Paul Varnedoe

Ready for New Adventures

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 “fit.”

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,” Varnedoe says.

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.