Phipps Plaza Santa Gets Successful Total Knee Arthroplasty

You might not recognize the name Johnny Hammond, but when he’s dressed up in a red suit and hat, you’re sure to recognize his face. For nearly eight years, children from across Georgia have traveled to Atlanta to share their Christmas wishes with Hammond as the Phipps Plaza Santa Claus. 

Last year, a debilitating spinal condition called spinal stenosis almost took Hammond out of the Christmas game. Lucky for him, and the children of Georgia, Resurgens Orthopaedics surgeon Dr. Paul Jeffords was able to perform a lumbar laminectomy to correct the problem.  

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Amidst the chaos of the 2012 holiday season, Hammond was also being treated at Resurgens for an injury to his right knee, sustained after a bad step off a stool at his home in Mansfield, Ga. Dr. Steven Wertheim performed an arthroscopic surgery around early September that was able to get Hammond through the 2012 “Santa Season,” but once February 2013 rolled around, the injury required a more aggressive treatment. That month, Dr. Jeffrey Peretz performed a total knee arthroplasty and Hammond was up and walking, with only minor pain, just hours after surgery. 

“Dr. Peretz and the other Resurgens doctors are truly wonderful”

Hammond says the choice to return to Resurgens for this treatment was an easy one. “Dr. Peretz and the other Resurgens doctors are truly wonderful,” said Hammond. “I would recommend Resurgens to anyone; even my closest friends and family.” 

Although Hammond isn’t serving as Old Saint Nick full-time anymore, he said the successful knee surgery has allowed him to continue making appearances and doing part-time Santa work during the peak holiday seasons. 

When asked what he loves most about his job, Hammond said, “It’s all about the kids. Making them happy is why I do what I do.”

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