Finding Steady Ground

Finding Steady Ground

Going down a set of stairs. Mowing the lawn. People do these activities every day without thinking twice. But for 56-year-old Osawatomie resident Clayton Sherlock these simple tasks were taxing and filled with uncertainty before a total knee replacement in November 2021.

The Problem Knee

Clayton’s knee issues began in 2000 when his weight reached a high of 400 pounds. Through healthy eating and exercise, he lost over 110 pounds, alleviating some of the strain on his right knee and allowing him to become more active.

In 2019, Clayton suffered a right knee work-related injury and went to Olathe Medical Center for treatment. The incident, which left him hospitalized for three days, gave Clayton’s longtime problem knee the center stage. The doctor told him his right knee was bone on bone,  and Clayton feared his days working in the yard and playing with grandchildren would once again be limited. Worse, his job as an activity specialist required a lot of time on his feet.

Motivated to Move

In the months following his accident, Clayton’s knee routinely locked up, felt wobbly and created pain. He tried a series of cortisone shots in the hopes of finding a non-surgical solution. However, when the shots did not help and the pain persisted, he sought the help of Christopher A. Bagby, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Olathe Health Johnson County Orthopedics and Sports Medicine – Paola, in August 2021. Together, Dr. Bagby and Clayton decided a total knee replacement was Clayton’s best shot at a more normal life.

A Total Recovery

Dr. Bagby performed Clayton’s total knee replacement at Miami County Medical Center the morning of November 16, 2021.

“The physical therapists had me walking that same afternoon, because they want you to get mobile as soon as possible,” Clayton recalled. “It was pretty astounding.”

Clayton was discharged the day after surgery. Recovery was not immediate, though.

“Clayton’s discomfort during postop physical therapy and his at-home recovery was typical,” Dr. Bagby explained. “Fortunately, it typically resolves soon after surgery.”

Clayton stayed on course, pushing through the discomfort and completing two months of physical therapy at Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services – Osawatomie. Soon, he could navigate stairs without a walker and, eventually, he was able to return to a modified gym routine.

“A restored sense of balance has been the most rewarding benefit,” Clayton said. “It gives me the confidence to return to a normal level of activity.”

Clayton has no medical restrictions, aside from limiting his activity to what he can tolerate. As the days get warmer, he is eager to begin working in his yard and playing with his four-year-old grandson, Maverick, who is learning soccer.