A Tale of Two Surgeries: Judith’s Smooth Recovery

In medicine, individual patient stories often shine a light on the realities of surgical experiences. Today, we’ll dive into the story of Judith, who underwent two surgeries performed by William H. Baldwin, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Orlando Orthopaedic Center, specializing in sports medicine, knee, and shoulder surgery.

What are the Types of Knee Surgery?

Knee surgery is not a one-size-fits-all solution; various types are tailored to address specific issues. The most common styles include:


This minimally invasive procedure involves small incisions and a tiny camera (arthroscope) to diagnose and treat knee problems like torn cartilage and damaged ligaments.

Partial Knee Replacement

William W. Baldwin, M.D. Sports Medicine, Knee & Shoulder Surgery
William W. Baldwin, M.D.
Sports Medicine, Knee & Shoulder Surgery
In this surgery, only the damaged part of the knee joint is replaced, preserving healthy tissue. It’s suitable for patients with localized knee damage.

Total Knee Replacement

Replacing the entire knee with an artificial joint is the most common knee replacement and is usually recommended for severe arthritis or extensive joint damage.

Fracture or Soft Tissue Repair 

When it comes to knee fractures, various surgical approaches exist to address these specific injuries. Apart from the aforementioned procedures, there are additional surgical methods for treating these injuries: 

Internal Fixation: This technique involves the use of surgical hardware like screws, plates, or rods to stabilize and realign broken bones within the knee. It’s commonly employed for more complex fractures, aiming to restore the knee’s structural integrity and promote proper healing.

Soft Tissue Repair: Injuries to the soft tissues around the knee require tailored surgical interventions such as ligament reconstruction. This surgery focuses on repairing or replacing torn or damaged knee ligaments, often utilizing grafts to restore stability and function to the knee joint. Ligament reconstruction addresses issues like ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and other ligamentous injuries, facilitating a more comprehensive recovery process.

Why Consider Knee Surgery?

William H. Baldwin, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Orlando Orthopaedic CenterKnee surgery becomes a consideration when conservative treatments like physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes do not provide sufficient relief. Common reasons to consider knee surgery include:

  • Pain Relief: Surgery can alleviate chronic knee pain, enabling patients to regain their quality of life.
  • Improved Mobility: Knee surgery can restore lost mobility and functionality, allowing individuals to engage in activities they couldn’t before.
  • Treatment of Injuries: Surgery is often the best approach for repairing severe knee injuries, such as ligament tears, fractures, or cartilage damage.
  • Long-Term Benefits: Knee surgery can offer long-term benefits, especially for conditions like osteoarthritis, by slowing down joint degeneration.

In Judith’s case, her knee injury at work led to a significant loss of mobility. By happenstance, Dr. Baldwin saw that the work comp process had her waiting for a surgeon and immediately called to ask if he could take her case for a swift surgery and recovery. 

What Happens During Knee Surgery?

Knee surgery involves several key steps:

Anesthesia: Before the surgery, anesthesia ensures the patient is pain-free and comfortable. The choice of anesthesia can vary from local to general anesthesia, depending on the surgery.

Incision: The surgeon makes one or more incisions to access the knee joint. Arthroscopic procedures use smaller incisions compared to total knee replacements.

illustration of hurt kneeSurgical Correction: Depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon may repair, remove, or replace damaged knee structures, such as cartilage, ligaments, or bone.

Closure: After the necessary corrections are made, the incisions are sutured or closed with staples.

Recovery: Patients are closely monitored during the initial recovery period. Physical therapy and rehabilitation may be necessary to help regain strength and mobility.

How Can Work Comp Affect Your Choice of Surgeon?

Workers’ compensation can impact your choice of surgeon in several ways:

Network Restrictions: Some workers’ compensation programs have networks of approved healthcare providers. If such a program covers you, your options may be limited to the surgeons within that network.

Authorization Requirements: Approval from the workers’ compensation system may be necessary to see a specific surgeon. Your choice may be subject to their authorization.

Second Opinions: In some instances, you may seek a second opinion from a surgeon of your choice, but this can be subject to approval and guidelines set by the workers’ compensation system.

Judith says of her experience, “Dr. Baldwin happened to see my name, and so he called the work comp nurse and said, ‘Hey, I have time. This other guy doesn’t have time. I want to take over.’ The office was fantastic. They found a place to do an MRI so that I could have the surgery the next day.”

Judith’s First Surgery: Impressive Results

Judith’s first encounter with Dr. Baldwin was due to a wrist injury. She describes his work as “impressive.” She was happy when he was able to take on her second surgery after requesting to take on her case when the first surgeon was not able to in time.

Choosing a Knee Surgeon: A Work Comp Twist

A work-related knee injury necessitated Judith’s second surgery. She didn’t have the chance to choose her surgeon, as her workplace’s compensation program assigned one for her. The original surgeon had no available surgery slots, but Dr. Baldwin’s intervention changed the course. Patients can request a different surgeon even when under worker’s compensation.

Judith’s Smooth Recovery

Judith’s story underscores the importance of the whole team in ensuring a seamless surgical experience. Dr. Baldwin swiftly organized an MRI and scheduled the surgery the next day. This made it faster and easier for Judith to recover from her injury. 

With two surgeries at Orlando Orthopaedic Center, Judith’s journey with Dr. Baldwin provides valuable insights into choosing the right orthopaedic surgeon for your injuries so that you have the best surgical experience and smooth recovery.