Diagnosis: Torn ACL and meniscus
Treatment: Surgery and rehab
After a knee injury put him on the sidelines, Joe Chatterton makes a full recovery with help from Dr. Vincent Santoro.
At age 40, Bothell resident Joe Chatterton kept his athletic skills sharp and enjoyed the team camaraderie of regular matches with the Greater Seattle Soccer League.
Until he collided with another player and heard his knee pop.
The injury - a torn ACL and meniscus diagnosed through an MRI at EvergreenHealth - put Joe in collaboration with a very different teammate: Dr. Vincent Santoro, an orthopedic surgeon at EvergreenHealth Orthopedic & Sports Care.
“This type of injury and its limitations on physical activity are so frustrating, and in my case I just wanted to make smart decisions so I could get back on my feet and onto the field,” Joe said.
REVIEWING HIS CARE OPTIONS
From the start, Dr. Santoro explained numerous treatment options for ACL tears.
“It’s not a guarantee that a patient will need surgery, but if someone wants to return to an active lifestyle, like Joe, often surgery is the best choice,” Dr. Santoro said.
After discussing his goals and reviewing his care options, Joe - with an assist from Dr. Santoro - decided that surgery would be the best route to recovery.
“Dr. Santoro was truthful in letting me know the extent of my injury and explaining the different treatments, without trying to sway me in any one direction,” Joe said. “Ultimately, it was my decision to move forward with surgery; Dr. Santoro was a great team player in setting me up with the resources I needed to get there.”
In June 2016, Chatterton underwent surgery to repair his ACL and meniscus, and began rehabilitative physical therapy soon afterwards.
Dr. Santoro said recovery wouldn’t be easy, and would take about a year before Chatterton could return to his high level of physical activity.
BATTLING THROUGH A SETBACK
Although Joe Chatterton encountered a minor setback when his meniscus became inflamed a few months post- surgery, Dr. Santoro reassured him that he simply needed rest, not an additional operation.
“It’s very common for patients to face setbacks after this type of procedure,” said Dr. Santoro. “The key is to modify activities accordingly and keep a positive attitude. Nothing hinders physical recovery like a negative outlook.”
Almost a year to the day since his injury, Joe was back playing in multiple soccer leagues, with one more member on his health care team.
“I’m a strong believer in sitting down with my patients and giving them all the information to help them make an informed decision that best suits their health care needs,” Dr. Santoro said.