Ora Scales – Knee Replacement Patient

Ora Scales - Knee Replacement Patient

With her first total knee replacement on her left knee behind her, Ora Scales thought she was finally on her way back to living life normally. After her original surgery in March 2019 at another practice, she met all the usual benchmarks with her rehabilitation and recovery. However, just as COVID-19 began to shut down everything in 2020, Ms. Scales noticed a strange bend beginning to form in her left knee.   

Nothing seemed to help, and her condition and the pain worsened. Her physical therapist suggested she get a second opinion at Marshall Health. Once she met fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon Alexander Caughran, MD, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, she knew she was in good hands.  

“He immediately scheduled me for a CT scan; I’d never had one of those before,” she recalled. “That made me feel reassured.” 

They both agreed she needed revision surgery on her left knee and began the work to prepare her knee for surgery.  

“He was meticulous in his preparation before he agreed to surgery, and I welcomed that,” Ms. Scales said with a laugh. “I thought ‘this guy knows what he’s doing.’” 

To optimize a plan preoperatively, Dr. Caughran consulted with fellow orthopaedic surgeon Matthew Bullock, DO, associate professor. The revision experts at Marshall Health use a stepwise algorithm of diagnostic tests that can include lab work and advanced imaging studies to precisely figure out why the joint replacement went awry. Listening to the patients concerns and understanding the underlying problem allows the surgeons to accurately correct the problem.  

Drs. Caughran and Bullock determined she required a full revision of her knee replacement, which included taking the original knee replacement out and redoing it. Dr. Caughran performed Ms. Scales’ surgery in October 2021. During her surgery, he used her preoperative CT scan and robotic technology to accurately place the components to restore her native anatomy. Ms. Scales has been so happy with her results, she now refers to Drs. Caughran and Bullock as her “Wonder Twins.”  

Five months after surgery, she has physical therapy three times per week. She also rides a stationary bike for 10 minutes and does squats and stretches every day. She is able to walk on her own now, using a cane only on occasion.   

Ms. Scales is also making up for lost time. She’s back cooking in the kitchen, playing the piano and enrolled in online classes to finish her bachelor’s degree. She and her husband are also planning their first vacation since 2019.  

 “I was able to dance with my husband in the house for the first time in years. I’m not using a scooter in the grocery store anymore. I did the James Brown slide the other day,” she said. “My life is coming back thanks to Drs. Bullock and Caughran.”  

For patients considering knee revision, Ms. Scales encourages others to ask questions and not shy away from getting a second opinion when something doesn’t feel right. 

Marshall Orthopaedics sees patients experiencing any type of joint pain without a referral. To learn more about knee revision options at Marshall Health or schedule an appointment, visit marshallhealth.org/joint-replacement or call Marshall Orthopaedics at 304-691-1262. 


Marshall Health

Marshall Health is the academic medical team of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.