There’s a tranquility about the Outer Banks that makes it special. Residents especially know how to locate the quietest spots.

This sense of calm was one of the things that attracted Peggy Privott to the area in the first place. But Peggy’s fondness for the Outer Banks’ natural beauty was marred by a medical issue that made it difficult for her to do the things she loved, like walking on the beach. What began as minor pain in her knee was the calm before the storm; it was getting progressively worse, and something would have to be done about it.

Peggy Privott, a retired school teacher, has lived in the Dare County area for thirteen years. She currently works part time for the Dare County school system.    

Even before she relocated to the coast, Peggy was having trouble with her knee. While she was living in Virginia, she had orthoscopic surgery on the knee, which helped stem the onset of additional pain temporarily.  

“But continually over the next few years, it continued to get very sore,” Peggy said. “Movement was really bad. I kept putting off doing anything active because I dreaded the thought of a knee replacement.”

Years went by and Peggy’s knee issue was pushed to the back of her mind. During that time, she was establishing a loving community of friends within the community. And it was during this time that she met Dr. Matthew McKenna with Outer Banks Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.

“The first time I ever met him, he actually treated my husband,” Peggy said. “At that time, my husband was going through a lot of chemotherapy and had fallen and broken his arm. He was so wonderful with my husband and so understanding. He made it easy for my husband. I knew right away he had a lot of empathy.”

Her network of friends in the community supported her with the passing of her husband after his battle with leukemia. Meanwhile, the discomfort in her knee was increasing. She began seeing Dr. McKenna for diagnosis and treatment.

“I had the cortisone shots and two other kinds of shots from Dr. McKenna, but eventually they stopped working,” Peggy said. “And I knew that my knee was really gone at that point.”

Peggy explained that her knee had deteriorated to the point where it was practically bone-on-bone. Before committing to any social activities, Peggy always had to consider how much walking would be involved because movement was so painful. She said that using stairs were especially difficult and that she was worried about falling.

“My experience was so positive at the hospital, all the doctors and nurses were amazing."

Peggy Privott

At this point, she realized that knee replacement surgery was practically inevitable. Dr. McKenna concurred, recommending that she have the procedure sooner rather than later.

“Dr. McKenna said ‘You don’t want to put this off for much longer.’ By that time, I was walking with a limp and it was not a good situation. I knew I had to do it.”

Peggy’s knee replacement surgery was scheduled for December 22nd. She said that she was nervous approaching the operation, as she hadn’t experienced an extended stay in a hospital since the birth of her daughter.

Peggy recalls an attitude of compassion from every medical team member she encountered. 

"Right from the minute I went into the pre-op room, everyone was very calming and walked me through what was going to happen,” she said.

She was especially put at ease by Dr. McKenna’s kindness.

“Dr. McKenna has such a calming personality,” said Peggy. “He never really pushed me into the surgery. He said I would know when I needed it, and he was right; I did know. He was with me every step of the way.”

What Peggy didn’t realize at the time was that she was the Outer Banks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice’s 1000th joint replacement. She recalls the humorous way in which she found out that this was the case.

“When they were prepping me for surgery and Dr. McKenna came in, he asked everybody ‘Did you get a piece of the cake?’ Later he told me the cake was for me because I was the 1000th joint replacement,” Peggy laughed. “They kept talking about it and of course I was getting all my IVs done and hadn’t had anything to eat since the night before, so cake sounded really good right then,” she added with a chuckle. “I still tease him sometimes and tell him that I never even got a piece of my cake.”

When asked about her overall surgery experience, Peggy had nothing but glowing things to say.

“My experience was so positive at the hospital,” Peggy said. “All the doctors and nurses were amazing. I had my surgery on Thursday, December 22nd and I was home on Saturday, December 24th.”

Talk about a great Christmas present!

Don’t miss the story about Belinda Foster, Outer Banks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s 999th joint replacement. Click here.

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