Back to Skiing 67,000 Vertical After Two Knee Replacements

knee surgery

Jeanne pictured here with her family. 

Jeanne Nedrelow, originally from Minnesota, moved to Vail in 1979. Vail is the perfect place for this garden designer who has skied 67,000 vertical in a day as well as 2 million vertical in a year and averages 1,250,000 vertical annually. And, this is after having two knee surgeries for knee replacements with Richard Cunningham, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon, of which she is very happy with the performance of her knee replacements.

Jeanne’s active outdoor lifestyle in addition to snow skiing, continues into the summer months with water skiing, biking and occasional windsurfing. She has two grown boys – ages 28 and 31 – both avid skiers and patients of Dr. Cunningham. Her son Jens is a member of the Vail Ski Patrol. Her other son Tyler lives and works in Salt Lake City. He had a successful ACL double bundle surgery with Dr. Cunningham and was back to ski racing six months post-surgery.

knee surgery

Enjoying summer sports in Vail, waterskiing is among Jeanne’s favorites.

 “I think I was one of Dr. Cunningham’s first patients when he started as an orthopedic doctor in Vail many years ago,” said Jeanne. “I won’t go to anyone else for my orthopedic needs. Dr. Cunningham is not only the best, he and his team are active and really understand that they’re in charge of someone’s life and their ability to resume the lifestyle they love, which so many Vail locals enjoy.”

Jeanne’s first surgery with Dr. Cunningham was to repair her ACL as well as a surgery for a meniscus repair. She had strong and easy recoveries from both operations. Unfortunately, she did eventually require knee replacements in both knees to maintain her active and vibrant lifestyle.

Jeanne had two knee replacement surgeries with Dr. Cunningham, after trying more conservative measures first, which did provide relief for a few years. While Dr. Cunningham no longer does total knee replacements, focusing his practice on arthroscopy of the knee and shoulder and sports medicine, he did perform them for 12 years.

“After my last knee replacement and recovery over the summer, I was back on Vail Mountain skiing 10-months post-op and forgot until I was halfway up the gondola that I’d be skiing on my new knee, since the recovery had gone so well,” shared Jeanne. “I had zero complications with both surgeries and wanted to have them to live optimally and do what I love to do.”

Shoulder Surgery

This past September, Jeanne required shoulder surgery – again after exhausting more conservative options first. She is currently still in recovery at 5-weeks post-op and doing great.

“Dr. Cunningham’s care for this surgery has been exceptional as always,” said Jeanne. “He exudes kindness at the surgery center before surgery and I always know I am in the best possible hands. He also calls me personally to see how I’m doing after surgery.”

Team Cunningham

Jeanne shared that the entire Cunningham team is wonderful, noting the competence of Devyn Parnes, Physician Assistant and Victoria Stanislawski’s excellence as an Athletic Trainer. “I know a lot of medical professionals in town and they all think highly of Dr. Cunningham and his team,” said Jeanne.

“They are always so professional, have a smile and are genuinely happy to see you,” said Jeanne. She added that while Dr. Cunningham’s team is amazing, he takes the majority of responsibility for everything in his office. “My follow-ups are with Dr. Cunningham and he really takes time with me; it’s not just a quick check in. I wouldn’t go to anyone else,” she summarized.