Benton Woman Trusts UAMS Orthopaedics for Both Knee Replacements

By Katrina Dupins

“I understand the benefits and risks of a major surgery,” she said. “When I found myself unable to enjoy the things I loved to do with my family, I knew it was time to get my knees replaced.”

Dawson has spent 45 years in central Arkansas hospital operating rooms as a surgical nurse assisting with everything from joint replacements to open heart surgery. When it came time for her own knee replacements, she chose the chair of the UAMS Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, C. Lowry Barnes, M.D.

She had her first knee done in May 2019. Seven weeks later, Dawson was in Colorado hiking.

Jackie Dawson

Jackie Dawson had both knees replaced at UAMS.

“Ms. Dawson is tough and motivated to get well,” Barnes said. “Patients who are motivated certainly see positive results faster.”

Because her recovery went so smoothly, she wasted no time in scheduling her second surgery for September, 17 weeks after the first. Barnes says all of us will have arthritis in our joints if we live long enough, but not everyone will need surgery.

“Many patients can be treated non-operatively or with anti-inflammatory medications,” Barnes said. “Quadriceps strengthening can help stabilize the knees. Bicycling, swimming and leg lifts are among the exercises that will help prevent the progression of arthritis because they help stabilize the joint.”

Now that both of her knees are healthy and pain free, Dawson is back to enjoying outdoor adventures with her grandchildren. She also made a goal to hike and bike in every state. Dawson and a fellow Ouachita Mountain Hiking Club member decided after a seven-day biking trip that they wanted to explore the nation’s trails and made it their mission to do all 50. She is up to 11 right now. She has also hiked through Europe. The Tour of Mont Blanc took her more than 110 miles through France, Italy and Switzerland.