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Back on the Softball Field—With Two Replaced Knees!

Back on the Softball Field—With Two Replaced Knees!

At age 83 and an avid softball player, Lynn Anglin doesn’t let two total knee replacements hold him back. The retired entrepreneurial electronics executive is leading an active life. “I can do everything I want,” said the longtime Fremont resident. “I don’t even know that I have knee replacements. Nothing feels funny but I’m 25% bionic now.”

Anglin is a satisfied patient of John Dearborn, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and medical co-director of Washington Hospital’s Institute for Joint Restoration and Research (IJRR). Dr. Dearborn, certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, replaced Anglin’s left knee in 2001 and his right in 2013.

Surgery More Common Now

“I was an anomaly in 2001,” explained Anglin. “But knee replacements are a lot more common now. Several players on the softball team have had them.” Anglin plays third base on the softball teams of the Senior Softball USA, the largest senior softball organization in the country, and has competed on world championship teams. “I’ve been playing softball a long time – since college. Once I turned 50, my knee started bothering me.”

“At times,” he continued, “when I played softball my knee would balloon up. There was a lot of fluid buildup in there.” Anglin researched orthopedic surgeons and found Dr. Dearborn, a pioneer in knee replacement, who said he was a good candidate. Anglin considered the surgery for about a year before scheduling it.

Recent Advancements

Knee replacement procedures have greatly improved since his first surgery 23 years ago, and in the past 11 years since his second knee replacement. The procedure is less invasive, making recovery time quicker. In addition, the replacement joints are improved, and the rehabilitation time is shortened.

“For me, one of biggest changes is the length of the scar. And also, the cutting of the muscles is much less on my second knee,” Anglin stated. “The scar on my left knee is about 8 inches long; the one on the right is about half that.”

Other changes Anglin noted were a shortened length of stay for the second operation, and a quicker rehabilitation. “The recovery time was like night and day. In the first surgery, I had general anesthesia and for the second one I had a local. I was able to watch the operation on the screen with no pain at all. By that evening, they had me up and walking.”

On the Field Nine Months Later

After both surgeries, Anglin didn’t require an inpatient rehabilitation facility, and worked with a physical therapist who came to his house. After a full recovery from the first surgery, nine months later he was back on the ball field. He was playing ball six months following the second surgery.

Both he and his wife of 56 years, Judy, like to remain active. In addition to playing softball, Anglin golfs and walks one to two miles a day.

His weekly softball schedule includes batting practice at a local city park on Mondays, games on Tuesdays, and tournaments on weekends. Since the softball association is regional, Anglin travels around the state for games. In 2008, he was inducted into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame.

“I hear about a lot of people who don’t do much physical activity and dwell on their health problems. I like to stay healthy and exercise. I do it because I enjoy it, but also because it’s beneficial to your body and longevity.”

Anglin offers this advice for anyone contemplating knee replacement, “If you can, do it.

You can have this operation and hopefully, be active and do the things that you want to do.”

Anglin shared additional experience, “The number one most important thing is the rehab. Take it seriously and do the exercises. I’ve talked to people who’ve had knee replacements and some say that they still have this or that issue. I ask, ‘What do you do for your rehab and what do you do to keep your knee strong?’ It’s often a case of them not doing the rehab the way they should.”

Anglin also recommends that anyone facing knee surgery, consult with Dr. Dearborn first. “Dr. Dearborn is a great doctor. The way he approaches the surgery, explains it all, and the care he gives is top notch. He’s very knowledgeable about the latest techniques. He’s very trustworthy. I would recommend him to anyone. “

This Fremont resident happily proclaims, “Life is short. Do what you can to benefit yourself. It puts you in a good frame of mind.”

For more information on Dr. Dearborn and the joint replacement program at Washington Hospital, visit For qualified patients, Dr. Dearborn also performs outpatient joint replacement procedures at the Peninsula Surgery Center in Redwood Shores.