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  • Author: Jesús Gamboa
  • Date Submitted: Feb 19, 2018
  • Category: Orthopedics

After 45 years of running and the injuries that go with anyone’s sport of choice, Jesus Gamboa, 64, was no stranger to pain. He had dislocated his leg once before, even had surgery, but on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 2014, he felt knee pain like never before.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and I just couldn’t move anymore. I barely made it home on pure determination and guts,” said Gamboa, who after arriving home to Visalia set out for Kaweah Health’s Emergency Department in search of help.

After getting help to dull the pain, Gamboa went to see his doctor, got an MRI and met with Dr. Bruce Le, a local orthopedic surgeon, who recommended a knee replacement.

“I knew I needed surgery. I was in excruciating pain. I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t even sleep,” said the former city councilman and mayor.

Since running had been hard on his body, Jesus had taken his doctor’s advice and replaced running with cycling on a stationary bike to stay fit. But giving up his second love of training amateur boxers was not in the cards. Already, his knee pain was causing his boxing footwork to suffer. “I couldn’t do lateral movement, side to side or bounce up and down. My knee was shot. It was bone on bone,” he said.

But after knee replacement surgery at Kaweah Health Medical Center in 2015, nothing keeps Jesus out of the ring. “After surgery it couldn’t be any better, it’s just business as usual,” he said. “I’m training amateur boxers and moving around with the kids doing lateral movements, moving forward and backward – my legs are good.”

Jesus is thankful to Dr. Le, who previously had performed successful arm and knee surgeries on his wife, and to the nurses at Kaweah Health who provided him with great care.

“I never considered going anywhere else because I know we have good doctors here,” he said. “I had an awesome experience from Dr. Le to all the nurses at Kaweah Health.”