WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After not one, not even two but five knee replacement and revision surgeries, a Wichita Falls man is not far from getting out of his wheelchair, hopefully for good.

When Walter Boren finally met Dr. Jason Hoffman, his knee was in really bad shape.

“The kneecap kept coming apart, they said they soldiered it up with mesh twice and it didn’t hold,” Walter said.

Boren, a longtime Wichita Falls resident had his first knee replacement surgery in 2012 which worked great until he fell in 2019.

“Walter had gone through regular surgery, revision surgery, he had ripped off that patella tendon, he had a redo, he had had an attempt at fixing it, I mean he had gone through the wringer,” United Regional Orthopedic Surgeon Jason Hoffman, D.O. said.

Boren at that point had already undergone four surgeries, three of which happened in less than a three-year time span.

“He had two surgeries in Dallas, but it was worse after everyone,” Boren’s wife of 45 years, Lanita Boren, said.

Lanita said her husband’s life in a wheelchair wasn’t cutting it.

“We couldn’t go anywhere, we couldn’t do anything, he couldn’t walk, we’d just sit at the house, I’d go to work and come home and he’d just sit at the house,” Lanita said.

“It was just giving me pain all the time, I couldn’t hardly walk, I was falling down all the time,” Walter said.

It was a joint case most doctors wouldn’t touch, even those in the metroplex. That is until Lanita and Walter were at an appointment in the Fall of 2022.

“And we run into Dr. Hoffman and he said he could fix it, so we trusted him that he could,” Lanita said. “When we left there and we were driving home, he [Walter] said if that boy can fix my leg I’m gonna let him.”

“This is not a common to say and not only was there one problem with his patella tendon here, this [see image below] was torn too, that’s how his kneecap flipped, so it was kind of a two-in-one huge problem, big revision,” Dr. Hoffman said.

Dr. Hoffman used a model to explain what caused Walter Boren’s kneecap to flip. Photo credit: Lauren Linville/KFDX

Dr. Hoffman geared up to do Walter’s fifth and hopefully final surgery.

“I went through everything and the last thing I told him, I said ‘go get another opinion,’ I mean I trained with some of the legends in San Antonio, go down and get their opinion and if you feel more comfortable with them doing it, do that,” Dr. Hoffman said.

The Borens decided against getting another opinion. “Because we’d had so many opinions and everybody told us no, he was the first one, he looked at us and he has that good bedside manner and he said I can fix this and we believed him,” Lanita said.

The alternative was a possible amputation.

“It was either that or I had to cut my leg off probably cause I couldn’t do nothing with it,” Walter said.

So when it came time for Walter’s fifth surgery in December 2022, Dr. Hoffman and his team were ready. It’s one of the hardest cases Dr. Hoffman said he’s seen to date.

“There’s a process not to just put Humpty Dumpty back together, mechanically fix the knee, there’s a lot of problems and things you have to work up before you just jump into it, to give yourself as much information as you can that way you’re prepared.” Dr. Hoffman said. “The worst surgery you can do is one you’re not prepared for.” “If there was anything that was unforeseen, we had backup plans for it,” Dr. Hoffman added.

Plan number 1 worked and after 11 years and five surgeries, brighter days are ahead for Walter and Lanita.

“There’s not a guarantee with this, this is a huge huge huge surgery, big undertaking,” Dr. Hoffman said. “But he’s done well, so far we’re winning the battle.”

“It’s gonna get better,” Lanita said and Walter agreed.

A man on the mend thanks to another who saw the finish line no one else could see.

Walter’s surgeries were in 2012, 2019, September 2020, and January 2021. Then, Dr. Hoffman did the fifth in December 2022.

Walter has had his leg straight in a cast for the past three months, which is changed every three to four weeks.

He’s on his final cast and Dr. Hoffman said the next up is to bend his knee and get him in a brace.

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