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U.S. News and World Report: America's Best Hospitals, Kidney Disorders, Orthopedics, 2012-13

Donald Ladd's Knee Replacement Surgery

Donald Ladd underwent knee replacement surgery, performed by Dr. Richard Illgen. Here's his story.
 

My name is Don Ladd. I am a 79-year-old man who is in wonderful health with one exception - my knees, especially my right one. My right knee had lost all of the cartilage on the inside half, and it was starting to become bowed and painful.

 

In a quest to reduce the pain and promote mobility, I visited with several fine doctors to discuss my problem. While pondering the best course of action, I was given the name of Dr. Richard Illgen at UW Hospital, and I went to see him in what turned out to be my final search for an effective knee treatment.

 

I had a great consultation with Dr. Illgen. We participated in an excellent open discussion, and his explanations helped me better understand the degenerative process in my right knee. He discussed several possible treatment plans, but the one that made the most sense to me was his ultimate recommendation - a unicompartmental medial knee replacement assisted with MAKOplasty®.

 

Because I was somewhat confused by the surgical language, Dr. Illgen explained in detail that he would be repairing the inside half of my right knee, which in turn would:

  • Eliminate my knee pain
  • Straighten my right leg, which had started to bow
  • Reduce weight on my left knee
  • Eliminate a probable full right knee replacement in the future
  • Greatly reduce healing time

To make a long story short, two weeks later, on June 28, 2011, I had the surgery at UW Hospital. A day and one-half later, I was able to go home, walking with the assistance of a walker. WOW!

 

During my brief hospital stay, I was visited twice by Dr. Illgen, who was very helpful and explanatory. In addition, every hospital staff member was positive and extremely helpful. The physical therapists were tough, but they gave me a great, walking start.

 

It is now only five weeks since my surgery. I am walking without a walker, crutches or cane with no pain and I am waiting impatiently to see Dr. Illgen for my final "walking papers."

 

If ever you need the best knee doctor, call Dr. Illgen and benefit from his expertise and his wonderful teaching manner. I truly feel that you could not make a better surgical choice.