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Meniscus Tear Surgery Patient Doug Arfa’s Surgery Has a Silver Lining

Doug Arfa’s torn meniscus, which required arthroscopic knee surgery, had a silver lining. Just a few months before tearing his meniscus while playing tennis with his girlfriend Shelley, Doug found out that he had a daughter he never knew he had.

“Shandra found me on her own,” shared Doug. “I never even knew I had a daughter until she decided to find her birth father and located me. She came out to stay with me and help me days before my surgery and was there during surgery and for a few days afterward – what a blessing to have this time together to get to know one another better. I can only think there was a reason for my injury and surgery – and it was getting this time with Shandra,” Doug said.

Shandra came in days before my surgery. She was there during the surgery and stayed a few more days after.

Doug saw his primary care doctor within a week after injuring his knee, where he received some medication for the inflammation. About two weeks later, his doctor referred him to Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, board certified orthopedic surgeon.

“Dr. Gruber was pretty sure from the initial exam that I’d torn my meniscus,” said Doug. “He ordered an MRI to confirm the tear, which the test did confirm.”

Doug received a cortisone shot at his initial appointment with Dr. Gruber, which did help with the pain, relieving it by about 80%. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the tear, surgery was the only option for a strong recovery.

“It took a lot of work to get my insurance to approve the surgery,” said Doug. “Thanks to the ‘amazing Susan’ [Dr. Gruber’s medical assistant], she helped and even got Dr. Gruber on the phone to speak to my insurance. Once surgery was approved, it was scheduled at the HonorHealth Piper Outpatient Surgery Center in Scottsdale.

“Before the surgery, Dr. Gruber sat me down and said if I did all the things he told me to do, I’d be able to fly to see my daughter in six weeks after surgery,” stated Doug. “I believed him 100% and booked my ticket to visit my daughter and her family before my surgery.”

By six weeks’ post-op, Doug was on a plane to visit his daughter. “I had no issues after surgery and made great progress with my rehab and physical therapy with the Integrated Orthopedics’ team. I was able to fly to see Shandra and her family, including my grandchild, with no problems at all.”

Doug said that Dr. Gruber’s confidence, experience and incredible bedside manner really helped him feel good about the surgery and what he would need to do in physical therapy and to recover strong afterward.

Doug worked a lot with Gary Lenox, the team’s Athletic Trainer, for post-op rehab. He shared that Gary was so encouraging and helpful at every step of his recovery. “The entire PT team is passionate, caring and skilled. Barb at the front desk is always so welcoming and friendly,” Doug added.

Doug noted that he did not think he’d be as far along with his knee surgery recovery as he is almost three months post-op. “The communication between Dr. Gruber and the physical therapy team is a big part of that. If the PT folks have questions, they go right across the hall and get answers from Dr. Gruber. The coordination of care between Dr. Gruber and PT made a huge difference in my progress.”

Doug is now looking forward to having his daughter and her family in Arizona for the holidays. In addition to the quality care he received at Integrated Orthopedics, he emphasized the role of his family in helping in his recovery.

“I had so much love and care in my recovery from my daughter and girlfriend Shelley,” said Doug. “They all contributed in helping me get better.”

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