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I can fix your knee!

  • Author: Mark Woodruff
  • Date Submitted: Aug 8, 2023
  • Category: Orthopedics

“Then I went to Lake Charles Memorial, and a doctor looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "I can fix your knee." And he did. I am so thankful.”

As a military veteran, Mark Woodruff is a man made of tough stuff. He’s not a person who sits in one place for very long. Yet with his warm and welcoming smile, Mark isn’t the type who ever meets a stranger. His positive attitude is contagious to those around him.

From their home in Alexandria, Mark and his wife enjoyed an active lifestyle, raising children and serving in their local church. Mark continued his dedication to the community through coaching sports teams and teaching young men carpentry and electrical skills. However, all of that came to an unexpected end in 2018 when Mark’s knee collapsed.

After one failed surgery, Mark was resigned to living his life in debilitating pain. Since he was unable to perform the simplest of tasks without pain, his life, once active and busy, was suddenly isolating and monotonous.

“I hurt real bad,” says Mark. “I was in pain every day for five years. I was a mess! I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. It was isolating me from my family and friends because I couldn’t keep up with them and do the things they were doing.”

Mark’s knee pain continued to progress to the point where he couldn’t stand straight or walk without a bow in his leg. He continued to plead his case to doctors, but given the complicated reconstruction needed, he continued to be turned away. In a last-ditch effort to find a surgeon willing to fix his problems, Mark was referred to Alan Hinton, MD, at Lake Charles Memorial Health System.

“I had given up hope until I met Dr. Hinton,” says Mark. “He looked me in my eyes and said, ‘I hear your story, I see how much you hurt and I’m going to help you.’ And he did.”

After a complicated total knee replacement, Mark has returned to the life that he didn’t think he would have again. He is once again serving his congregation, teaching trade skills to younger men and spending his days fishing on his boat. “Today I’m standing tall. I have joy again. And I have God, Dr. Hinton and Lake Charles Memorial to thank for that,” says Mark. “I’m just so grateful.”