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Nancy Lopez Needs Her Knees

If professional golfer Nancy Lopez seems to have more of a spring in her step lately, it's because the grinding knee pain of osteoarthritis that threatened to sideline her career is gone.† Two years ago, Lopez was hobbled by advanced osteoarthritis in her left knee.† A specialist told her that she would eventually need knee replacement surgery, dreaded words for any athlete.

Lopez: "And at age 42 that doesn't sound very good and I said 'gosh, is there anything else that we could do to prolong this so we don't need to have the knee replacement?"

Her doctor said Ms. Lopez might benefit from a new product, called Synvisc:

Lopez: "He said 'it's a jelly-like substance that we inject into your knee joint and it lubricates your knee and he said it's worked for about 75 percent of my patients and I think it will help you.'"

The Hall-of-Fame golfer took three injections, given over three weeks:

Lopez:†"And about two weeks to three weeks after I had the injections, I was totally pain-free...I didn't feel anything in my left knee...and...well it's been two years...I still don't have any knee pain."

Lopez advises athletes...from professionals to weekend warriors...to keep their leg muscles strong and limber...and to avoid running on hard surfaces.† For more information, click here.

Created: 9/21/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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