When Larry Chermak retired in July 2019, he spent as much time as possible on his e-bike. In the year after his retirement, he rode 5,000 miles and lost 40 pounds. Unfortunately, his right knee bothered him more and more as time went on. It felt similar to the meniscus tear pain he had experienced about 10 years previously, which had been repaired. When he visited with a doctor, he learned he had arthritis and was not a good candidate for another repair.
Larry was in the process of moving from Spokane, Washington, to Twin Falls. He was trying to get through the move before he had to consider a joint replacement, so he worked with his doctor to manage the symptoms, which meant draining the fluid and receiving steroid injections. It didn’t help much.
In July 2020, he settled in Twin Falls. He started researching doctors and asking around. That is how he first learned about Dr. Jedediah (Jed) May, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Luke’s Clinic – Orthopedics, Spine, and Plastic Surgery: Twin Falls. From everything he heard, Dr. May was the person to see.
When they first spoke, Dr. May wanted to explore if he might be able to perform another meniscus repair, but after an MRI, Larry learned that a joint replacement was likely his best option. Larry remembers Dr. May telling him, “Good news, bad news. The bad news is you’re not a candidate for a meniscus repair. There’s not much there to repair. It’s bone on bone. The good news is that it’s only on one side of the knee, so you would be a good candidate for unicompartmental replacement.”
Larry wanted to make the best decision for his life, particularly so he could continue to stay active and bike. “I’m the kind of person who asks a lot of questions and I took up a lot of his time,” Larry says, “but [Dr. May] was very patient and answered all of my questions.”
Larry decided to have the surgery. In January 2021, he underwent the procedure as an outpatient.
“Everything went perfectly and I was able to go home that same night,” Larry says. “I was on the exercise bike two days after surgery.”
He started physical therapy and was able to cycle outside less than a month later. The pain he had lived with for nearly two years was finally gone.
His experience with Dr. May and the clinic was very positive, from the doctors to the nurses to the support staff—especially Karen Gates, a medical assistant at the clinic who manages all of Dr. May’s scheduling.
“I would recommend Dr. May just because you would get to deal with Karen,” Larry says.
Though he still faces some challenges in recovery, including a new pain in his knee that he is currently trying to solve with Dr. May, he looks forward to putting in more miles on his bike as soon as possible.