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Melissa, Knee Replacement

I’ve actually had five knee surgeries… But with arthritis and wear-and-tear on my knee, I didn’t have good stability. It was time to get it replaced.”

I’m originally from Elizabethton, went to Milligan College, and after I graduated, I went to work as an accountant at Eastman Chemical Company. That’s what brought me to Kingsport. I was working at Eastman not quite a year when I became Miss Kingsport. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know the people and city leaders of Kingsport better. It turned out to be a really good thing.

I was at Eastman a number of years and after the birth of my second child, decided to come home and be a full-time mom. I was “retired” one whole month before I became a worship leader and am currently on staff at a local church. But my schedule is flexible so I am fortunate to have time to volunteer.

I’ve always been active. I have three children. The oldest is in medical school, the middle is in his third year of college, and my youngest is a senior at Dobyns-Bennett High School. I have always volunteered at my kids’ schools, whether it was being a homeroom mom, tutoring or serving as the PTA president. I was also president of the booster club of our marching band, who won the Bands of America Class AAA national title. I am currently helping with the gala to raise money for the band for a trip to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, where they’ll be performing.

Between working, volunteering and helping my aging parents and in-laws with doctor’s appointments and such, I stay busy.

But my knees have always given me problems. I was a high school athlete – I like to think of myself as one, at least. I injured my knee playing basketball. I just came down on it wrong. I’ve worn braces and tried to put up with it as best I could.

I’ve actually had five knee surgeries in my life – one on my right knee and four on the left. I had reconstructive surgery and that served me well for several years. But with arthritis and wear-and-tear on my knee, I didn’t have good stability. It was time to get it replaced. Plus, I had started to develop hip and lower leg pain.

I actually went to my doctor – Dr. Patrick Riggins at Holston Valley Medical Center – because of the pain in my hip. He said my tibia had started to grow crooked and my hip was showing damage because I was overcompensating for my bad knee. Dr. Riggins ended up telling me I needed to have my knee replaced.

Dr. Riggins was fantastic and really went above and beyond the call of duty. The Holston Valley staff was super and the therapist who worked with me was top notch.

I had surgery last New Year’s Eve. I had a very good experience. Dr. Riggins was fantastic and really went above and beyond the call of duty. The Holston Valley staff was super and the therapist who worked with me was top notch.

I don’t plan on going back to running, but that wasn’t the end goal.

I just wanted to have less pain and to get around better. Being a music minister is not just picking out some songs and showing up on Sunday. There’s a lot of movement and moving parts.

And, most importantly, I wanted to be able to volunteer my time for others and help out my family when they need me. Working with the band also means I’m moving around a lot. You have to be mobile.

This knee replacement has given me that opportunity again.

Having a knee replacement helped me make sure that I am able to focus on these things that really matter most to me instead of the pain in my knee.


Is knee replacement for you?

If you think surgery might help you focus on what matters most – like it did for Melissa – and not on the pain, learn more about total knee replacement here.