When Steven Combs, MD, began having pain in his knees and started waiting for the elevator instead of taking the stairs, he realized knee replacement surgery was in his future. As an orthopedic surgeon at Lake Health for 38 years with Lake Orthopaedic Associates, Dr. Combs had vast experience with knee replacements. In fact, he has performed around 4,000 knee replacements himself. When it came time for him to have surgery and he found himself in the patient’s shoes, he knew exactly where to turn. Bradley Webb, MD, was his partner for two and a half years before he retired in 2017 and ironically the surgeon who would end up replacing both of his knees.
After anti-inflammatories couldn’t control the pain any longer and x-rays confirmed there wasn’t any cartilage left in his knee, Dr. Combs scheduled his left knee replacement surgery for October of 2016. During knee replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon resurfaces the damaged knee with artificial components, called implants. Implants can last as long as 20 years and the surgery itself takes about one and a half to two hours.
“If you are struggling with pain and are no longer enjoying everyday activities such as walking, sleeping or gardening, the first step is to have an initial discussion and evaluation with your provider,” said Dr. Webb. “I often recommend the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ website to my patients where they can find articles and journals full of information on knee replacements.”
Following the surgery, Dr. Combs stayed at UH Lake West Medical Center for three days. Dr. Combs recalls waking up in the recovery room and trying to move his knee as soon as he was able and encourages other patients to do the same. During his hospital stay, in between icing his knee, he saw a physical therapist two times a day who pushed him to do exercises in order to regain his strength. “Physical therapy is so beneficial and important during the recovery process. The harder you work trying to get your range of motion back, the better your results will be,” said Dr. Combs.
After his hospital stay, Dr. Combs was transferred to a rehab facility where he spent a week working on walking without the support of his crutches. After that, he returned home and went to outpatient physical therapy once a week and then less frequently as time went on.
Two years later in 2018, he returned to Dr. Webb to have his right knee replacement surgery. Today, he happily takes the stairs, enjoys daily walks and plays with his Portuguese Water Dog Veronica without any pain.
Meet the doctor
Bradley Webb, MD
Office: Mentor, 440-352-1711