By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: September 2009
Debra Stewart of Coweta, Oklahoma received a total knee replacement from Dr. LaButti.
Debra Stewart of Coweta works for Tulsa Public Schools’ Transportation Department. She drives two routes a day, transporting children to and from school. Last year, Debra began having trouble climbing the bus steps; her knees were popping a lot, and she could barely walk from the pain. She decided to make an appointment with her doctor to look into the problem.
Her doctor was booked for a few weeks, and when Debra’s appointment time finally arrived, her knees were feeling better. She decided to go to the appointment anyway, and the doctor’s associate took X-rays of both her knees. A few days later, Debra received a call from the doctor’s office saying that the X-rays did not look good; they suggested she see a specialist as soon as possible. “I was surprised because I wasn’t in too much pain at that point. I really didn’t want to go see a specialist, but I decided I better just do it,” said Debra.
Debra’s physician referred her to Dr. Ronald S. LaButti, orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedic Specialists. “I took my X-rays in to Dr. LaButti. He gave them one look and told me that my left knee cartilege was completely gone. I had no kneecap, nothing at all to work with,” said Debra. “Dr. LaButti immediately recommended total knee replacement surgery.”
Debra had one major deciding factor on her mind. She and her husband Leroy are big motorcycle enthusiasts – “If I had to give up riding my Harley, I wasn’t even going to consider having the surgery,” says Debra with a laugh. “I was willing to live with the pain.” Fortunately, Dr. LaButti said that Debra would be able to return to her favorite hobby.
Dr. LaButti performed Debra’s total knee replacement in January of this year. “Even though it was painful for a while, I’m so glad I had the surgery,” says Debra. “My family was wonderful. My husband, daughters, and father alternated staying with me afterward and helping with my physical therapy. I’ve always taken care of other people, so being taken care of really took some getting used to. When I returned to Dr. LaButti for my six-week checkup, everything was great, and I could go back to work.”
Twelve weeks after the surgery, Dr. LaButti said Debra could return to riding her Harley Electra Glide Classic. She was thrilled – until a minor accident on the bike fractured her leg and put her in a cast. “It was the same leg as my knee replacement, but thankfully it didn’t harm the knee.”
Finally Debra healed completely and could get back to enjoying life. Her last visit with Dr. LaButti was in July. “He called me the poster child for total knee replacement,” says Debra. “Now I finally live without pain. I love riding my bike, working in the yard, cooking, and playing with my 11 grandbabies.”
Debra knows several people who are considering knee replacement surgery. “I tell them it’s definitely worth it – if you have a good doctor. The doctor makes all the difference in the world, and I highly recommend Dr. LaButti.”
“My knee is really doing great; it’s stronger than it’s ever been. This summer we were out on the boat, and I noticed I could pull myself up with my left leg – something I had never been able to do before.”
Dr. Ronald S. LaButti is fellowship trained in total joint replacement and reconstruction. Go online to www.hipandkneedoc.com to learn more.
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.