A New Knee Brings Pam a Renewed Quality of Life 

Over the years, 59-year-old Trabuco Canyon resident, Pam Mermelstein, tried everything to reduce the pain in her right knee: cortisone shots, genicular nerve blocks, shots of hyaluronic acid to cushion the joint, and even stem cell injections – none of which were effective for any length of time.

An earlier injury, combined with normal wear and tear, caused the cartilage in her knee joint to break down. No longer cushioned by the smooth tissue, the ends of her bones grated against one another with every step. Structural changes in the bones themselves, along with inflammation and constant pain, indicated severe osteoarthritis.

“I was in pain for such a long time, and it slowed me down so much,” says Pam. “I’m a pet sitter, and the only reason I would get up and walk was to take care of the animals.”


Pam attended a joint replacement seminar at Saddleback Medical Center where Daniel Duggan, D.O., board-certified orthopedic surgeon, spoke about total and partial knee replacement procedures. During the presentation, Pam learned about the risks and benefits associated with knee replacement surgery, as well as what to expect during recovery.

Given the level of pain she was experiencing and impressed by Dr. Duggan’s experience, Pam scheduled a consultation for knee replacement. After reviewing her X-rays and medical history, Dr. Duggan recommended total knee replacement.

“For those suffering from severe osteoarthritis of the knee, a total joint replacement is sometimes the best way to regain mobility and eliminate pain,” says Dr. Duggan.

Pam’s diseased joint was removed with minimal damage to surrounding tissue, and the new joint was precisely positioned. During the procedure, Dr. Duggan adjusted the mechanical knee as necessary to ensure optimal movement and tension.


Pam’s knee was replaced and she was able to walk with a walker the same day. She remained in the hospital for just three days, receiving physical therapy until she was able to navigate stairs on her own. By the time she completed two weeks of in-home physical therapy, she discarded the walker and was using only a cane. Now, Pam continues physical therapy, setting goals for herself and rapidly regaining mobility.

After my knee surgery, I am able to walk without pain, I am so happy I attended the educational seminar at Saddleback Medical Center and was able to learn more about knee surgery. The outcome of this procedure has greatly improved my quality of life and allowed me to do activities that my knee pain restricted me from doing before.

Pam Mermelstein

To learn more about the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Saddleback Medical Center, visit memorialcare.org/SBJointReplacement.