OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Joseph

October 31, 2018

Meet Joseph, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, who recently returned home to be with his family, which includes his wife, son, and little one on the way. Although no longer part of the Marine Corps, Joseph hasn’t lost his passion for adventure, so when his son Bickert-Family-(1).jpgrequested a trip to the local trampoline park shortly after he returned, he was all in.

According to Joseph, it’s hard to decide who was having more fun at the trampoline park – him or his son? After about an hour of literally bouncing off the walls, his wife called out to let them know that time was almost up. Joseph was having so much fun and thought, “Why not enjoy one last jump into the foam pit?”

This last jump turned a day of fun into a day of disaster. His left knee immediately gave out and he quickly realized that this was going to be a significant injury he would have to deal with.
For the first two days after the incident, Joseph was confined to a bed. “My range of motion was non-existent,” stated Joseph. “I couldn’t place any pressure on my left leg whatsoever.”

Not only did this injury put pause to Joseph’s active lifestyle, it seriously derailed his plans to pursue a career in law enforcement, which he had set up for himself after departing the Marine Corps. He made it his goal to get back to being 100% as fast as possible and knew he would need orthopaedic help to make this happen.

Joseph remembered hearing his father talk about the great patient care he received at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, so he decided to call the practice about his injury. After discussing some of his injury details with a member of OAA’s telephone reception staff, she was able to recommend a physician.

“Based upon my injury description, OAA’s telephone reception team suggested I consider Dr. Hawkins because of his sports medicine experience and expertise,” stated Joseph. “Their recommendation proved to be right on target.”

Dr. Hawkins is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at OAA. His treatment is focused on the management of athletic injuries with a strong emphasis on shoulder and knee problems, particularly ACL reconstructions of the knee.

At Joseph’s first visit, Dr. Hawkins was immediately concerned with the possibility that Joseph could have done major damage to his ACL. He then scheduled an MRI, which confirmed his initial concerns.

When Joseph returned for his follow up visit to review his MRI, the swelling in his knee had decreased and some of his range of motion had returned. “We had discussed that this was fairly important to preparing his knee for potential surgical management,” stated Dr. Hawkins. "Prehab, as we call it, is a very important step that involves therapy and rehabilitation to improve the injured knee and helps it recover quicker, even if surgical intervention is recommended.”
Despite this clinical improvement, Joseph remained grossly unstable due to the ligament tear in his knee. “In this situation, with a young and active individual, surgery was recommended to avoid progressive problems like accelerated arthritis and other potential injuries,” stated Dr. Hawkins. As a healthy male with an extremely active lifestyle at home and during the course of his career in the Marine Corps, Joseph made an excellent candidate for ACL reconstruction surgery.
Going into surgery Joseph felt confident that he was in good hands. “Dr. Hawkins’ friendly and patient response to my concerns at every step of the process was a breath of fresh air during a stressful time,” said Joseph.
Shortly after surgery, Joseph regained full range of motion and improved his knee strength and stability weeks before anticipated. He is fortunate to enjoy living an active lifestyle once again, and most importantly has regained traction towards a career path that enables him to provide for his family. Thanks to his dedication to his recovery and Dr. Hawkins excellent surgical techniques, Joseph is another one of OAA’s surgical success stories.  
Learn more about OAA’s Sports Medicine team who was voted best in the 2018 Morning Call’s Readers’ Choice Awards or contact our office at (610) 973-6200 to schedule an appointment.