Dennis Russo, a building maintenance professional, has always been active – from motor cross cycling and boxing to playing football well into his mid-thirties. His professional life, power-washing and maintaining some of San Francisco’s tallest skyscrapers, required daily active use of his body. Years of climbing ladders, careful balancing and navigating high- rise scaffolding were taking a toll on his knees. Dennis had always been bowlegged, but the progressing pain began affecting his life. Despite his bravery atop tall buildings, he was reluctant to consider major surgery. After finding Dr. Michael McDermott online and chatting with other joint pain patients, Dennis made the call.
“Dr. McDermott and his medical assistant Tammy made me feel comfortable, answered my questions and didn’t rush any surgical decisions”, Dennis recalls. “Dr. McDermott’s initial conservative treatment of arthroscopy and cortisone shots helped initially, but I really wasn’t pain free. I was hesitant to get knee replacement surgery and somehow learned to live with pain – until I couldn’t take it any longer.”
At this point, Dennis was limping sideways when inspecting buildings, uncomfortable being active outdoors, in regular pain and even took up smoking.
“I was beginning to feel like an old man. The last straw was on a trip to Disneyland, where I had to use a wheelchair to get around the amusement park.”
Shortly afterwards, Dennis scheduled an appointment for a knee replacement – that was three years ago. The surgery was a success and Dennis was almost whole. So, when it came time to replace the other knee, Dennis was more than excited to have Dr. McDermott perform the surgery at the new Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital.
“I loved the hospital’s joint replacement program, private room and incredible staff. My wife even brought the nurses cupcakes in gratitude for their incredibly personal care. After a few weeks of home recovery and great physical therapy by Pat Hall, I was on my way back.”
Within six months, Dennis returned to work and started playing golf, bowling and working out on the treadmill.
“Despite being 70 years old and married for 50 years, I really feel young again – with the majority of my strength back. My only regret is not having the knee replacements sooner.” Dennis is a changed man and finally remarked, “Nothing is worse than living in pain and now I’m absolutely pain free. Anybody with joint pain issues should take their life back, pick up the phone and call Dr. McDermott.”
Dr. Michael McDermott is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and other orthopaedic problems, with emphasis on arthroscopic, complex reconstruction and minimally invasive procedures of the knee, hip and shoulder. Dr. McDermott has specialized training in reverse total shoulder as well as Mako Robotic assisted patient specific hip and knee replacement. Read more about Dr. McDermott …