There’s nothing like achy joints to interfere with a life of adventure.
Brunswick resident Paul Varnedoe was just in his 40’s when his knees
developed degenerative osteoarthritis.
“I was in full-time evangelistic ministry and had previously been
in sales. Both occupations required walking many a mile, which likely
contributed to my knee pain. Although some degree of degenerative knees
is just hereditary,” Varnedoe says. Before the knee pain became
too severe, he and his family led mission trips throughout the world,
from Brazil and Mexico to Russia and Sri Lanka after the Tsunami.
He enjoyed many adventures while traveling the world, but osteoarthritis
eventually caught up. He could no longer live a fast-paced life, and his
travel plans were put on hold. After moving back home to Brunswick to
support his aging parents, Varnedoe sought help from
Denny A. Carter, M.D., board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. Carter
also serves as chief of staff at Southeast Georgia Health System, and
he sees patients at
Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Brunswick and St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Varnedoe picked the right man for the job. Carter was instrumental in bringing
new technology to the Health System, including the
Mako® Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System for total knee replacement. Even though Varnedoe knew surgery was inevitable,
he never felt pressured. “Dr. Carter didn’t rush me. He always
said I would know when the time was right.”
By December 2020, the time was right. Carter performed a total knee replacement
on Varnedoe’s left knee, using the
Mako® robotic surgery system. He was one of the first surgeons in the country to perform a Makoplasty,
a procedure which uses a robotic arm (controlled by the surgeon) to assist
in the surgery. Throughout the process, Carter receives real-time feedback
on a computer monitor. This allows him to perform a more precise joint
replacement while preserving healthy bone and tissue. Patients benefit
from the smaller incisions, less blood loss, reduced pain and a faster
recovery. Most importantly, their knee replacement is a better, more natural
Varnedoe can vouch for that. His experience was positive, thanks to “The
ease of everything working smoothly and going just the way Carter explained.”
His surgery was such a success that in May 2021, Carter performed a total
knee replacement on Varnedoe’s right knee.
By December 2021, Varnedoe could do “several squats with no assistance”
and he shows no signs of slowing down. He stays busy taking care of two
houses and yards – his own and his father’s property.
Varnedoe has traveled the world, but Brunswick will always be home. “I
have used and abused these legs throughout the world but wouldn’t
trade any of my travels, and thanks to Dr. Carter and my new knees, I
don’t have to. I plan to embark on many new adventures to come.”
Few travel adventures can rival the reward of getting “Pop’s
Daycare” back in business. “The biggest part of my life these
days is taking care of our one-year-old twin grandsons. I am Pop’s
Daycare, and I love it. Being able to get down on the floor and play with
them without having bad knees is a blessing, thanks to Dr. Carter,”
With two successful knee surgeries behind him, Varnedoe says, “I
couldn’t be more pleased with my care – from the time I entered
the facility until the time I saw Dr. Carter – everyone made my
time there a pleasurable experience.” When friends or family need
medical care, he doesn’t hesitate to recommend Southeast Georgia
Health System. “The care there is superb. Why go out of town when
we have a wonderful health care system in Brunswick?”
To schedule a consultation with
Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery, call 912-466-7340.