Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Oops, Not Again!
A Cheboygan Resident's Story

Bud DarnellBud Darnell, of Mullet Lake, took an unusual route to orthopaedic health. The 73-year-old General Motors retiree enjoyed a “phenomenal” recovery from one-hour knee replacement surgery performed by Orthopaedic Surgeon Brian Wittenberg, MD, at McLaren Northern Michigan. However, six weeks following, Darnell fell in his pole barn and tore his quadriceps tendon, an injury requiring a two-hour procedure.

Six weeks following his quadriceps tendon repair, with permission from Dr. Wittenberg, Bud Darnell went to Interlochen for a summer concert. Staying in the old Interlochen hotel, he slipped on the linoleum floor, again tearing his quadriceps tendon as well as sustaining a small cut on his head.

For this third surgery, Dr. Wittenberg utilized sutures through the bone and bone anchors in addition to the patient’s own hamstring tendons to augment the repair. “This was quite an extensive surgery to repair the damage to the quadriceps tendon,” says Dr. Wittenberg. “It was like sewing together spaghetti,” Mr. Darnell recalls Dr. Wittenberg explaining.

Darnell thinks of himself as a “pretty active guy,” but by his own admission, he might have underestimated his recovery time. “I healed so well after the knee procedure, that I thought I could do more than I should,” he says. Darnell could have gone downstate for his treatments, but chose to stay close to home because he trusted Bay Street Orthopaedics. “Dr. Wittenberg has been just great, and the hospital nurses were all very attentive and always smiling.” He jokes, however, that “once the hospital staff knew my first name, I knew that I’d been there too many times.”

Bud continued physical therapy in Cheboygan after his last procedure to regain strength, and he schedules follow-up appointments in Cheboygan, too. He stays very active in the community, working on the economic development committee, and with his wife, mentoring high school students through a Rotary Club initiative. “I love Cheboygan,” he says, “and I love that Bay Street Orthopaedics has an office here.”