Repairing the Wear and Tear
Lawrence Trautwein held his audience spellbound with the tale of his 2006 double knee replacement. Just five weeks after his surgery, the Kent Island resident was standing before more than 200 people at an AAMC seminar on knee and hip replacement, supported lightly by a cane, matter-of-factly commenting, “The surgery really wasn’t all that bad.”
For the 6-foot-10-inch Mr. Trautwein —a one-time Elon College basketball player who played semi-pro ball with the Philadelphia 76ers organization and coached high school basketball for 30 years—the wear and tear on his joints finally became too much. After consultation with AAMC orthopedic surgeon James MacDonald, M.D., of Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, Mr. Trautwein decided to move forward with the bilateral knee replacement.
“Dr. MacDonald told me he had good news and bad news,” Mr. Trautwein, 56, said. “The bad news was my knees were shot. The good news, he said, was ‘I can fix you.’ I had such confidence in him and I just knew we could do it.” As to why he had both knees done at the same time, he commented: “I figured I could recover from two knee replacements in half the time. I wanted to get it over with.”
HOW DOES AAMC RATE?
“Relief from pain is the major reason people have surgery,” explained Dr. MacDonald. “They reach a point where they just can’t tolerate it any more, where pain relievers just aren’t working. Mr. Trautwein had severe arthritis in both knees and he was in excellent medical condition, so we thought he would be a good candidate for bilateral surgery.”
If it seems nearly everyone around you has had a knee or hip replacement, the numbers are compelling. More than 300,000 total knee replacements and 180,000 total hip replacements were performed in the United States last year. The surgeons at Anne Arundel Medical Center alone performed more than 1,100 knee and total hip replacements.
Seminars such as the popular hip and knee replacement series sponsored by AAMC explain to those suffering from joint pain several viable options, ranging from treatments with medication to complete joint replacement. The experts on the AAMC medical staff, including orthopedic surgeons, nurses, and rehabilitation staff, present information about degenerative joint disease, discuss the surgical options and, most importantly, walk through the rehabilitation process offered through AAMC’s Joint Camp.
Mr. Trautwein has been so pleased with his knee replacements that he had a hip replacement in February. “I told Dr. MacDonald to hold a spot for me because fishing season is just around the corner. I’ll be the six-million-dollar man.”
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