Golf and Fishing Enthusiast Returns to His Favorite Activities After Successful Mako Total Knee Replacement Surgery with Dr. Gruber

total knee replacement

Stephen pictured with his wife, Debbie.  

Patient Stephen Haegele moved from Montana to Arizona 30 years ago, exchanging the cold of Montana for the desert heat. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and golfing, which he does weekly. He has been married to his wife Debbie for 44 years. They have a son and daughter together.  

Unfortunately, Stephen isn’t new to experiencing knee pain. He’s struggled with knee pain for a long time – something he believes stems from his high school wrestling days. Over the last several years, he’s had three minor knee surgeries. However, most recently, he underwent a Mako total knee replacement surgery with Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, board certified orthopedic surgeon at Integrated Orthopedics following his knee ‘blow out’ during a game of golf.  

Stephen’s Golfing Injury Incident Prior to His Mako Total Knee Replacement Surgery 

In October of 2018, while playing his weekly game of golf, Stephen ‘blew out’ his knee.  

“I was able to finish playing the game, but was in tremendous pain,” he said. “From time-to-time, my knee would lock up on me, but not give out quite like this.”  

Two to three days after the incident, Stephen visited his primary care doctor who performed some initial tests, which included an MRI. His doctor referred him to Dr. Gruber for further evaluation 

Stephen did his homework and checked out Dr. Gruber’s online reputation, including looking at his reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google and physician rating sites like Zoc Doc. He also liked that Dr. Gruber’s office was close to him. After doing his homework and liking what he found, Stephen scheduled an appointment to see Dr. Gruber.  

Stephen’s Visit and Mako Total Knee Replacement Surgery and Recovery with Dr. Gruber, Orthopedic Surgeon 

Upon the recommendation of his PCP, Stephen met with Dr. Gruber. After a thorough exam, Dr. Gruber informed him that his knee had deteriorated due to arthritis and would require a Mako total knee replacement surgery.  

“My knee was worn out and wasn’t going to get any better unless something was done,” said Stephen. “It became very painful and difficult for me to walk around, let alone participate in the outdoor activities I enjoy.” 

Wanting to return to these activities and avoid doing any further damage to his knee, Stephen decided to undergo surgery. In October of last year, Stephen had his Mako total knee replacement surgery. Following surgery, he attended physical therapy at Integrated Orthopedics for just over two months before completing the program this past January. He is now pain-free and has since returned to golfing and fishing – something he is very thankful and excited about.  

Stephen’s Experience with Dr. Brian Gruber and the Staff at Integrated Orthopedics 

Stephen is very happy with his post-surgical outcome and is thankful for the care provided to him by Dr. Gruber and the team at Integrated Orthopedics 

“Dr. Gruber was very thorough in explaining everything to me before surgery and answered any questions I had,” said Stephen.  

In summarizing his experience with Dr. Gruber and the team at Integrated Orthopedics, Stephen shared a story:  

A few days after surgery, I fell while walking on crutches,” said Stephen. “After falling, I immediately called Dr. Gruber and his team. They were very compassionate and asked me questions and walked me through some steps to ensure that I was okay. You could tell they truly cared.”