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ACL Surgery

Nothing makes Ed feel more alive than putting on his referee jersey and hitting the court in his hometown of Blacklick, Ohio. For more than 25 years, Ed has been officiating high school and college sporting events, and enjoying every minute of it.

But nagging knee pain was putting Ed's officiating career in jeopardy. It also made simple tasks such as walking difficult. When the pain became unbearable, Ed was worried that he was going to have to hang up his jersey for good and leave the officiating world that had become like a second family to him.

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"I felt like an old man. I didn't want that kind of life."

Ed's knee pain began two years ago when he slipped on wet leaves as he was taking out the trash one morning. The fall tore his right ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which stabilizes the knee joint. Plus, the ACL in Ed's left knee was also damaged from decades of running and refereeing. When the pain became too much, a physician friend of Ed's recommended he go see Dr. Christopher Kaeding, an orthopaedic surgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Ed had one simple goal in mind: he wanted to be able to run and officiate without pain. During the appointment, Dr. Kaeding did a thorough examination, talked about Ed's love of sports, and discussed the goal he hoped to accomplish. The surgeon assured Ed that his goal was attainable and they would do everything possible to help him reach it.


"My experience with Ohio State was beyond belief."

One week later, Dr. Kaeding performed ACL surgery on both of Ed's injured knees. When Ed woke up from surgery, the doctor told Ed that he was scheduled for an appointment with an extremely talented physical therapist, John Taylor.

John developed a personalized physical therapy plan for Ed that was designed to get him to his goal. Ed worked hard at physical therapy, going to outpatient rehab three days a week and exercising at home three days a week. Ed jokingly calls John his "guardian angel," because he was always there looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn't cheat on any of the exercises.


"I felt like I was born again. I felt like I had my life back."

At a follow-up appointment four months later, Ed told Dr. Kaeding that he felt great and asked if he could try running on his newly restored knees. The doctor gave his approval and Ed prepared for his return to the game.

Ed vividly remembers the night he officiated his first college basketball game after the surgery. At one point, he had to pivot quickly while running full speed. He recalls the adrenaline rush when he realized it didn't hurt. After the game, he excitedly called his wife Cyndi to tell her that he ran up and down the court without pain for the first time in years.

Not only is Ed back officiating, he has also returned to his active lifestyle, regularly biking, walking and working out with Cyndi. The couple also has plans to dust off their scuba gear and take a diving trip in Florida in the near future.

Learn about the care team

Meet Ed's Care Team

Behind every patient story we feature are the people who made it a success. Learn more below about Ed's talented care team.

Dr. Christopher Kaeding

Dr. Christopher Kaeding

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Dr. Christopher Kaeding, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Ohio State

Dr. Kaeding performed Ed's ACL surgery, thus eliminating the excruciating pain in his knees.

Ed says that Dr. Kaeding "makes you feel like you're the only patient he's got that day."

Dr. Kaeding is the Head Team Physician for the OSU Buckeyes' 36 varsity sports. He was the team physician for the USA basketball team at the World University Games in China in 2001 and has worked with winter sport athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.

Dr. Kaeding is a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Sports Medicine and the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Society.

John Taylor, PT

John Taylor, PT

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John Taylor, PT, Physical Therapist at Ohio State

John, or "JT" as Ed calls him, developed a personalized physical therapy plan for Ed that was designed to get him to his goal of being able to officiate high school sports without pain.

Ed jokingly refers to JT as his "guardian angel," because he was always there looking over Ed's shoulder to make sure he didn't cheat on any of the physical therapy exercises.

Amber Thompson

Amber Thompson

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Amber Thompson, Dr. Kaeding's Assistant at Ohio State

Ed can't say enough good things about Dr. Kaeding's assistant, Amber. "She just takes care of everything to the point where you don't worry as a patient," says Ed. "You just worry about getting through the surgery and recovering as soon as possible."

Rose Backs

Rose Backs

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Rose Backs, Physician Assistant at Ohio State

Rose Backs was an integral part of Ed's care team, providing assistance to Dr. Kaeding to help ensure Ed was able to meet his goals.

Rose helped Ed keep the positive energy he needed to recover to the fullest.


At OSU Sports Medicine, we understand active people. We know that if you can, you'll do anything to prevent injury. We know that if you become injured, you will want to recover as quickly and safely as possible.

Our experienced team of sports medicine fellowship-trained family medicine and orthopaedic physicians, physical medicine physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports psychologists and sports nutritionists treat recreational, high school, collegiate, Olympic and professional athletes, members of the performing arts community and the weekend warrior.

From routine sports physicals to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries, our team specializes in the evaluation and management of injuries and illnesses that affect competitive athletes and physically active individuals.

Whether you are a competitive or recreational athlete, recovering from an injury or surgery or simply looking to become more active, you'll be treated like a pro by the team at OSU Sports Medicine.

Learn More

To learn more about the opportunities available to you at OSU Sports Medicine, please call 614-293-3600 or visit www.sportsmedicine.osu.edu.

Ohio State Expertise

The faculty and staff of OSU Sports Medicine are fully committed to enhancing people's lives through personalized healthcare. Our mission is to improve people's lives through physical activity and through innovation in research, education and patient care.

OSU Sports Medicine is a multi-disciplinary program that features physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, performance specialists, researchers, and educators from across the entire Ohio State University. Our program integrates a cutting-edge, dynamic medical center with one of the finest universities in the nation.

Clinical care is provided for everyone from the varsity athlete at OSU to the weekend warrior, as well as all those interested in exercise to enhance their health and wellness.

Our robust research portfolio is a distinguishing feature of our program. We are involved in a wide variety of basic science studies and clinical trials that are supported by both federal grants and industry contracts. Our overarching goal is to advance the field of sports medicine through basic, translational and clinical studies. This includes the successful translation of our research from "bench to sideline" so that all patients benefit.

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