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Human Body - Central States Orthopedics

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Quality Surgeon Worth the Drive

Marilyn Antell of Fort Smith, Arkansas received a life-changing total knee replacement from Tulsa orthopedic surgeon Dr. LaButti.

August 2012
By Sheryl Sowell

A total knee replacement by Dr. LaButti has given Marilyn Antell the chance to garden and enjoy life again without constant knee pain. Marilyn Antell lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas, but she ­travelled to Tulsa for her total knee replacement surgery. Why? Because this is where Dr. Ronald LaButti practices.

Marilyn had been in pain for 10 years – at some point she had taken a fall, and the ­discomfort became increasingly worse over the years. She ­couldn’t walk for long distances, stand for more than about five minutes, or sleep through the night. “I waited so long to do something about it because I’m afraid of hospitals. But the pain got so bad, I had to do ­something. Any kind of physical activity was nearly impossible, work was difficult, and I could hardly ever sleep. People told me all the time that I needed to get a wheelchair,” she explains.

Marilyn’s brother was the one to put a bug in her ear about resolving her pain problems. He had received a partial hip replacement in Cincinnati and was extremely happy with the results. “He advised me not to settle for just any surgeon. I ­visited three doctors in Fort Smith and wasn’t comfortable with any of them.”

Marilyn’s daughter worked at a publishing company in Fort Smith and knew a few people that had received hip or knee replacements from Dr. LaButti in Tulsa. She asked one of them to give Marilyn a call. “This ­person highly recommended Dr. LaButti and explained that the process was painful, but ­definitely worth it.”

Marilyn scheduled an appointment with Dr. LaButti and made the drive to ­northeastern Oklahoma. She was impressed with the surgeon’s expertise and straightforward demeanor. “It’s frustrating when doctors try to ‘play’ you for their own benefit. I liked that Dr. LaButti was honest and highly professional,” she says.

Dr. LaButti performed Marilyn’s total knee replacement on her left knee in February of this year. “He told me that my knee was in the worse shape he had ever seen! But he was very reassuring that I’d be ok, and I trusted him. I had many friends praying for me, and I trusted that God had led me to the right decision. Four months after the operation, the pain was ­completely gone,” says Marilyn. “It’s amazing. Now I have a knee that works.”

This summer, Marilyn dug a hole in her yard and planted a crepe myrtle tree. She was ­overcome with emotion when she realized she hadn’t done that in 10 years. “It was a very big moment for me. If I had planted a tree before the operation, I would have paid for it big time, with extreme pain and lack of sleep.”

Marilyn’s quality of life is drastically better than it’s been in years. “Walking feels like what walking is supposed to feel like. I can depend on my knee now.” She works as a church secretary, and her job is now easier to ­perform and much more ­enjoyable. “My job description is ‘go-fer’ – I’m constantly on the go, running errands, cleaning and scrubbing, making bank deposits, grocery shopping for food that the church donates to locals in need. I can get in and out of the car without pain, unlike before. Recently we held an event at the church, and I was even able to set up tables and pick up chairs to move.”

Marilyn will soon return to Dr. LaButti for a replacement of her right knee. She says her experience with Dr. LaButti and his kind, caring staff makes the drive to Tulsa well worth it.

For more information about Dr. LaButti, visit ­ www.hipandkneedoc.com.

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