Wally Dittman: A Patient's Road to Recovery
As we all can imagine, being in any branch of the military would be draining physically. Your body goes through a lot of ups and downs, and that was exactly the the case for Wally Dittman. Wally joined the Army in 1968 and spent a lot of his time jumping out of helicopters that were 12-15 feet in the air with 95-pound sacks on his back. This kind of activity will eventually start to cause damage to your knees and legs
Flash forward to when he spent 35 years in the coal mines crawling on knees that weren’t 100% to begin with. Unfortunately, his knee pain was enough to make him retire.
Not being able to do much walking, he decided to repair and finish antique furniture. However, that proved to be more difficult than imagined. He couldn’t walk to his shop without limping around, and he relied on his wife to help him. After a year of lying around, he knew something had to change.
Wally went to see Dr. Darmeilo at Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates, who replaced his knee in 2007 and his second knee in 2013.
Matthew Darmelio, MD, of Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates
Most people think that when you get a knee replacement, you chop here and there and remove this and that, but that’s not the case. Surgeons remove arthritic cartilage and cement a new cap on the bone, which provides a new surface for the patient to walk on," said Matthew Darmelio, MD at MOA.
Wally now walks in the morning and in the evening every day.
Despite the pain that first came with the surgery, Wally says it never hurt more than where he was before surgery.
“You have to take a little bit of pain to get better," said Dittman.
Wally is now 100% and is where he wants to be. He is able to continue repairing his furniture and continue doing what he loves.
If you can relate to Wally’s story, it may be time to schedule an appointment for a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon.
The orthopedic surgeons at MOA have been providing cutting-edge orthopedic care to Morgantown and North Central West Virginia since 1977.
Regain your quality of life by scheduling an appointment with one of the MOA orthopedic surgeons today at 304-599-0720.
To see Wally's story, watch his video here
Check out MOA's website to learn more about Dr. Darmelio and our other orthopedic surgeons. If you would like more detailed information about knee replacement surgery, visit the health library of Mon General Hospital.