Rock Jarzynka says his double knee replacement has him feeling “better now than I did when I was in college.”
Not long ago, baseball umpire Rock Jarzynka thought of calling his final out from behind the plate – and not by choice. His knee problems almost spelled an end to his life of calling strikes, which had been doing since the 1980s.
“It was really putting a damper on something that I really loved,” Rock says. “It got to the point where I almost had to hang it up, but after the surgery I took a year off and then was back to umpiring. I’ve had no problems whatsoever.”
Rock, 74, is a retired pharmacist who has lived in Reno since 2000. He was always an active person, but says he had suffered from knee problems for much of his time in the Biggest Little City. He says it was a mix of a sports-heavy active lifestyle and a family history of arthritis that led to his need for a double knee replacement. He even had arthroscopic surgery on both knees years before they were replaced.
“The arthroscopic surgery was a temporary relief, but eventually the pain would come back and it got progressively worse,” Rock adds.
“When I first went in to see Dr. Boyden, he told me that it was amazing that I even walked into his office,” Rock shares. “He said, ‘You are absolutely bone-on-bone in your knees.’ There was no question that I needed replacements.”
The 9th Inning: Surgery Prep
Rock says even with facing double knee replacements, he was at ease — partially because of his participation in the Total Joint Replacement Program at Renown, which prepares patients thoroughly for the surgery and provides them vital information for post-surgery healing.
“The program was recommended to me earlier, but it sounded like a lot of work and my pain wasn’t as bad,” Rock explains. “But, once it was decided to have the surgery, I went back and did the program. I followed all of the exercises, and talking to the people at the program and Dr. Boyden, I was completely at ease. I knew I would be treated by the best.”
Rock also healed faster than expected after his first knee surgery while in the program. He says he was amazed that only minor swelling and pain took place.
“I used crutches to leave the hospital, but when I got home I put them down and they were never used,” he says. “It was just an exceptional result. It went so well that I called up the doctor’s office to tell them they could move up the second surgery so it would be four weeks from the last one.”
Back Behind the Plate
While there was more swelling and pain with Rock’s second knee operation, it was short lived he says because of the added aid of physical therapy. Now, he says he feels “absolutely fantastic. I feel better now than I did when I was in college.” In addition to returning to the plate as a high school umpire, he also lost 40 pounds and participates in water aerobics, skiing and golf.
His experience with the Total Joint Program speaks volumes to how it treats patients. In fact, the program was recently given the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission, a national health care improvement governing body, for its work with patients, programs and pain management in conjunction with joint replacements. Rock was not only happy with the Total Joint Program, but also says his experience at Renown South Meadows was remarkable.
“From the moment I checked in to the minute I walked out, I was treated like a king,” Rock says. “I felt like I was the only person in that facility. Everyone really bent over backwards to accommodate me.”
He says overall he couldn’t have been any happier with the results of his surgery. “Everybody involved, from Renown to the doctors’ offices to the physical therapists I went to, they were all outstanding. I would recommend it to anyone who needs it—highly recommend it, let me put it that way.”