Semi-Professional Basketball Player Marty Recovers
From Osteoporosis and Severe Knee Injuries


Semi-Professional Basketball Player Marty Recovers From Osteoporosis and Severe Knee Injuries

Marty O.’s basketball career provided him with experiences he will never forget. It allowed him to form friendships and compete with legendary players like NBA Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood and NBA referee Danny Crawford. Unfortunately, it also left him more prone to serious injury. By the time he was 65, Marty was suffering from severe arthritis and osteoporosis in both knees, bone fragmentation and a torn meniscus, MCL and ACL.

Basketball was Marty’s passion. He played through college at Northeastern University before continuing to perform at a semi-professional level for the next 12 years. Even when he stopped playing competitively, he never forgot the lessons it taught him or the love he had for the game. 

Marty had been experiencing pain in his legs for years, but his competitive athletic background had convinced him to play through any injury. That’s what he did, until one day his left leg gave out as he was getting out of his car. His fall caused him to admit that it was time to seek help.  

Dr. Tony Nahhas, M.D., a board-certified internal medicine physician with Endeavor Health Medical Group, referred Marty to Denis Williams, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Endeavor Health Medical Group, after pain management medications afforded him only temporary relief. Dr. Williams ordered an MRI and specialized x-rays to try and determine what was wrong. 

“Swedish Hospital offers a number of high-tech diagnostic resources,” said Marty.  “To discover the extent of my problem and the source of the pain, they gave me a type of x-ray in which I squatted. They found I had bone deterioration on both femurs. There was no cartilage, which was why just one wrong move resulted in so much pain.”

In addition to the bone deterioration and fragmentation caused by osteoporosis, Marty was also suffering from a torn meniscus, MCL and ACL. After trying many forms of therapy, it was determined that he would need a partial knee replacement on his right side and a full knee replacement on his left.

“I’m the last of all of my friends to need a major surgery, and I’m happy I had it at Swedish Hospital,” Marty said. “I never experienced any negativity during my hospital stay or the treatment that followed and that’s immensely important in a hospital setting. When I came in I was not well, and it was very heartwarming to be working with so many compassionate people. They really understand and feel other peoples’ pain is if it was their own.”

While Marty recovered from surgery, Dr. Williams recommended he lose weight to take some of the pressure off his knees. He took to it in stride, losing 27 pounds. “They always talk about general health and nutrition, as well as your condition,” said Marty. “In my opinion, their care for your overall wellbeing goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

Following his discharge, Marty still had a long road to recovery, but the Swedish Hospital team was there at every step. When he expressed he was unable to straighten his left leg, the team ordered a specialized home therapy machine and had it delivered to his house within 24 hours. 

Marty currently attends outpatient therapy multiple times a week and works out on his own for three hours a day on average. Regular visits with the orthopedic team ensure that he remains on the fast track to returning to the things he loves. 

“You get to know the team here over time,” Marty said. “They greet you when you arrive. They’re very positive when you come in. You learn that they’ll bend over backwards to do anything for you.” 

Tony Nahhas, M.D., is a board-certified internal medicine physician with Endeavor Health Medical Group. His clinical interests include the comprehensive blood conservation program. He has more than 21 years of experience.  

Denis Williams, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon whose interests include hip, shoulder and knee replacements (including direct anterior hip replacements); sports injuries of the shoulder, knee and elbow and extremity fractures.  He graduated with AOA honors from Georgetown University Medical School and completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Southern California.  He is fluent in English and German and proficient in medical Spanish.

Swedish Hospital’s orthopedic experts offer a full range of treatments for hip and knee replacements with seamless transition to our distinguished rehabilitative services, all on one campus.

To schedule an appointment, please call 773-907-7750.

By David Modica | Published March 9, 2017

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