Southeastern Orthopedics- Lumberton NC

Husband and wife team up for better mobility

Every Monday morning during bowling season, Richard and Pamela Skinner, of Dublin, can be seen at the Lumberton Bowling Center participating in the senior bowling league.  As you watch the married couple bowl with ease and knock down pins, you would never guess that between the two of them they have had three partial knee replacements within the past two years.

Pamela Skinner, 68, experienced pain in her knees for years and tried many other options, including injections and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, before considering surgery.  The pain continued to increase, affecting daily life and the activities she enjoyed, like bowling, as well as forcing her to get up during the night seeking relief.

In November 2013, the Skinners attended a Lunch and Learn event sponsored by Southeastern Health’s (SeHealth) PrivilegesPlus program, where they first learned about Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Riyaz Jinnah’s skills and the new technology he brought to SeHealth when he joined the medical staff a few months earlier.  During the lunch, they learned about the new MAKOplasty® robotic technology, which is available to eligible candidates experiencing knee issues similar to theirs. Immediately following the lunch, Pamela Skinner called Southeastern Orthopedics to make an appointment to have her knees examined by Dr. Jinnah.

Within the first six months of establishing the Joint Replacement Program at SeHealth, Dr. Jinnah evaluated Pamela Skinner and determined she was a good candidate for a right unicompartmental knee replacement also known as a partial knee replacement.  In February 2014, Pamela Skinner had her first knee surgery at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, with Dr. Jinnah using the MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing robotic technology.

According to MAKO Surgical Corp, the minimally-invasive treatment option is for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis (OA) that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. MAKOplasty® is less invasive than traditional total knee surgery and is performed using a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm system, known as RIO®. SeHealth was the first to acquire this technology in the region.

Following a short stay in the hospital after her surgery, Pamela Skinner was discharged home and began her recovery process with in-home physical therapy from Southeastern Home Care Services and, later, additional therapy at Southeastern Lifestyle Center for Rehabilitation, which all contributed to her successful recovery.

“The surgery went well, and Mrs. Skinner seemed to be very happy about it,” said Dr. Jinnah.  “Just a little over one month following her surgery, she was doing very well and was walking normally without the assistance of a walker or cane.”

Richard Skinner, Pamela’s husband, also became one of Dr. Jinnah’s patients shortly before Pamela Skinner’s first surgery because, according to Dr. Jinnah, he was also experiencing difficulty walking due to recurring pain in his knees.

After trying medication with unsuccessful relief, Dr. Jinnah scheduled a partial knee replacement for Richard Skinner’s left knee in November 2014, which was the second surgery of three for the couple.

“Ultimately, I choose Dr. Jinnah (for surgery) because Pam’s surgery went so well the first time,” said Richard Skinner.  “Dr. Jinnah was a good doctor, and I was in very little pain with my surgery.”

Within months of her husband’s surgery, Pamela Skinner was scheduled for surgery again - this time her left knee.  She tried injections, heat, rest, and pain medications which didn’t provide enough relief, so she proceeded with partial knee replacement surgery on her left knee in March 2015.

“It is very important to have knees that I can count on,” said Pamela Skinner. “It did work out to have the period of time between the two surgeries. I felt comfortable with Dr. Jinnah, and I have been pleased.”

Dr. Jinnah added that Richard and Pamela Skinner are the first couple to graduate from the Joint Replacement Program through SeHealth. He also commended their dedication and hard work with rehabilitation, which helped contribute to their recovery success.

Two years and three successful partial knee surgeries later, Richard and Pamela Skinner are back on track participating in events they enjoy, like bowling, and still knocking down pins.

For individuals interested in learning more about joint replacement surgery as well as for patients scheduled for joint surgery, Southeastern Orthopedics hosts a Joint Camp the second Tuesday of each month. Attendees meet Southeastern Orthopedics providers and Southeastern Rehabilitation therapists to learn about preparation before surgery and transition to home or rehabilitation after surgery.

The next Joint Camp will be held on Tuesday, January 12 in the multipurpose room at Southeastern Rehabilitation WoodHaven. Registration begins at 5 p.m.; the camp will be held from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call (910) 671-4200. For more information about Southeastern Orthopedics, logon to

Kelli B. Skipper is a content writer and community engagement specialist for Southeastern Health.


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