Middlesex Orthopedic & Spine Associates is now in Newington! Schedule an appointment today. Physical therapy is now available on Saturdays from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm at 430 Saybrook Road in Middletown and in Marlborough on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm.

From Ink to Iron: A Tattoo Artist’s Journey Through Double Knee Replacement 

Mary Pollard, a single mom of three from Norwich, worked as a busy tattoo artist, and was constantly on her feet managing her kids’ activities and clients. Her life was busy and full. There was only one problem: Mary had pain in her knees since her early 20s that was progressively worsening. She cherished spending time with her kids and meeting new clients as a tattoo artist but knew her knees couldn’t keep up for much longer.

Her pain wasn’t due to her inaction. In fact, Mary had been seeing the now-retired Dr. Larson at Middlesex Orthopedic and Spine Associates (MOSA) for years. She underwent several knee surgeries but had yet to undergo total knee replacement. She also made lifestyle modifications and lost a significant amount of weight to help with the knee pain. The pain subsided for several years, but it eventually returned and worsened.

When Dr. Larson retired, Mary’s care was transitioned to Dr. Brandon Prioreschi, total hip and knee replacement specialist at MOSA. Dr. Prioreschi was sympathetic to Mary’s reluctance to get both knees totally replaced in her 30s. and respected her wishes to opt out of treating her pain with opioids.

“I felt like he ‘saw’ me and understood my situation as a single mom” Mary shared, “He explained that since I hadn’t responded to other treatments, I’d eventually need total knee replacements. He was very understanding about my hesitation to get the surgeries since I was in my 30s with three kids to look after.”

When Mary asked Dr. Prioreschi how she would know the right time to get the surgery, he explained that she’d know she was ready when the prospect of undergoing the procedure seemed less daunting than the pain that she felt each morning. Soon after meeting with him, Mary fell, exacerbating her pain. She knew it was time to go ahead with the procedure.

In January 2023, Dr. Prioreschi performed a bilateral simultaneous conversion of partial knee replacements to press-fit total knee replacements. This procedure wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of Mako robotic technology, which Dr. Prioreschi leverages when appropriate to improve his patients’ joint replacement outcomes and recuperation.

Mary’s surgery was a success. With the help of the MOSA team, her fiancé, mom, friends, and home health aides, she spent six weeks recovering with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy before returning to work. Dr. Prioreschi personally reached out during her recovery. Mary knew she had chosen the right surgeon for her.

What Mary didn’t expect was that Dr. Prioreschi wanted to make an appointment with her. Dr. Prioreschi wanted a tattoo—and not of just anything—he wanted a tattoo of the knee implant he used in Mary’s surgery.
Mary expressed her gratitude, saying, “It meant a lot to me that he not only scheduled an appointment but also chose something meaningful to both of us.”

Mary began to feel better following the surgery. Today, she no longer needs to ice her knees, nor does she require any pain medicine. She can now dance, play with her children, and stay on her feet all day at the tattoo studio.

Mary credits her remarkable transformation to Dr. Prioreschi and the team at MOSA. “I don’t live close to the office and originally came here because of insurance, but I still will always choose MOSA because of the care I received. They got to know me and my kids. I tell all my friends and family to go to the practice,” Mary shared.