By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: March 2012
Angelia Barrows commends her orthopedic surgeon,Dr. Ronald LaButti.
Angelia Barrows admits that when she was a child, she never paid enough attention when her grandmother would say, “Oh, the weather is going to change!” when her knees began to ache. Then, when her own knees succumbed to the same hereditary form of arthritis that has afflicted many members of her family, Angelia remembered her grandmother’s words. “I wish I could go back and tell her,” Angelia says, “I realize now she was right.”
Over the years, Angelia tried to engage in activities that would help her stay in good physical condition, but her knees stubbornly headed the direction in which genetics pointed them. Last year at this time, she walked with a limp and had trouble with simple, routine activities most of us take for granted, like going up and down stairs. She relates that the trouble started in her right knee many years ago, and she even had surgery to repair a tear in that knee. “They cleaned it out as best they could, but it didn’t work,” she says. Her left knee began to hurt as well, but not as badly—until she injured it one day on a flight of stairs. “I had to use that knee more because it was in better shape than the right one,” she says. “But I wasn’t careful as usual and fell down the steps.”
With both knees inflamed, Angelia began to wonder if she would ever again experience a life without constant pain. That was when she spoke with a close friend and her sister, who also was affected by the same form of arthritis, about both of the ladies’ recent knee surgeries with Dr. LaButti. The women were so happy with their results that Angelia decided to make an appointment for a consultation.
Dr. LaButti operated first on Angelia’s left knee, and Angelia remembers being impressed by the professional attitudes of Dr. LaButti and his staff. “Dr. LaButti is so good!” she says. “He will work with you and answer all your questions. And the place where I had the surgery was wonderful!” Angelia began to see improvements almost immediately during her recovery. The morning after her surgery, she called for help to go to the bathroom, thinking she would need assistance. She was stunned and ecstatic to discover that she was able to get out of bed by herself and walk across the room with no pain. “I used a walker to get from my car to my house, because that was what I was advised to do,” she recounts. “But that’s the last time I needed it.”
In the weeks following her surgery, Angelia carefully followed the instructions and exercises given to her. “I believe in having the right frame of mind and going in with the attitude you will get better and do the therapy you need to do,” she notes. “It might hurt for a little while, but you will get past it.” Within weeks, she felt ready to have surgery on the second knee, and her life began to truly transform as she recovered. Angelia can now walk up and down stairs and can even ride her bike, an activity she had missed dreadfully over the years.
The difference was obvious to others as well. “I had limped for so many years, I didn’t even realize it,” says Angelia. “Then one day I was walking down the hall at the elementary school where I work and one of the teachers called out, ‘Angie, you’re not limping!’ I was so thrilled.”
Angelia only harbors a single regret about her knee surgeries: that she waited so many years to have them. “I wish I had not let it go so far,” she says. “I have a new lease on life because of Dr. LaButti and what he’s done for me.”