By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2012
Since his knee replacement surgery by Dr. LaButti, Carl McMann is again able to serve others through involvement with his church.
Carl McMann has spent most of his life as an athlete. He grew up in Sapulpa, where he met his wife Carla and graduated from Sapulpa High School. He served his country during Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Desert Shield, and did two tours of duty in Germany. Carl has been stationed in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, and Hawaii while serving his 27-year career in the United States Army and Army Reserve. He retired a sergeant major in March of 1993.
Carl was selected to represent the Army as a marathoner for three years early in his duty. He ran over 3,500 miles during that time. Carl was competing in the Trans-Mountain Marathon in El Paso, Texas when he began feeling pain in his back and knee, but he kept on running and finished the race. During this run, athletes gain one mile in altitude after starting at sea level. They then have to turn around and run back down to sea level. At about the 12-and-a-half mile mark, pain hit Carl, marking the beginning of the near unbearable aching he came to endure in both his knees. He had always enjoyed hunting, but with the pain in both his knees was forced to give up hunting and many other physical activities he enjoyed.
In 2006, Carl’s left knee had become a big issue. It was tough going up stairs and much worse going down stairs. He was miserable trying to sleep at night and, in short, Carl was experiencing excruciating pain 24 hours each and every day.
He was finally introduced to Dr. Ronald LaButti and scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on his left knee. After surgery, Carl immediately found himself anxious to get on the road to complete recovery. He actually pushed a little too hard and was cautioned to keep up the good work, but not to overdo it. Dr. LaButti had hoped for Carl to reach the optimistic point of 120 degrees of flexibility in his improving left knee and was elated when he reached 131 degrees. Carl worked hard during his therapy and surprised everyone with his astounding progress.
Carl had dodged tackling stairs again after his surgery for fear the knee would buckle on him. To his amazement, the first time he tried a stairway, he had no problem with the ascent or the descent. He was able to start deer hunting again and recently laid the new wood flooring in his home. He has acquired his commercial driver’s license and is the go-to driver for his church. He drives for the pre-school, Seniors on the Go, various youth activities, Meals on Wheels, and as a member of the church’s tape ministry, delivers sermon tapes and Sunday bulletins to shut-ins each week. Carl has also been recruited by several church members and friends and is now a beginner mason.
“I just can’t tell you how much I admire and respect Dr. LaButti and his staff,” says Carl. “They all have such a caring attitude and make you feel special. Carla and I actually feel like we’re part of their family.”
Carl and Dr. LaButti are scheduling surgery in the near future to replace Carl’s right knee. Carl’s words of advice to others experiencing pain from tired and worn-out knees is, “When it’s time, schedule the replacement surgery and get it done as soon as possible. Do exactly what the doctor and therapists tell you to do. And push yourself to your limits. You’ll enjoy the rewards.”
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.