Payton is back to competitive swimming months after trochleoplasty

Payton is an athlete and competitive swimmer. She started experiencing patellofemoral instability (or kneecap dislocation) at the age of 8. Others in her family, including her father and brother, have also experienced this condition. After consulting with her orthopedic doctor, Payton and her family decided to manage her condition with non-surgical, conservative treatments as long as they could. She gave up high-impact sports like running, softball, and soccer and took up the low-impact sport of swimming. 

Unfortunately, Payton continued to experience knee dislocations, including one on Christmas Day during her 7th grade. Payton, her family, and the orthopedic surgeon decided to move forward with surgery to repair her torn medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL). While the surgery was effective in treating her condition for several years, it was disappointing to have another dislocation on the surgical knee during her first week of high school. Again, Payton and her family visited their orthopedic surgeon to understand the recommended treatment options. They learned about a procedure called trochleoplasty, which is a surgery to reshape and create a more normal trochlear groove. By creating a proper groove, the method allows the kneecap to move normally without instability and gives the patient the best chance to prevent future dislocations. During a trochleoplasty, damaged ligaments due to knee dislocation are also fixed. Payton’s parents understood the importance of locating a knee surgeon experienced in trochleoplasty.

One surgeon’s name kept coming up, Brian Gilmer, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who had completed an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at Taos Orthopaedic Institute in Taos, NM. Payton and her father traveled to Reno from Fresno for a consultation with Dr. Gilmer. They were so impressed by his experience, knowledge, and bedside manner that they chose Dr. Gilmer to perform the complex knee surgery. Payton and her father Jared traveled to Reno the day before her surgery. Dr. Gilmer performed the trochleoplasty in the morning, and they returned home to Fresno later the same day, where Payton started her recovery. Dr. Gilmer provided specific physical therapy protocols that Payton’s physical therapist used during her rehab sessions. 

Today, Payton has full range of motion in her surgical knee. She returned to swimming competition only four months after her surgery! “I would absolutely recommend Dr. Gilmer to anyone suffering from a complex knee condition. We are so glad we found him and can’t thank him enough,” Jared explains.

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