Two Outpatient Knee Replacements Get Michigan Resident Back In Top Form

Shawn McDonald, 63, of Ludington, MI, relies on his physical wellness for just about everything: his job as a building facility manger, volunteer activities, and playing sports. When knee pain started, he didn’t wait to seek treatment.

A friend in the Chicago area told McDonald that he had seen Dr. Richard Berger, a joint replacement surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in a television interview and suggested that McDonald come to Chicago for the best care. McDonald took his advice and made an appointment right away.

“Dr. Berger said my meniscus was damaged, but I wasn’t ready for a knee replacement,” McDonald explains. “He suggested I see Dr. Brian Cole, who specializes in non-replacement knee care, to buy time before a total replacement. I liked that Dr. Berger didn’t just jump into knee replacement surgery and really looked after my best interest.”

"I liked that Dr. Berger didn’t just jump into knee replacement surgery and really looked after my best interest.”

McDonald underwent meniscus surgery with Dr. Cole, a sports medicine surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and he felt great afterward, returning to his work and activities pain-free. Then, when his second knee began to hurt, Dr. Cole performed another successful meniscus procedure, but this time Dr. Cole explained that a total knee replacement could be in his future before too long.

Eventually, his knee pain did return, and McDonald didn’t hesitate to return to Dr. Berger who agreed that the osteoarthritis in his knee warranted a total knee replacement. He explained the outpatient surgery that he would perform, meaning McDonald would go home the same day and recover more quickly than a traditional knee replacement. His staff provided McDonald with a robust set of instructions, rehabilitation schedule, expectations, and made themselves available for any questions.

“Dr. Berger’s whole staff always has a smile on their faces,” McDonald says. “They are just outstanding, even bringing me a cup of coffee one day during an office visit. You just don’t get that everywhere. I knew I was in good hands.”

Following McDonald’s knee replacement at Rush University Medical Center, everything Dr. Berger and his staff predicted came true and he was golfing just two weeks post-surgery. Soon, he was running the stairs for workouts. Over time, pain returned in his other knee, which was past preventative care, prompting McDonald to reach out to Dr. Berger’s office. After an exam, it was concluded that a second outpatient knee replacement would fix his pain and get him back to work and recreational activities.  

“After my surgery, I never used crutches or a cane, had no pain and was back to work in two weeks,” McDonald explains. “My physical therapist couldn’t believe how soon I was riding a bike.”

Today, McDonald is golfing, biking, and climbing steps and ladders. He is also training for the 2022 Rush the Stadium military fundraising climb at the University of Notre Dame. He reports that since his first knee replacement he has referred at least 20 friends to Dr. Berger.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Berger or Dr. Brian Cole, call 877-MD-BONES or request an appointment online.