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Stories from recent MAKOplasty® patients

Mele Pochereva Orthopedic

The following are stories from three patients who recently had MAKOplasty procedures performed at Castle Medical Center.

Major Day

Major Day (his name, not his rank, he clarifies) points to an old injury from his military service in Vietnam as the likely cause of the chronic knee pain that took the pleasure out of his favorite pastime: fishing.

“I never stopped fishing,” recalls the Maui native. “I just took the pain.” Day finally decided to seek relief after attending one of Castle Medical Center’s free Neighbor Island seminars. “My wife had both knees replaced at Castle, so I went with her and found out more about their program. Dr. Linda Rasmussen, the orthopedic surgeon who performs MAKOplasty at Castle, said I was a good candidate for the procedure.”

Day received the approval he needed from the Veteran’s Administration to have the procedure at Castle and, after his pre-surgical consultation, made all the arrangements and scheduled a surgery date with Dr. Rasmussen.

“I took the first flight out of Maui on a Friday morning and had the surgery the same day,” Day says. “I did my lesson on crutches, and started walking.” After spending one night at Castle, Day was back on a plane to Maui and, on Monday, he began his physical therapy.

“On Wednesday morning I asked myself, ‘You want to go back to fishing? Better start walking!’” explains the 65-year-old veteran. “I threw my crutches aside, and after 2½ weeks of PT, I was back on my boat. No pain, no gain. I’m retired and I love to fish. I don’t want to be a couch potato.”

Jason Katada

At age 49, Jason Katada appears too young to need knee replacement surgery. But a torn meniscus on the job as a Honolulu firefighter changed that. Surgery repaired the knee initially, but eventually, the continued wear and tear on the joint created bone-on-bone pain.

“My mother had MAKOplasty surgery, and after her success, I further researched the procedure and found that Castle was the only place that offered it,” Katada says. “An X-ray showed that I was a perfect candidate.”

“My pre-op consultation was very informative and thorough, and I felt really good about the surgery,” he adds.

“Dr. Rasmussen made me feel comfortable with what would happen before and after the procedure, and since I’m younger, my recovery time was expected to be shorter. The surgery went well, and Castle took excellent care of me.”

After his surgery, Katada completed three months of physical therapy, and because of the physical nature of his job with the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD), he didn’t return to work during that time. But the 20-year HFD veteran is back at work today, ready for action in any emergency, large or small.

Ronald Durant

Ronald Durant, branch manager at Guild Mortgage in Kailua, has been an athlete all his life. He was on his high school’s football, basketball, and track teams and then played college basketball—his passion— for Brigham Young University in Lā‘ie.

“I probably played longer than I should have,” says 54-year-old Durant, who has been coaching boys high school basketball and high jumping for the past eight years. “The wear and tear on my joints caught up with me.”

Durant had two previous surgeries on each of his knees to repair the meniscus, but the pain returned. “I fought it for five years until the pain was too much,” he recalls. “Then I went to a seminar to find out more about MAKOplasty and had the surgery last August. I wish I had done it earlier!”

“My experience at Castle was great,” he says. “Everyone was super accommodating; they explained everything about the procedure and what to expect. I can’t say enough about the staff and how helpful they were.”

Durant had his surgery on a Friday and was home on Monday. “I went through two or three months of rehabilitation and along the way hit a point where I wasn’t progressing,” Durant explains. Old scar tissue from his previous surgeries was getting in the way, so he had his knee manipulated to break up the scarring. After that, he made “super progress” and today is happy to report that he is now pain-free.

It’s just like with sports, he says. “If you’re a good patient and do what you’re told, follow the (physical therapy) plan, you’ll have success.”

Spoken just like a coach.