By Jan Berry
Many of you may or may not know that in addition to being an extraordinary financial advisor, Richard is also quite an amazing athlete. My children and I all know that if you challenge him to any sport that involves a ball… you will probably lose but at the very least, you will have quite a fight on your hands!
Richard played both tennis and football during his high school years. In tennis, he played varsity from 7-12 grades playing the #1 seed for his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He still holds the record for the most tennis victories in his high school to this day!
He played football from peewee all the way to varsity completing his senior year as starting quarterback. With all of that said, we’ve always known that Richard has been and still is quite bow legged, and we thought until recently he was symmetrically bow legged.
We were wrong… In March of 2020, Richard played over 3 hours of tennis after which he limped for the next week or so with pain in his left knee. He learned through trial and error that he could only play tennis about once a week after icing, resting, elevating, and compressing his left knee would eventually help the pain subside. He received some steroid injections followed by an arthroscopy which did nothing to ease the pain.
On June 7, 2021, Richard played his last tennis match. After only an hour on the court, he could barely get to the car and since that day, the pain in his left knee has continued.
Being the “Analytical Annie” of the household, I began a quest to find the root of the problem and the best solution. Neither Richard nor I could accept that at the age of 56, with physical stats better than most 40-year olds, he would live the rest of his life with intermittent pain in his left knee, trouble sleeping and walking, never playing tennis again, and struggling to walk to and from the tee box on the golf course.
We have been to Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Duke to see orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the knee. We were told that while Richard’s right leg is slightly bowed, his left leg is at the most extreme end of the spectrum causing the medial joint of his left knee to bear almost 100% of his body weight without sharing any of the load with his middle knee or lateral knee.
Surprisingly though, the problem has been diagnosed early enough that he still maintains good joint space medially and good cartilage and meniscus tissue. On August 11 at Duke, Richard underwent a major surgery, a procedure called an HTO – High Tibial Osteotomy, along with an arthroscopy to transplant cartilage in conjunction with STEM cell injections.
The purpose of the HTO was to correct the malalignment of the bones in his left leg to more equally distribute his weight over the entire knee; therefore, alleviating the stress and pressure on the medial side of the joint. During the osteotomy, a cut was made into the top portion of the tibia and opened to a measurement of 13 mm.
A wedge of synthetic bone was then inserted into the opening, and a special plate with 4 screws was affixed to either side of the opening to give strength and stability. To repair the 1” x 1/2’” hole that had been worn through the cartilage and into the bone on the left, medial, head of the femur, a bone graft and cartilage transplant were performed. Recovery includes non-weight bearing for 6 weeks and the use of crutches for a total of 8 weeks.
He will hopefully be able to play golf again in 4 months and tennis in 9-12 months. While Richard has been in recovery, Reid has been and will continue to assist with any questions or concerns you may have. Richard will resume hosting seminars later this month at Mr. P’s Bistro and Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Myrtle Beach, so if you have referrals you would like to bring to dinner to learn about BFG, please feel free to call our office to register.
Most importantly, Richard and our entire family covet and earnestly ask for your prayers during this time. As I was searching for Bible verses that promise healing, I found this little-known verse and the visual image that flashed through my mind brought laughter and encouragement, “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2) I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see Richard leaping like a calf from the stall!!! God bless each of you and your families. Thank you for being a part of our BFG Family.