anniversary trip around when Dr. Anbari was available. We went on a road trip and made sure we were back in time for Kenneth’s surgery. It was well worth it,” Hollis says.

This time, both Hollis and Kenneth knew what to expect from the surgery and recovery. One advantage was knowing Dr. Anbari’s care team was available if they had questions or concerns.

“We absolutely loved everyone, but especially Dr. Anbari’s physician assistant, James Martin. He really followed up with us, so we felt prepared. Since James and Dr. Anbari spend so much time together, I knew that when we talked to James, it was like we were talking to Dr. Anbari,” Hollis says.

Ready for the future

Less than four months after Kenneth’s knee replacement, Hollis and Kenneth traveled to their Florida home for the winter and are back to enjoying many of the activities they love. The only regret they have is not having the knee replacement surgeries sooner.

“I would tell people not to put off having a knee replacement,” Kenneth says. “I am doing things now that I haven’t been able to do for years because of knee pain.”

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

The region’s leader in joint, spine and orthopedic care gets you moving again.

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