Get Back in the Groove
As a former major league baseball pitcher, member of the International Bowling Museum’s Hall of Fame and avid golfer, Tom Candiotti may be many things…but someone suffering from knee pain is no longer one of them.
It’s easy to see why Tom, nicknamed “The Candy Man” from his days of throwing his famous knuckleballs in the major leagues, eventually began experiencing pain in his right knee after all of those years of wear and tear. After retiring from the Cleveland Indians in 1999 after 17 years in the major leagues, Tom had surgery for a few issues he was having with his knee. He knew, however, it was just a “quick fix” and that he’d eventually need a knee replacement.
“I tried to prolong the inevitable for as long as I possibly could,” said Tom. “Over the last ten years I tried everything, from arthroscopic procedures and injections to medications, to put off surgery. I kept thinking - I’m a tough guy! I can handle this! But eventually it got to the point where I knew I needed a knee replacement. The pain was becoming unbearable just doing normal, everyday activities.”
Tom’s pain was also interfering with his newly found passion – bowling. After his retirement from baseball, Tom happened to flip to ESPN one day and caught a professional bowling tournament that was on. “I was watching it and thinking, hey, I think I could do that! So I went to the local bowling alley and joined a league,” he laughed. “I was actually pretty good, and the next thing I knew I had qualified to compete in a PBA tournament, which I didn’t do so bad in!”
Tom ended up being the second inductee into the Celebrities Bowling Hall of Fame in 2007.
To be able to continue bowling to the level he wanted to, Tom knew it was time to do something about his knee pain. He began asking around for recommendations on who to go to, and one name was consistently mentioned – Dr. Ted Firestone, orthopedic surgeon at Scottsdale Healthcare. He made an appointment and in October of 2012 had a total knee replacement on his right knee.
“The surgery went great, and my experience with Dr. Firestone and Scottsdale Healthcare was awesome!” says Tom. “I am so happy with the results; I really wish I would have done this 10 years ago instead of putting it off for so long.”
He was back on the golf course playing a round of golf – with Dr. Firestone – two and a half months after his surgery. “You never realize how much pain you’re really in until it’s gone,” Tom added. “Now that I’ve had the surgery I can enjoy the things I love - bowling, golf and spending time with my kids – without any pain. It’s fantastic!”
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