On the Fast Road to Recovery

Carrie Babich grew up in Snowmass Village and came back to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2018, after a 30-year absence. An avid athlete, she was happy to return and enjoy the outdoor activities she loves—skiing and biking being among her favorites. Unfortunately, Carrie hit a small roadblock. “I was experiencing some knee pain in Spring 2022, and my previous doctor had just left the valley,” she says. That’s when Carrie started seeing Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Tomas Pevny at ValleyOrtho.

“He scoped my left knee to start, with a minimally invasive procedure. After recovering well from that, I began noticing more pain in my right knee in Spring 2023. I’ve been an athlete all my life—played basketball in high school and college, been skiing since I was 2 years old—so there was just a lot of wear and tear. Dr. Pevny suggested that more work might be necessary,” she recalls. Ultimately, Dr. Pevny and his team replaced that right knee in July of 2023.

“Before my procedure, I was starting to have a lot of doubts,” she says. “Recovery from surgery is always such a challenge, and I was very nervous about that.” In short order, however, those concerns evaporated. “Dr. Pevny makes you feel so comfortable—looks you in the eye, shakes your hand and makes you feel heard and seen. It’s so refreshing,” she says. “Two weeks before my procedure, he gave me a nerve block to help with my recovery. It also helped me manage my pain leading up to it. The morning of my procedure, he told me exactly what he was going to do, and how the procedure was going to go. I was as prepared for a successful procedure as I could possibly be.”

That nerve treatment—Iovera—uses extreme cold to stop pain signals and allows for precise targeting of relief to specific nerves. Dr. Pevny is the first physician in the region to utilize this cutting-edge technology.

“I enjoy working with patients like Carrie who are motivated to return to the activities they love,” says, Dr. Pevny. “Together, we made a plan for a knee replacement as the best option to get her back to her goals. Iovera was a great tool to help her with recovery and manage her pain without opioids. Seeing her return to the activities she loves after surgery is very rewarding to me.”

And how was Carrie’s recovery? In a word, short. “I had my procedure on July 25. Within a day and a half, I was off my painkillers. My physical therapist couldn’t believe the strength I had post-op, and she actually started running out of exercises to give me because I was able to do more advanced things. I was on my stationary bike within a week. There was just no pain to get ahead of.”

“Five weeks later, I was road tripping through Canada,” she continues. “A few weeks after that, I went to Portugal for my sister’s birthday. We were up and down stairs constantly, averaging about 13,000 steps every day, and I had absolutely no issues.”

Carrie credits Dr. Pevny and ValleyOrtho not only with her speedy recovery, but with an excellent overall treatment journey.

“My whole experience was amazing,” she says. “I loved that there were offices in Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood, and I could get care wherever I was in the valley. The unified record keeping meant that everyone in every location knew exactly what was going on with me. Dr. Pevny’s staff is amazing, too—I had every single question answered quickly and completely. The pre-op and post-op nurses, my physical therapist—the whole team could not have been nicer or friendlier. I can’t tell you how happy I am that Dr. Pevny is my doctor. I can’t imagine a better person to rely on for care.”