Doctors and patients celebrate in a joint effort

September 26, 2006|by ALICIA NOTARIANNI

Three years ago, Dan Spaid struggled to walk.

He made an appointment with Dr. Roberta Rothen, an orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Joint Surgery and Sports Medicine, and learned that he needed a total knee replacement.

"It was bone on bone. I did things, but it hurt bad," Spaid said.

Dr. Ralph Salvagno, also with the Center, performed joint replacement surgery on Spaid, 65, of Smithsburg. Spaid said the results were great.

"Now I walk five miles a day," he said.

Spaid was among about 100 walkers and runners who took part in the Center's 10th anniversary celebration Saturday, Sept. 23, at Robinwood Medical Center.


Participants began gathering at 8:30 a.m. to warm up for a roughly one-mile lap around the medical center campus. Salvagno and Rothen each pledged donations of $10 to the Arthritis Foundation's Western Maryland Branch for each participant. Ultimately, the two contributed $2,000 to the organization.

Salvagno said he established the Center for Joint Surgery practice with Dr. Tom Altizer, who is now deceased. Salvagno said he and Altizer had experience in total joint replacement surgery in their previous practices. They began the Center for Joint Surgery to focus more fully on improving the quality of patients' lives through such procedures. Salvagno said the practice evolved to include sports medicine as well as treatment for patients with traditional orthopedic needs.

"Movement is important to life. People just want to get outdoors, want to keep able to do the things they like to do. They come in and say, 'I have a bad hip, but I want to keep walking, running, hiking, whatever.' We try to help them do that," Salvagno said.

Given the history and focus of the practice, Salvagno said a donation to the Arthritis Foundation seemed like a good way to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Robin Galicic, executive director of the Arthritis Foundation's Western Maryland Branch, said she was appreciative of the donation and excited about the center's anniversary celebration.

"It is very generous of the doctors to donate to the foundation. And we are happy to be here to talk to people about arthritis and the services we offer," Galicic said.

Participants in the anniversary walk/run ranged in age from teens to 80s, with several parents pushing babies and toddlers in strollers. Most walkers and runners were patients or employees of the Center for Joint Surgery, or had been invited by them.

Mavis Stapleford, 72, of Waynesboro, Pa., said she and her husband have both received services at the Center for Joint Surgery. She said there was a time when she had so much pain she couldn't hold a cup of coffee. Two shoulder replacements and three back surgeries later, she walks daily and completed the course Saturday.

"Keeping active is very important to me," Stapleford said. "If I didn't, I don't think I would be able to get out of bed."

Activity is important to Dan Spaid, too. After completing a quick one mile with ease, he declared, "I gotta go around again!" and took off out of sight.

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