Total Knee Replacement
When Robert (Rob) Garbarini, 60, wasn’t riding the trails of Baja California on his dirt bike, he was enjoying other hobbies such as playing guitar and photography. While taking pictures and making music aren’t typically too hard on the body, Rob did injure himself in 1982 when he was involved in a motorcycle accident during one of his trips to Baja. The accident resulted in torn ligaments in his knee. Surgery was required to repair Rob’s knee.
Though Rob was active after his surgery, over time, his knee began to cause him extreme pain and even became unstable to walk on. After years of dealing with the issue, Rob decided it was time to seek medical treatment.
A friend recommended he visit the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center. Rob scheduled a consultation, where he met with Timothy Gibson, M.D. After an exam and a review of Rob's X-rays, Dr. Gibson recommended total knee replacement.
“Every patient I see has a different set of circumstances that help determine the best treatment plan,” says Dr. Gibson. “Rob’s circumstances dated back to his previous accident. He had significant bone loss in his knee and difficulty walking.”
Though Rob’s surgery would be complex given the existing damage in his knee, he had a high probability of successful recovery and return to his active life with a new, innovative procedure and Dr. Gibson’s expertise. Using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery system, Dr. Gibson was able to precisely plan Rob’s surgery using computed tomography (CT) scans. This precise pre-op planning, paired with robotic control and smaller incisions, lowers potential for soft tissue trauma. With Mako, patients often have less pain, less swelling and more flexibility right after surgery.
“Every patient I see has a different set of circumstances that help determine the best treatment plan.”
– Dr. Timothy Gibson
“I was amazed,” says Rob. “I woke up after the surgery and my knee pain was gone. I was even able to stand up that evening.”
After his surgery, Rob went through physical therapy at Orange Coast Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center to strengthen his knee.
“I don’t even think about my knee now, and I owe it all to my care team at Orange Coast,” he says. “I have nothing but praise for everyone there and the care that I received.”
If you seek treatment in a MemorialCare hospital or outpatient center, rest assured in knowing we have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians.
Robert Garbarini returns to his hobbies with no limitations.
Meet the Surgeon
Timothy Gibson, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, has 25 years of orthopedic surgery experience and has performed about 250 total knee replacement surgeries with the Mako surgical system.
Education and years of experience:
Medical school: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
25 years of experience
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gibson, click here or call (714) 848-1911.
Joint Replacement Center
Our Center offers a range of services to help improve the quality of life for patients living with severe or debilitating joint disease, including knee, hip, and shoulder replacement. We provide coordinated care to guide patients through every step of joint replacement – from diagnosis, pre-op classes, surgery and physical therapy – so that they can return to the activities they love sooner. The Center supplies all the information patients need, including nurse navigators who guide patients through their care journey, as well as an app that provides resources and instructions for posthospital recuperation.
Orange Coast Orthopedic Surgeons
Joint Replacement With
Below, our expert orthopedic surgeons answer commonly asked questions on joint replacement.
Q: Why do joints wear down over time?
A: The most common reasons that joints begin to wear down are injuries or diseases, such as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and causes the cartilage between joints to wear down.
Q: What are some ways to keep joints healthy?
A: There are several steps you can take to ensure your joints stay healthy, including:
Incorporating calcium-rich foods like milk, soy milk, broccoli and yogurt into your diet
Maintaining a strong core, which can help with balance and prevent falls
Wearing elbow and wrist braces, and knee pads when performing activities with repetitive kneeling or bending of your elbows
Protecting weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and hips, by maintaining a healthy weight
Q: Why is physical activity important for healthy joints?
A: Exercise has many benefits, including better sleep, higher energy levels, weight maintenance, and cardiovascular and lung health. Physical activity increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain and can help with balance. Exercise preserves and can improve range of motion in joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles, offering more support to joints.
Q: What are some ways to safeguard joints while exercising?
A: Low-impact exercises are the best type of activities to reduce joint reactive forces and stress across the joint. Stationary cycling, use of the elliptical machine, swimming, and yoga are the most commonly recommended low-impact options. Proper pre-workout stretches and warm-up exercises are also important. Consistent balance training, stability and core exercises help reduce injury during exercise as well.
Q: When should someone seek medical treatment for joint pain?
A: If joint pain interferes with daily life activities, persists for more than three consecutive days, or prevents you from putting weight on the joint, it’s best to consult with a doctor. You should also consult with your doctor if the joint is hot, red and swollen. Of course, any concern that you have can and should be brought to your primary care physician’s attention.
Q: When is joint replacement the best option for a patient?
A: While every case is unique, the most common approach is to exhaust all treatment options before turning to surgery as the solution. These options include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and the use of medication and injections. However, if the patient is in constant pain, has an unstable or deformed joint, or had a previous injury, surgery may be the best route
Q: What are the typical ages of patients who need joint replacement?
A: Because osteoarthritis typically occurs later in life, most patients who undergo joint replacement surgery are in their mid-60s or older. However, we do see younger patients with joint damage for various reasons.
Q: Why are younger people requiring joint replacement?
A: There are a number of reasons that more and more younger patients are looking to undergo hip and knee replacements. Patients are now staying active later into life, and this can accelerate the wear on their cartilage. Fortunately, there are many minimally invasive surgical options to suit the needs of this younger, more active, patient population.
For more information, or to contact an orthopedic surgeon, click here.