Doing What You Love
As a pediatric orthopedic surgeon near Cologne, Germany, Dr. Klaus Vedder is accustomed to being on his feet. His morning begins with a bike ride to the hospital. Days are spent standing in an operating room or racing the stairs to quickly address patient needs. Dr. Vedder finds great joy in working with children and he recognizes how his work can positively affect the entire trajectory of their lives.
“I love my job. As an orthopedic surgeon, I’ve been able to ease the suffering of a lot of people.”
Doing what we love to do – whether it’s hobbies or physical activities – enriches our lives, gives us a sense of purpose and generally makes us happier and healthier. For Dr. Vedder, that “love” also includes ‘extreme trekking.’ His adventures began nearly 30 years ago and have spanned the mountain trails of the Alps in Germany, France and Switzerland to the beauty of Nepal and Tibet, the Roof of the World.
“I lost my heart to Nepal and Tibet.To go where so few have gone, to see such beautiful landscapes and meet the people…it’s a dream.”
Dr. Vedder planned to return for a four-week trek in September 2019. It’s a lengthy, complex and grueling trek. So, when the knee pain began in early 2019, he worried about both the Nepal trip and his work as a surgeon. Dr. Vedder realized almost immediately that it was osteoarthritis (OA).
“When I started experiencing knee pain and other signs of osteoarthritis, I was concerned about the impact it might have on both my work and my lifestyle. I would be devastated if I had to give up hiking.”
An X-ray and MRI confirmed that it was Stage-4 OA. Considered “severe,” Stage-4 OA patients experience great pain and discomfort when they walk or move the joint. The space between bones is dramatically reduced, cartilage is almost completely gone and friction among the moving parts of a joint is highly increased. Dr. Vedder wanted immediate relief and support. His physician recommended Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments and an Össur Unloader Brace.
Almost immediately, his pain eased dramatically, and he was able to resume his demanding work schedule and return to the activity he loves the most.
“I’ve been pain-free for nearly a year and I’m happy to say that I have been able to continue doing all the activities I enjoy. In fact, I went to Nepal in September 2019 as planned. It involved three weeks of trekking between 4-8 hours per day carrying a 13kg backpack. The extremely long monsoon gave more rain than expected which meant that the unloader had to dry on top of the tent. I can say that it was fantastic trekking and a great experience. To realize dreams beyond the ordinary…that’s my life without limitations.”