Vail Health Nurse Has Excellent Outcome After Partial Knee Replacement and Revision ACL Reconstruction Surgery with Dr. Cunningham

woman who had partial knee replacement and acl reconstruction surgeries

Patient Sunny pictured with her family. 

Sunny Carrington-Hahn is the Director of Imaging and Nurse Supervisors at Vail Health Hospital. She has lived in Vail, Colorado with her husband Erik and two children – Samantha and Nicolas – for two years. Prior to that, she grew up in Texas and lived in many other places, which included Arizona and North Carolina. Sunny is very active and enjoys skiing, golfing and hiking.  

Unfortunately, Sunny has had a long history of knee problems and knee surgeries on both of her knees, which ultimately led her to reach out to Dr. Richard Cunningham, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializing in complex knee surgery. Over the past six months, Sunny has had two major knee surgeries with Dr. Cunningham, which have included a combination partial knee replacement and a revision ACL reconstruction on her left knee, and an ACL reconstruction on her right knee. 

Sunny’s Partial Knee Replacement Surgery & Recovery on her Right Knee with Dr. Cunningham 

In Spring 2018, Sunny injured her right knee while skiing at Beaver Creek. That March, she was seen by Dr. Cunningham, who through imaging tests discovered she had torn her ACL as a result of her skiing accident. In November, Sunny had a successful ACL reconstruction surgery with a quadriceps tendon autograft to fix her ACL injury.  

 “After three short weeks of recovering and attending physical therapy, I was able to return to work, which I was very happy about, shared Sunny.   

She was so happy with the outcome of her ACL reconstruction surgery on her right knee, that not long after she decided to discuss surgery on her more complicated left knee with Dr. Cunningham. She had 7 surgeries on the left knee done and 3 prior ACL surgeries done by other surgeons, which had all gone on to re-tear. 

Sunny’s ACL Reconstruction Surgery & Partial Knee Replacement Surgery & Recovery on her Left Knee with Dr. Cunningham 

While she was a basketball player in the 1990s, Sunny sustained two back to back ACL injuries. As a result, over the course of many years, she continued to experience problems and pain with her knee, causing her to have several knee surgeries. 

 Within about five months after her right knee ACL surgery, Sunny decided to meet with Dr. Cunningham to discuss correcting her chronic left knee problems once and for all.  

“My left knee had always been my worse knee of the two and after struggling with it for so long, I just wanted to get it fixed,” she said.  

After performing a detailed physical exam and obtaining an MRI, Dr. Cunningham found that Sunny an intact ACL and that her left knee was also severely arthritic with bone-on-bone contact on the inside portion of the knee. In April 2019, just months after her other knee surgery with Dr. Cunningham, Sunny chose to have Dr. Cunningham perform a complicated combination surgery consisting of a revision ACL reconstruction and partial knee replacement on her left knee. 

Following surgery, she returned to physical therapy at Howard Head Sports Medicine in Vail. She currently is still attending physical therapy to strengthen both of her knees. She was very happy to find that her bone on bone pain was gone and that her knee was finally stable with her new ACL. It was such a relief to finally be rid of the chronic pain in her knee. 

Sunny’s Experience with Dr. Cunningham and his Staff at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics 

Sunny shared that she is very satisfied with her experience with Dr. Cunningham and his staff.  

“Thanks to Dr. Cunningham, I’ve been able to get back to work and slowly return to participating in my favorite outdoor activities,” she shared. “Because of him, my knees now feel like they did in my 20’s, before all of my injuries.”  

Sunny also reflected on Dr. Cunningham’s qualities as an orthopedic surgeon. “He has an excellent bedside manner, listens to his patients, and is very honest when discussing surgery and recovery – a quality I’m especially thankful for,” she said. “I recommend Dr. Cunningham and his staff to anyone in the Rocky Mountain area seeking orthopedic care!”