By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: April 2009
Janet Wybrant of Coweta, shown with Sprite, is able to care for her miniature horses thanks to two knee replacements from Dr. Ronald LaButti.
Janet Wybrant and her husband Danny own Soldier Fire Ranch in Coweta, where they raise and sell miniature horses, and they are high school science teachers – Janet at Porter and Danny at Chouteau. Between work, family and volunteering, they are always on the go. But for Janet, moving around was not always so easy.
Janet began feeling pain in her right knee 12 years ago and decided to see a doctor, who diagnosed her with arthritis. The physician prescribed her some medication that helped, but didn’t cure the pain. Then in 2004, Janet dislocated her shoulder and had to go to the emergency room, where she was referred to Dr. Ronald S. LaButti of Central States Orthopedic Specialists. While visiting with Dr. LaButti about her shoulder, Janet mentioned her constant knee pain. Dr. LaButti decided to take a look, found there was no cartilage left in her right knee, and told her she was a candidate for total knee replacement.
Janet soon opted to go through with the surgery. “I was exhausted from standing at school all day. I couldn’t walk from pasture to pasture to care for my horses; my husband had to drive me. I couldn’t even go shopping at the mall with my daughters. I thought to myself, ‘I need to do this.’”
One major selling point for the surgery was Janet’s mother, who had previously undergone a total knee replacement. “I saw my mom have such a poor quality of life for so long. She even went through depression from her joints constantly aching. After her surgery, she did a complete turnaround. Now you can’t get her to slow down.”
Dr. LaButti performed Janet’s right knee replacement in 2005. “The pain was gone immediately after the surgery. It was amazing,” says Janet. “My left knee was not in pain, but it was weak. Three years after the operation, I’d find myself standing in class, completely leaning on my right foot. I knew it was time to see Dr. LaButti again.”
The kicker that pushed Janet into getting the surgery on her left knee was her daughter’s wedding video. “When I watched it, I saw that I dragged my leg when I walked. The visual was a real eye opener." Dr. LaButti performed the second knee replacement in November, 2008.
Janet is now living her pain-free, active life to the fullest. She loves raising her miniature horses and no longer needs Danny to drive her from pasture to pasture. A dedicated sponsor at her school, Janet is currently working on the prom and other spring events. “I’m amazed at the amount of energy I have now. My whole life I’ve battled fatigue, but I no longer come home exhausted.”
Another important part of Janet’s life is her extensive volunteer work with the Blue Star Mothers. Husband Danny is a retired soldier, and two of her children are in the military. “My son is a member of the Texas National Guard, and one of my daughters is a military police officer in Fort Bliss,” says Janet. “I am very proud to be a Blue Star mom. Our support for the troops is so strong, we even dress our horses in patriotic colors for the parades we’re in.”
Possibly the best perk about her improved mobility is Janet’s ability to play with her grandchildren. Carson is one and a half, and Boston is two. “We play ball and chase each other around. It’s wonderful.”
Janet says she has Dr. LaButti to thank for her active lifestyle. “Before my first surgery, I read the information booklet about Dr. LaButti, and it was obvious he is very experienced and family-oriented. It made me feel more comfortable going into it. I’ve written him several thank-you letters. Dr. LaButti took me from having a lot of pain and not being able to walk well to no pain at all. Now I’m dancing!” says Janet with a laugh.
Dr. Ronald S. LaButti is fellowship trained in joint replacement and reconstruction. For more information, call his office at (918) 481-2767 or go online to www.hipandkneedoc.com.
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.