Orthopedics at Baptist Health Lexington

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- [Mike]

I live with my bride, my gift from God, Barb Ryan. Barb and I both, our life's goal was to just get to the freedom to where we could have the time to go and do travel, and we both love to do mission work. We're heavily involved with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief. My knees first started bothering me, well, a long time ago, about 20 years ago.

I was playing basketball. I was still trying to be 21. Arthritis started coming in on my knees, and someone gave me a name of a good doctor, and so I went to see Dr. Janak Talwalkar.

- [Dr. Talwalkar]

So Mike's condition started out as...he had torn cartilage in his knee, and he had a prior surgery where we did an orthoscopic procedure, minimally invasive procedure, cleaned his knee up, and that kept Mike going for several years. Over time, the articular cartilage or the cushioning in the knee started to wear down and thin, and eventually, he lost all of his articular cartilage and then developed bone-on-bone arthritis.

- He let me determine when I was ready. He said, "You'll know it when you're ready." And so, I put it off for quite a while until the weekend hit the...I had reached the bone-on-bone.

And when it did, it literally locked my left knee up. It was straight. It was peg-like. I couldn't bend my knee.

I could barely bend it enough to get in a car. It shut me down. It literally made an old man out of me quick because I couldn't do anything with a stiff leg.

- We often say life is motion and motion is life. And so, being able to be up and active and moving is critical. It's critical to bone health, muscle strength, muscle health. Motion is a basic thing but it's so critical.

- He did a great job of preparing me what to expect, and kind of how the surgery would go, and then how my recovery process would be. They said that most people, the day of surgery, would spend the night and then go home the next day. I told him I wanted to go home that night. And he said, "Well, if you can do what the therapist require, then they'll let you go home.

I went home that night.

- Mike was an ideal patient. He brightens up our office every time he walks in. He's full of energy, very positive spirit. I saw him just after he retired.

You knew he was still very busy, very active, and had a lot of things that he wanted to do with his life still.

- They told me that I would have continual improvement up to a year, and I didn't really think at the time it would take that long because I knew I was going to work so hard at it. But I also know this, there's some things you can't rush up. I pushed through the therapy but mother nature just takes its time when it wants to heal the body. I saw progress all the way up through the first year, and since then, I have no pain in my left knee.

I can't imagine life without having had that surgery.

- The morning of surgeries can be a tense time, and we have to sometimes come in and break the ice and try to get patients to relax. Well, I pull back the covers and see I Mike has something taped to his knee that he had written, and he's the one breaking the ice.

- "I've been waiting for months to fix this knee. You have no idea the pain it's caused me. Now the time is here so let's get it done. I'll soon be good as new and back on the run.

I pray the Lord watches and angels attend to guide your every thought and to steady your hand. Now, put me to sleep and let the surgery begin. Wake me up when it's over, and I'll be happy again."

- We try to give everyone gold-standard care. The patient's attitude makes a big difference, and their desire to recover, and I'm glad I was just a small part of his recovery because I know he's doing wonderful things with his life.

- Genuine compassion is something that you can't imitate. And so, I could really see genuine compassion and care from everybody at Baptist Health. That's why I would send anybody that needs a total knee replacement, I would send them to Baptist Health without hesitation. I'll take them if they're afraid to drive.

♪ [music]

Mike was first introduced to Baptist Health Lexington’s Janak Talwalkar, MD, when he had a torn meniscus. Dr. Talwalkar, an orthopedic surgeon, was able to resolve that issue, but worsening pain and swelling led to corticosteroid injections in his knee. As pain continued to progress, Mike had x-rays taken of his knee resulting in a diagnosis of bone-on-bone arthritis and a suggestion for a full knee replacement.

“I knew it needed to be done but I put it off for a while – or I put it off until I couldn’t,” said Mike. “One day I was moving around and, suddenly, my joints locked up and my leg was stiff and unable to bend or move. I knew it was time to do something about it.”

Mike took the plunge and scheduled surgery for a total knee replacement on his left leg. Despite living 45 minutes from Baptist Health Lexington, Mike said he knew he wanted Dr. Talwalkar to take care of him.

“I have known several people who have received care from Dr. Talwalkar, and I knew he was the man for the job. The office is efficiently run, and I never had to wait for my appointments. I was in good hands,” he said. “I couldn’t give them anything but an A+.”

The surgery was a success and he was able to go home the same day and begin therapy shortly thereafter.

“I pushed myself hard – so hard that I contacted Dr. Talwalkar to see if I needed to rein it in.” he said. “Dr. Talwalkar told me, ‘You do all you want to do, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.’’’

Two weeks later, Mike climbed on his stationary bike and, with grit and determination, began to pedal. He credits the quick recovery – the fastest Dr. Talwalkar has witnessed – to consistent healing and consistent therapy.

Mike impressed his physician and himself with his ability to bounce back at such a rapid rate. He is now back to being as active as ever with no restrictions on his physical ability.

“I have had many surgeries over my life but I have never gone into an operating room feeling as at peace as I did the morning of my knee replacement,” Mike said. “Dr. Talwalkar had come into my room once I had been prepped for surgery to check and make sure I was doing okay. He asked if we could pray, and that put me at ease. We prayed to the great physician together, and I believe that is why things went as smoothly as they did.”