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patient success story


Tony Gallo bounces back after ACL Reconstructive Surgery

By Molly Williams

Anyone that has ever been an athlete knows what it's like to be injured. Sometimes it seems the two even go hand in hand. Tony Gallo knows this reality all too well. A fifteen-year-old from Southern Illinois, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, almost a year ago while playing high school basketball. Unable to walk and suffering from intense pain, Tony and his parents knew something had to be done.

Disappointed with the specialists in his area, Tony's aunt and uncle told him about a free local seminar given by St. Louis orthopedic surgeon Joseph J. Williams, M.D and his staff. There, they met the seminar coordinator, Kim Farthing. An athlete herself, Farthing sympathized with Tony's situation. She followed up with the Gallo's a few days later and they all arranged for Tony to visit Dr. Williams in St. Louis.

Dr. Williams and his staff consulted with the Gallo's and together they decided that Tony needed to have his ACL reconstructed.

In the past, the idea of a torn ACL meant a fate worse than death for most athletes. As Dr. Williams explains, "it often tears when athletes have a non-contact injury, such as a sudden stop, sudden change in direction, or sudden turn". This ligament provides stability to the knee, preventing the bones from sliding back and forth. Once an ACL is torn, it cannot repair itself on its own and surgery is inevitable.

Fortunately, Dr. Joseph Williams has been leading the way among area orthopedic experts in developing the latest technologies in joint replacement and ACL reconstruction. The method used by Dr. Williams makes the new, reconstructed ligament 200% as strong as the original anterior cruciate ligament.

Dr. Williams explains that he "reconstructs the anterior cruciate ligament utilizing special devices and hamstring tendons, which allows a much more rapid recovery rate, less pain, and no braces or crutches following surgery". He continues to say that, " where in the past, patients required six months to one year to recover, today there have been some patients who have been able to return to high school football as quickly as two months."

For Tony Gallo, who once feared he might never play basketball again, this was great news. The surgery was set for October 11th at Des Peres Hospital.

Not only did the Gallo's praise the work of Dr. Williams, but they were also extremely happy with the entire staff at Des Peres Hospital. It was the care, the concern, and the effort of Dr. Willams and the Des Peres staff that brought comfort to the family. Not only is this empathy common with Dr. Williams and his staff, but it is also the pride of Des Peres Hospital. Des Peres' staff works extremely hard to make everyone's hospital experience, whether patients, family, or friends, as pleasant as possible, standing firmly behind their motto, "We care".

So where is Tony now? In March of this year, only six months after his surgery, Gallo began running track for his high school. He ran the 100 and 200 meters and participated in the long jump. Tony states, "running didn't bother me". Although the school year has ended, and with it track season, the future looks bright for this fifteen-year-old. Nothing stands in his way with the surgery now behind him. Tony Gallo exudes confidence once again, assured that he "can do anything."