Meniscal Repair Surgery Gets Long Distance Runner Leighann Marathon Ready
Leighann Jacobi owns and leads a successful Phoenix commercial interior design firm – Jacobi Interiors, Inc. Her work might sound glamorous, but as she says, “We’re super active in our work, doing physical work all day long.” It’s why when she tore her meniscus during a run that required meniscal repair surgery, she needed to get back on her feet as quickly as possible.
In addition to her work as an interior designer, Leighann is a long-time long-distance runner and marathoner. Leighann’s father, Herbert Parrish was a runner as well and introduced her to the sport of running at a young age. After several heart attacks in his early 50’s, Herbert was placed in a program at the University of Arizona to study his heart. His rehab was so successful it landed him a spot in the 1984 Olympic torch run through Arizona (pictured below). Her father ran up to his death at the age of 85.
While Leighann had been having a little discomfort with her knee during long runs when she hit the 12 or so mile mark, she didn’t think much of it. Then on a run in May, she felt and heard a loud pop.
Finding an Orthopedic Surgeon
“I knew something bad had happened,” she shared. “My firm does a lot of medical design and I had heard about Dr. Novack in the medical community and what a great orthopedic surgeon he was.”
Leighann booked an appointment with Dr. Eric Novack, board certified orthopedic surgeon, within a few days. Initial exam and an MRI revealed a large meniscus tear in her kneethat was too large to repair any other way but through surgery. Dr. Novack recommended a partial medial meniscectomy to repair Leighann’s torn meniscus.
“I felt so comfortable with Dr. Novack and his staff from my first appointment,” Leighann said. “He is the utmost professional in his field, knows how to put his patients at ease and has incredible skill and knowledge.”
Knowing she didn’t want to be down for too long due to her need to be active and healthy for her work and running, Leighann scheduled surgery quickly at Deer Valley Honor Health.
Surgery Experience for Meniscal Repair
She shared that Dr. Novack’s staff really welcomes you and makes you feel like family. She was so pleased with how her efficiently and professionally her surgery was scheduled and how all the details around it were managed by Dr. Novack’s staff.
“My surgery experience was flawless,” shared Leighann. “Honor Health was amazing on the day of surgery – the facility, overall experience, nurses, just flawless.”
One of the things that surprised Leighann the most, especially since she’d had surgeries before, was that she felt really good immediately after surgery and never felt any pain at all after surgery or during her recovery.
“It was amazing – I did not need any pain medications at all,” said Leighann. “I was up and walking and active from day one post-surgery. In fact, three weeks after my surgery I walked 27 miles with no problem.”
Meniscal Repair Surgery Rehab with TheraMe
As a busy working mom, Leighann opted to participate in Dr. Novack’s in-clinic TheraMe orthopedic rehab programwith Athletic Trainer Connie Tillmans. In TheraMe, patients meet with Connie to develop a post-surgery rehab program individualized to them. The patient does most their program at home on their own, checking in with Connie and Dr. Novack during follow-up appointments and as needed in between post-op appointments.
“Dr. Novack’s TheraMe therapy program was great and made it easy for me to do my rehab at home. I was very dedicated to doing the exercise, so I had no trouble staying on track at home,” noted Leighann. “Connie was wonderful to work with and made everything very easy.”
Leighann is almost three months post-surgery and is so pleased with her progress and recovery.
“As soon as I’m cleared to start running again, I am going to start working towards planning and training for my next marathon.”
For Leighann, running and marathons aren’t just a hobby – it’s personal. “As my last homage to my now deceased father, I want to run at least one more marathon at the age of 56.”
“I’m so grateful for my surgery experience with Dr. Novack and the outcome,” said Leighann. “Dr. Novack and his team are rock stars – I could not have had a better experience.”