By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: July 2009
Dr. Ronald S. LaButti
Dr. Ronald LaButti is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement. After completing his residency in Tulsa in 1999, he liked the area so well that he selected it to be his home. In talking with Dr. LaButti, it is obvious that he is dedicated to his work and does his best to provide the finest orthopedic care available to all his patients. “It’s important that each patient fully understands his or her condition and treatment options that are available to them,” says Dr. LaButti. “Because each patient is unique, they must understand what’s going on in order to make an informed decision regarding possible surgery and treatment.”
When asked what he loved most about his chosen career, Dr. LaButti responded, “It’s hard to relate how gratifying it is to have a patient who was totally disabled and often dependent upon pain-relieving narcotics to do a complete turnaround in only three months following hip or knee replacement surgery. I have seen patients, literally, turn their lives around in this time,” he added. Dr. LaButti originally considered going into General Practice, but once he got a taste of orthopedics, decided it was a much better fit for him. He also liked the sports relationship.
Dr. LaButti’s workday begins shortly after 5:00 a.m. He makes rounds to see patients on whom he has operated, making sure that each is doing well and has no issues with the surgery or post-op treatment. He generally performs surgery two days per week and sees patients in his office the other three days. He schedules surgeries at Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Hillcrest Medical Center and Southcrest Hospital.
When asked why doctors can’t do a better job of scheduling office visits, Dr. LaButti had a simple explanation. “If one or two patients require more time to understand what they’re experiencing and what the recommended treatment might entail, I won’t cut them short,” he explained. “But, the extra time we spend explaining things to them might throw appointments off for the rest of the day.” This simple explanation helps put things in proper perspective.
When doing “on-call” duty, a doctor’s time is anyone’s but his own. The doctor related several incidences where he was called into the OR on Friday and literally spent the weekend and half the day Monday in surgery. When there’s been a car wreck involving multiple injuries requiring surgery, they can’t be scheduled the following week. “Often, that’s what on-call means,” added Dr. LaButti. “You may be required to spend several days with very little or no sleep.”
When asked how he balanced work and family, the doctor explained that work could never stop. You have to be available whenever patients or duty calls. He did say that he routinely gives his personal number to patients, but that they show respect by seldom calling weekends or nights unless it is, indeed, and emergency. Dr. LaButti enjoys whatever time he can make available to spend with his wife and their daughter. He also confided that he used to play the guitar and had played in a Rock-n-Roll band during his college years. He still enjoys playing guitar, but doesn’t find the time to do it as often as he would like.
If you would like more information on hip or knee treatment options, visit Dr. LaButti’s website at www.hipandkneedoc.com or call Central States Orthopedic Specialists, Inc.
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.