The average amount of money spent on a wedding in the United States every year is $26,444. Of the 2.3 million couples who get hitched each year, more than half of those include the traditional father/daughter dance. One million hip and knee joint replacements happen each year. What do these large numbers have in common?
Let us introduce you to a remarkable patient Richard LeBlanc, with an even more remarkable story. Mr. LeBlanc, a land developer in Dallas, Texas, bemoaned, “The pain I suffered made it difficult to do my work. Our land development sites are topographically challenging.” Due to all the time Mr. LeBlanc spent on his feet, his job had become increasingly more difficult to perform. As millions of people plagued with arthritis can empathize.
Mr. LeBlanc’s story starts similar to most patients: his arthritic pain worsened to the point that he had not realized how much time he had spent changing his daily routine to accommodate his failing joint. He specifically recalls a trip that he and his wife had the pleasure of taking to Turkey: “We followed a portion of the missionary journey that the Apostle Paul had traveled through Ephesus and Smyrna. I had not anticipated the unevenness of the ground. Unfortunately, after all the planning that had gone into the trip, I was unable to complete some of the journey due to my knee. I knew that something had to be done.”
The trip Mr. LeBlanc would later start was one of many that influenced him to follow through with his decision for replacement with Dr. Richard Berger. In addition to his missionary journey to Turkey, the upcoming nuptials of his daughter, Eryn, weighed heavy on Mr. LeBlanc’s heart and mind. Of course, he not only wanted to witness the marriage, but also be able to participate in all the important traditions that came along with blessing his daughter’s hand in marriage. “I didn’t care if the surgery was before or after the wedding in the beginning,” Mr. LeBlanc remembers, “Dr. Berger was amazing and was able to perform surgery to fix my knee before the wedding. Not only was I able to walk Eryn down the aisle and dance with her on her special day pain free, but the bigger surprise was that I was able to participate in all of the dancing and festivities of that special night.”
On October 29, 2015 Mr. LeBlanc underwent a partial left knee replacement. He chose to stay in the hospital for one day to make the process easier on his wife. The day after his surgery, Mr. LeBlanc passed all the preliminary tests—including walking two laps around the hospital floor and doing a flight of stairs—to be released, and spent the next 24 hours relaxing in his hotel room. Once he landed back home in Dallas, Mr. LeBlanc did not look back: “Since being back in Dallas I have forgotten I even had a partial knee replacement. I am most appreciative of the care I received from both Dr. Berger and his incredible staff along the way, making the whole experience seamless. My life has changed ever since surgery. I am back to doing everything that I could do before pain and everything I wanted to do during the pain but could not. My life has been normalized.