Darius Rucker performs in Vail | VailDaily.com

Darius Rucker performs in Vail

Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

Special to the DailyDarius Rucker, the former lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish, will perform a show at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail tonight.

VAIL, Colorado – Darius Rucker, an award-winning country music singer, will play a fundraising concert for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute Thursday in Vail.Rucker is a former patient at Vail’s Steadman Clinic.Earlier in his career, Rucker skyrocketed to fame as the lead singer for the rock band, Hootie & the Blowfish. Darius was given the 2010 Country Music Association New Country Artist of the Year Award (former called the Horizon Award), and his albums and singles have reached the top of all three national music charts. In 2008, his “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” became a number one single.But his knee problems were slowing Darius down both on the stage and off.”My knee bothered me, but you try not to let something like that stop you,” he said. “At one point, I had a staph infection that kept me in the hospital for two weeks. A torn meniscus, several operations, three surgeries to clean out the infection, and all the scar tissue put me in a lot of pain.”

“A friend of mine, Al Perkins (a Steadman-Philippon Research Institute board member), told me I needed to see Dr. Richard Steadman,” Rucker said. “I knew who he was. Anybody who follows sports knows who he is, but I didn’t know him personally. Al arranged an appointment, and I went to Vail.”I guess I could have gone somewhere else, but when you have a chance to see Dr. Steadman, you’d be a fool not to do it,” Rucker said. “Once I met him, I felt like everything was going to be OK. When he walked into the room, the thing that struck me instantly was how laid back and real he was. After we had talked for two minutes, I felt like he had been my doctor for 12 years. It was like he didn’t have another patient to see that day. I thought that was pretty cool.”Dr. Steadman and his colleagues “fixed” Darius’s left knee, cleaning out loose objects, smoothing frayed tissue, and repairing areas damaged by scar tissue – using techniques either pioneered or refined by research conducted at the institute and put into practice every day by the team of physicians at the Steadman Clinic.

Darius, his music, and his knees are stronger than ever. His schedule is packed with dates at some of the most famous music venues in the world. Thursday, he will perform for the institute’s annual summer fundraiser in Vail.”I told Al I wanted to play a show for the Institute,” Darius said. “I’m busy, but not too busy to do something that might help the clinic and the research institute.” He is also back on the golf course. His knee feels fine, he plays five days a week, and he has a seven handicap, although he grew up in South Carolina wanting to be – believe it or not – a professional hockey player.”As a former patient,” adds Darius, “I try to keep up with sports medicine, and what they are doing at Steadman-Philippon is always on the cutting-edge of orthopaedic technology and surgery. I respect everyone associated with the Steadman Clinic and the SteadmanPhilippon Research Institute, and I support what they do.”