March 30, 2000


Meeting of 30 March - Dr. James Luck

Another good meeting, and we may soon achieve more visitors than regular members. Actually, that won't happen, but good speakers apparently do draw guests, and that's all good. We started off with the usual Theme, and then to the Pledge, led by GENE PRINDLE. Next came the song, with BRUCE HARRIS and BILL MAXWELL as leaders. Tribute was paid BILL as the greatest accordionist in the room, followed by what begins to look like slapstick comedy - each leader having their separate ideas as to when to start -but just before that, someone from the audience asked, "What's the song"? These prelims out of the way, we did My Country Tiz of Thee, and while the melody wasn't bad, the tempo was a shade slow. (LEE DUNAYER, standing next to YOE, had to be awakened when it ended.) PP STEVE DAY, being a realist, allowed us to sit down for the Thought for the Day, which was centered on the theme, around the corner but miles away. It was a reminder that we can all use - if you had just one day to live, who would you call - and what are you waiting for?

MIKE O'CONNELL couldn't locate any Rotarian guests - but other guests included Dr. Luck's wife Mary, Renee Fraser, who works with Dr. Luck, and PP RON LYSTER'S Special Guest, Eloise Helwig, the President of the Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital Foundation. GEORGE DEA brought his wife, Janice, and PP HOMER NEWMAN again introduced Steve Stenstrom, his Special Guest. Suzanne Wilton was the guest of PDG BILL GOODWYN, and HENRY TSENG brought along his Special Guest, Steve Ballantyne of Sun Microsystems. That's a lot of guests, by golly.

There are two types of announcements - one, about members, and the other, about events. We will try to adhere henceforth to a new editorial policy, giving full play to all info, good or bad, about members - with event data being less fulsomely reported (that means events won't get much ink). And ere you think that YOE is subject to outside influences (read, bribes) I won't even report that PP JIM DOWNIE now routinely excuses himself from the room when these event announcements are brought up. I also will not report that PP JIM was fined $l00 for his absence - even though, in a gesture with Machiavellian overtones, he offered to pay double if Prez BOB would skip such announcements entirely next week. And the last thing on this subject not to be reported is that Prez BOB declined. Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, by the way, was with us from 1469 to 1527, which I mention to emphasize that PP JIM knows his history, and Prez Bob, you don't want to fool around with guys in this category.

Now, to Members: MIKE YOUSEM happily forked over 100 clams because of the recent birth of a grandson, Gil Jacob Yousem. MARK BLOCK was not present, but it was announced that he and Margie have a new 3rd son, Jared - born TODAY! JIM GREATHEAD told us of the recent surgery for GEORGE READ, who had an aneurysm in his aorta. He is getting better, and is still at Santa Monica Hospital. LENNY FRIEDMAN, our point man for Westwood Village info, reported that Madison Marquette has purchased the former Macy's, and plans to divide the 225,000 square foot building into 3 or 4 sections, with a possible Ralph's, plus a women's clothing store as prospective tenants. Madison already owns a number of properties in the Village, and this makes them the majority landowner.

And a fond farewell to Opal Desch, who will be moving to Bakersfield this weekend.

Alas, into each life some rain must fall (catchy phrase, wot?) and so to events:

(Limited to FOUR each week - we are TOUGH!) 11 April - Board meeting, ELLIOTT TURNER. 30 April to 5 May - Group Study Exchange from Bavaria - LEE DUNAYER. There will be a Welcome Party at Marian and LEO TSENG'S, 4 p.m. on the 30TH. 4 to 7 May, District Conference at the Doral Palm Springs Resort - RON KLEPETAR. And finally, on May 26th, Rotary Day at the Races. Association with this event cost

PP RON LYSTER 50 bucks, due, YOE assumes, to his piteous, even embarrassing, plea for funding to pay for his expected losses at this event.

SALLY BRANT once again brought us an excellent program, introducing James V. Luck, Jr., and a MD who has been Director of Orthopedic Hospital since 1989. His father preceded him in this capacity, while the junior Dr. Luck was first involved as a school volunteer in the Plaster Department. Dr. Luck has an active Orthopedic practice, is Past President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, until recently chaired the Residency Review Committee for all Orthopedic training programs in the U.S., and is now a Director of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He currently serves as Executive Vice Chair of the combined UCLA/Orthopedic Hospital Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

After showing some early sites of the Hospital, other slides illustrated many of the areas covered in his talk. A major concern of orthopedics is hemophilia. Previous treatment, designed to get rid of the inflamed area, took 14 days, and cost over $6l,000. Now, by injecting Chromic Phosphate, cost is only $2850, with comparable results. Since cost reduction is a major target of medical practice, such savings are most welcome.

Joint replacement, which has great benefit to patients, benefits from beta x-ray treatment of the plastic cups used. Previously, every step of walking once generated 450K of very tiny particles - so fine they can only be seen via electronic microscope - within the joint, and the body automatically tried to absorb this material. Now, the new cross-link polyethylene material has almost no wear, making it an almost-permanent replacement. This is yet another major benefit of muscular skeletal research.

Dr. Luck asked for questions - and there were zillions! Before I get to them, I am reminded of the talks of other doctors at WVRC, where the questions always seemed to concern "my brother-in-law" or some other fictitious character. Therefore, without attribution, here are some samples from today: How many patients can you treat in-house? Presently 20 to 30 at both UCLA and downtown, with 20,000 outpatients. This will rise to 105,000 outpatients when the expanded primary care education is fully implemented. Do shoulders and elbows receive plastic joints? Yes, with a 30-year history of success. What are the prospects for a cure for arthritis? There is much research on rheumatoid arthritis, and it is promising. The last area to be solved here is osteoarthritis, since everyone has some symptoms. How do knee replacements compare to hip replacements? Results with knees are much better.

Do you treat post-polio syndrome? We don't really understand it, and many doctors wonder if it really is just the effect of aging. Instead of new plastics, how about porcelain? One problem here is that it can break, plus it is quite expensive. Since the target for useful life of these substances is 30 to 40 years, and since over 500K replacement operations are performed annually, the new plastic seems best. Does the body reject artificial materials? Experience has shown what the body will accept - they have even found metal items in Egyptian mummies, so certain substances have been used for quite a while. Stainless steel is accepted, and works beautifully unless it begins to corrode. Last question - how widespread is the use of the new plastics? Only about 5% of replacements use it now, but it will spread rapidly as recognition of its properties grows. Thank you, Dr. Luck, for a most informative visit.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe