Knee surgery an entertaining experience for Notre Dame father

The Decision

For Mark Broderick, 51, the pain in his knees from arthritis has interrupted his quality of life and the activities he loved for years. He finally decided it was time to have knee replacement to end his agony. Mr. Broderick, director of student activities at Loyola College in Maryland, was young and healthy, so he and his doctor, Robert Peroutka, with Johns Hopkins Orthopaedics at Good Samaritan Hospital, decided that bi-laternal knee replacement surgery (both knees done at the same time) would be the best option that would allow for a shorter recovery (vs. having one knee done at a time, doubling the rehabilitation).

Making Surgery Fun

There was one major condition, however. The knee replacement surgery must be done after Dec. 7, the date of the 55th annual Fathers’ Follies dinner/dance at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson. Mr. Broderick has been the show’s writer and director for the last two years (and participant for the last five) of the school’s fun-loving spoof with 104 fathers dressed in NDP’s uniforms and wigs.

Surgery for Mr. Broderick was set for Dec.10, and he was greeted in Good Samaritan’s ambulatory surgery suite by two “beautiful blondes” – Drs. Peroutka and Michael Sendak, chief of anesthesiology, who were two of the 104 fathers at the Dec. 7 event. (Dr. Peroutka’s daughter is a senior and Dr. Sendak’s is a freshman.) They were dressed in their costumes – the NDP uniforms and added blonde wigs!

“Of course my wife and I were anxious about me having double knee replacement surgery, but talk about putting someone in a great mood before surgery!” said Mr. Broderick. “Having Drs. Peroutka and Sendak wheel me up to the operating room in their costumes was so cool,” he said. “Everyone was laughing and it really put me at ease.”

Today, Mr. Broderick is going through rehab at Good Samaritan.

Joint Experience

Dr. Peroutka says he knew of Mr. Broderick’s interest in returning to the dance floor and his golf game, so he implanted prostheses that have rotating platforms to allow his patient’s knees to rotate in a way that more closely matches the normal rotation of the knee, and reduces wear of the implant over time. After a brief stay in the hospital’s Comprehensive Inpatient Rehab unit, he’ll head home to recover until February when he returns to Loyola, prepare for his golf game, and for next year’s fun-loving Fathers’ Follies.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.