Former Alice Cooper and current Demi Lovato guitarist Nita Strauss has just undergone surgery for a torn meniscus. The procedure was overseen by Dr. Michael Banffy, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles who is also a team doctor for the Los Angeles Rams.
On Tuesday (December 27),Nita shared a short video from the hospital and she included the following message: "Meniscus repair surgery went as well as it could have! Super grateful for the steady hands of the Rams doctor Dr Banffey and the great staff at the surgery center. Josh [Villalta, Nita's longtime boyfriend who also plays drums in her solo band and manages her career] and my mama are both here to take care of me in the aftermath and all is well".
Strauss's surgery took place seven months after she first sustained the injury while on the road with Cooper.
Strauss, who has been the in-house guitarist for Los Angeles Rams football games since the team moved to SoFi Stadium in 2020, previously discussed her operation in a social media post in November. At the time she said in a video message: "I have a little knee update, for those who've been wondering. I did have my pre-op last week, and, unfortunately, it didn't go exactly as I hoped it would. According to my doctor, eight months of performing on a torn meniscus did not do my any favors. The injury has not improved; unfortunately, it's gotten worse. So surgery has had to be pushed to the end of the year — after Christmas, after the last Rams game — and then it'll be a full month before I can do anything at all again. So no shows, no performing, no nothing. I'm super disappointed at that; I was hoping to already be on the mend by now. But it is what it is."
In an October 2022 interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, Nita said that she had "been touring with a torn meniscus since May. So I'm actually not as injury prone as I usually would be, because I'm taking it a little easier," she added. "I have surgery scheduled at the end of this tour, between Rams games and everything else I have going on. So right now I've been playing through the most serious injury I've ever had and really just trying to take care of that, make sure it doesn't get worse before it gets better."
Asked if she has had to take cortisone shots in order to deal with the pain while performing on stage in recent months, Nita said: "I've had two. I now can't have any more because it's too close to my surgery date. It's getting tough now, but we're making it through.
"All I can really do is keep it under control," she explained. "It's just the realities of running around on stage for 20 years; every once in a while you're gonna get hurt."
According to the Mayo Clinic, a torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.
Nita made her live debut with Demi on July 14 with a performance of Lovato's single "Substance" on ABC's Emmy Award-winning late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".
Strauss had been playing with Cooper since 2014 when she replaced Australian musician and former Michael Jackson player Orianthi. She joined Alice in time for a mammoth MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. She was recommended to Cooper by the legendary rocker's former bass player and WINGER frontman Kip Winger.
In October, Nita released a new solo single and accompanying music video, "The Wolf You Feed". The track features a guest appearance by Alissa White-Gluz of ARCH ENEMY.
"The Wolf You Feed" was the second song Nita has released featuring a star guest vocalist, the first being the "Dead Inside" which featured guest vocals from DISTURBED's David Draiman and saw Nita become the first ever solo female to have a No. 1 hit at Active Rock radio. She also returned to her instrumental roots earlier this year with the release of single "Summer Storm", a fast-paced, emotive shred-fest.
As well as performing with Cooper, Nita has also played with R&B star Jermaine Jackson, early MTV darlings FEMME FATALE, video game supergroup CRITICAL HIT and popular tribute band THE IRON MAIDENS.
In April 2020, Nita launched "Rock Guitar Fundamentals" — a three-module online guitar teaching program suitable for learners of all levels. The course is available at www.iwanttoplayguitar.com.