Local Teens Back on the Field After Knee Surgeries

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Horizon Health

When it comes to hospitals, bigger isn’t necessarily better. It’s the quality of care that counts, according to two local teens.

Two high school athletes from Marshall and Charleston recently had knee surgery at Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center. Their experience at PCH/FMC was positive compared to other surgeries they had at larger area hospitals. Both procedures were performed by John Rowe, MD, orthopedic surgeon, who joined PCH/FMC in January 2012. Dr. Rowe is Mayo Clinic trained with 22 years of experience.

Marshall teen gets back in the game

Rusty Monnett thought he would never play sports again following a painful and debilitating knee injury in September 2008. But his recent knee surgery at PCH/FMC has given him new hope of returning to the baseball field and the other activities he enjoys.

“My knee feels great,” said Rusty, referencing his recovery since knee surgery at PCH/FMC. “There was a long stretch [following an initial knee surgery in Indianapolis] where I would wake up and say, I have to get up to this pain again?”

Rusty, 17, had traditional open surgery in Indianapolis in May 2009 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, in his left knee. The ACL is a major ligament that joins the upper and lower leg bones and keeps the knee stable. The injury occurred during a four-wheeler accident.

About a year after his initial surgery, Rusty re-injured the same knee playing high school baseball and was told to have an MRI scan.

“It got to the point where it swelled and he couldn’t get up in the morning because it hurt so bad,” said Rusty’s mother, Robin Stover. “But after the MRI, the doctor in Indianapolis said she didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

With the teen still suffering from knee pain, the family’s primary care physician at PCH/FMC referred Rusty to Dr. Rowe. Dr. Rowe performed arthroscopic knee surgery to repair Rusty’s torn ACL, as well as a meniscus tear, in February 2012 (the meniscus is a shock-absorbing cartilage in the knee joint). Unlike open surgery, the minimally invasive surgical procedure utilized an endoscope that was inserted through a tiny incision in the knee.

“Dr. Rowe said they [in Indianapolis] should have taken care of my son’s knee at the time the MRI was done,” Robin said. “It seemed like we were in Indy every month with an appointment. Something wasn’t right.”

After his surgery in Indianapolis, Rusty recalled using crutches and wearing a brace to immobilize his knee. Unable to move his knee at all, he couldn’t perform any physical activity for six months. Even climbing stairs was difficult.

“It felt like I couldn’t do anything on it. It was weak,” he said.

Within six weeks after his knee surgery at PCH/FMC, Rusty was back doing the things he enjoys, which include hunting, jogging, and riding a bicycle. He started bowling again, something he wasn’t able to do over the past several years. And, given his successful recovery, Rusty is thinking about playing baseball again next year as a senior at Marshall High School.

“I would recommend Dr. Rowe in a heartbeat,” Rusty said. “I’m really pleased with the outcome.”
His mother added: “I did my research and was happy with what I heard about Dr. Rowe. He is very straightforward, understanding, and easy to talk to. He is just phenomenal.”

Sixth time is a charm for Charleston teen

An avid soccer player for the past 13 years, Allyse Guinto is no stranger to knee injuries. In fact, she’s had six different knee surgeries to repair damage she suffered during competitive play.

Over the years, Allyse, 18, has had five surgeries on her right knee to repair a torn ACL, to fix damage to her meniscus, and to rid her knee of scare tissue. Each of those surgeries had a long recovery period, and involved immobilizing her knee with no physical activity for at least six months.

When Allyse tore the ACL in her left knee last February, she saw Dr. Rowe for the first time. Dr. Rowe repaired her knee arthroscopically in March 2012. The damage was so extensive that one of Allyse’s hamstring tendons was used in the repair.

“I was trying to pivot [during soccer practice] and heard my knee snap,” she recalled.

Her recovery after surgery was much shorter than previous surgeries, said her mother, Karen.

“Dr. Rowe has a very aggressive post-operative therapy that we had never experienced,” Karen said. “Three months [after the surgery], he said she could resume full activity with no limitations. She was thinking it would be at least a year for full activity. She actually smiled when he said 90 days.”

After the surgery, Allyse did not wear a knee brace. She used crutches for only 10 days, which was a welcomed relief, she said. Following other surgeries, she used crutches for four to six weeks.

“We asked about using a brace for support and Dr. Rowe said she didn’t need it,” Karen said. “He seems to be ahead of other approaches. I’m just glad he’s in our area.”

Allyse said the physical therapy she received at PCH/FMC was “amazing” and added, “I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Allyse recently graduated from Charleston High School where she played competitive soccer. She also played as a part of a traveling team. She plans to attend Lake Land College and major in graphic design. She also hopes there is more soccer in her future.