By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: May 2008
Rob Ellison, Therapy Center manager, demonstrates physical therapy techniques for a total knee replacement patient.
When hip or knee pain becomes too difficult to bear, people from all over the country travel to Tulsa for assistance from Dr. Ronald S. LaButti.
Dr. LaButti is an orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedic Specialists and specializes in joint replacement and reconstruction. He provides relief from severe pain and improves functioning through individually-catered rehabilitation programs. These programs help patients return to everyday activities such as walking, gardening and some athletic activities.
According to Rob Ellison, manager of the Therapy Center at Central States Orthopedic Specialists, several factors contribute to the outcome – positive or negative – of a total joint replacement.
The most important dynamic in the outcome is choosing the right physician. The doctor must be specially trained in joint replacement, or have extensive experience. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of improved functioning, the doctor must perform the total joint replacement at the right time with the right rehabilitation afterward. “This is where Dr. LaButti really shines,” says Ellison. “He utilizes numerous postoperative resources, including physical therapy, to achieve the maximum level of functioning desired by patients.”
Another crucial factor in determining the outcome of a total joint replacement is preoperative and postoperative education of patients. Patients have the opportunity to address questions and concerns to Dr. LaButti or a physical therapist prior to their surgery, such as: What can I expect after my surgery? How long will I be in the hospital? Will I have home health services? When can I return to work, driving, etc.?
“Before the procedure, we discuss any issue the patient has, including what will happen during and after the operation. We want to make him or her feel as comfortable as possible,” says Dr. LaButti.
During the preoperative consultation, a fundamental responsibility of Dr. LaButti and his team is to clarify expectations. Some patients, for instance, believe that they will not be able to return to their previous activities such as golf or gardening. Others think that they should wake up the day after the surgery and feel 100 percent better. “It is vital to educate the patient on realistic expectations and outline for them what level of mobility, strength and function they can expect post-surgically,” said Dr. LaButti.
Dr. LaButti also stresses the importance of postoperative rehabilitation, with resources including home health services, early mobilization through the use of a CPM machine and outpatient physical therapy. Dr. LaButti uses the CPM machine fairly quickly after the operation, as it reduces swelling, improves range of motion and decreases pain by helping break up scar tissue adhesions.
Postoperative physical therapy is catered to the individual and helps the patient achieve the maximum amount of mobility through strengthening of the core, lower extremities and all joints affecting the replaced joint. Physical therapy also consists of balance training for walking and fall prevention.
Dr. LaButti and his specialists are located at 6585 S. Yale, Suite 200. Call (918) 481-2767 or go online to www.hipandkneedoc.com for more information.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.