Whirlwind RV-centric Retirement Dream Made Possible by Experimental Knee Surgery

Mark Denholm Credits His Knee Surgery by Dr. C. Michael Morris of Resurgens Orthopaedics With Allowing Him to Enjoy Outdoor Activities While Touring the U.S.

Mark Denholm and his wife, Joan, dreamed of seeing the country from a recreational vehicle when they retired. But Denholm's knees were slowing him down and making that dream seem less than possible.

Then, innovative knee surgery by Dr. C. Michael Morris of Resurgens Orthopaedics provided the key to the RV lifestyle of the Denholm's dreams.

"Now I'm biking, hiking, and even rock climbing," Denholm said.

Now 60, Denholm had always been active, but after several previous knee surgeries, he said the cartilage on his right knee was down to "bone on bone."

Dr. Morris described Denholm's surgery in July of 2009 as an experimental combination of an OATS procedure (OATS = osteoarticular transfer system used to treat focal cartilage defects) and a partial knee replacement.

Innovative knee surgery by Dr. C. Michael Morris of Resurgens Orthopaedics provided the key to the RV lifestyle of the Denholm's dreams.

"The operation was a success, and following his rehabilitation, he no longer experiences stabbing pain," Dr. Morris said. "He has hiked in and out of canyons, up mountains, and has biked mountain paths."

Denholm and his wife sold their home in Gwinnett County last spring, bought a small condo near Charlotte, N.C., (which they call "climate controlled storage"), and headed out in their RV. They worked their way up the east coast of the U.S. from North Carolina and Virginia to Gettysburg, Pa., and then across the Midwest to Colorado.

After Labor Day, they started back south and east to Texas, and then on to central Florida where they plan to spend the winter. In March, they expect to start back north toward the Charlotte area, where they'll spend about six weeks at their condo before heading back out on another 10-month expedition.

Along the way, they explore national parks, national monuments, and historic areas, and enjoy seeing the sites on hikes and along bike trails. "We research the areas, learn what's unique about the different places, and then move on," Denholm said.

With two adult children and six grandchildren in Missouri and Colorado, the Denholms stop for longer visits with family between journeys, and they enjoy logging their travels on their web site, www.wanderingwheels.us, to share their stories with family and friends around the country.

Dr. Morris practices at the Lawrenceville office of Resurgens. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and holds a subspecialty certificate in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. His areas of expertise include sports medicine and arthroscopy. Dr. Morris completed his medical degree at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and his residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center.