Not surprisingly, Jack DeCarlo heard about UBMD’s Dr. McGrath numerous times. So, he told himself, “If you want to get fixed up and be back at it, you always go with the best.”
Jack Decarlo has been married for 48 years, has four daughters, nine grandchildren and a whole bunch of friends.
At 70 years of age, Jack is also more active than most people his age. “I do a lot of biking, I cut wood, I waterski, I boat and I like to travel,” he says.
“You know, I’ve aways been sort of antsy. When I do things, I guess I become passionate, so when I ride a bike, I think I’m on the Tour de France. When cutting wood, I imagine I’m going to be on the ESPN wood cutting competition. When I’m out water skiing, I feel there’s going to be a camera on me as an ESPN senior.”
In fact, last year, Jack water skied 160 times, and estimates he rode his bike 150 miles per week!
Despite all this activity, he’s had knee problems for longer than he cares to remember. Jack describes how he had a partial knee replacement around 15 years ago, so he knew when the symptoms reappeared, he would probably need another procedure.
He explains, “Being out in the woods and lugging wood around, all of a sudden, my knee started to say, ‘You know, you gotta give me a break.’ But I didn’t and I just wore it down.”
Jack goes on, “We went to Italy last summer and after a few days, all of a sudden, my knee decided to quit on me. It was simply horrible. I was like the third wheel, and I told everyone to just keep walking and I would catch up with them at some point. That’s when I realized the knee was all but done.”
Before returning home, Jack contacted UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to set up an appointment because he “kinda felt what the future held.” So, the day after his return, he had an MRI and made an appointment to see Dr. Brian McGrath, who’s been practicing at UBMD since 1993.
There’s a real comfort zone there
Why UBMD Orthopaedics? Jack says that he’s had a variety of injuries over the years and just always felt there was a real comfort zone going there. Moreover, he relates how he’d ask friends and acquaintances “Who did your knee? Who did your shoulder? Not surprisingly, numerous times he heard about UBMD’s Dr. McGrath. So, he said, “If you want to get fixed up and be back at it, you always go with the best.”
After his initial appointment, he was given the option of a knee replacement and Jack simply said, “Okay, let’s get this thing done as soon as possible.” At first, Dr. McGrath was a bit hesitant, informing Jack that he had a long waiting list for procedures, and it had only been worsened by the Covid pandemic. To Jack’s surprise, the doctor said, “Let me see what I can do,” went out into the main office, came back in, shaking his head, telling him, “I can see you in two weeks.”
His demeanor was “I got this, I got you, I can do this!”
When describing Dr. McGrath, Jack is quite enthusiastic, “You know when somebody has this demeanor, “I got this, I got you, I can do this.’”
He continues, “I’m not easy to believe in people, but Dr. McGrath just hit the right buttons and it worked. So, we did it. I brought him a bottle of bourbon, that’s how comfortable I felt.”
When elaborating about his experience with UBMD, Jack couldn’t be franker. “They checked every box before I had the opportunity to ask. On things that were going to happen, on things that were happening and what was going on inside and outside my knee. They sometimes answered questions before I even asked them.”
Recovery can be pretty quick
Sometimes, a person will wait until their knee pain goes really downhill because they don’t want surgery to bring their work, daily life or activity level to a halt. But recovery from a knee replacement is a matter of weeks and a person will be back on their feet with less aches and pain in no time!
Simply put, knee pain stops you from being you. Total knee replacement surgery will permit you to take part in activities you love. Yes, there will be a short-term period where you will need to rest, to recover and rehabilitate, but that lasts for just a few weeks on average.
For Jack Decarlo, it was a personal goal to be back water skiing within five months from the day of the procedure. “My goal was January 10th. Most people told me I wouldn’t be doing anything that demanding on my knee as water skiing for a year, but that’s not part of my equation. I’m 70 and I know there are other parts of my body starting to deteriorate, so I couldn’t waste time.”
Of course, the winter weather in western New York prohibits water activities in January, so Jack headed to what he describes as some “islands down south.” He testifies, “I keep track. I’ve skied 45 times and probably ridden my bike a bunch. I ride nearly every day. I’m comfortable with everything happening.”
Jack presently does stretches daily. “My routine is I get up every morning, go skiing, then I have breakfast, and drive to the gym for a workout. I do a lot of leg stretching and bending because I want to keep it flexing.”
Get ‘er done!
Jack has one piece of advice when it comes to knee surgery. “Take care of it and get it done. Don’t wait. People that delay it drive me nuts . . . and do your rehabs.”
It’s quite reasonable to be anxious about any surgery, but there’s truly no need to dread a knee replacement. This now familiar procedure can significantly improve one’s quality of life and is well worth the investment of time. So, kick back, put your feet up (particularly if your knee is giving you trouble) and check out why a knee replacement is nothing to be overly concerned about.