Ed talks about his recovery after being treated at Ohio State.
Ed discusses his injury and the pain he was in before going to Ohio State.
Ed and his orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Kaeding talk about how OSU Sports Medicine's personalized approach to patient care helped Ed achieve his goal.
Ed and Cyndi share how Dr. Kaeding and his team helped him get back to the life he loves.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Kaeding describes how OSU Sports Medicine actually makes the patient an important member of the care team.

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.

His Knee Pain was Crippling

"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.

ACL Surgery Fixed the Problem

"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.

He's Not Sidelined Anymore

"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.


  • "I didn't have life... not the life I wanted."

Meet Ed's Care Team


Christopher Kaeding, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

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 has worked with winter sport athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, and 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.

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John Taylor, PT

Physical Therapist

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

Dr. Kaeding's Assistant

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

Physician Assistant

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.

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