Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Orthopedics

August 17th, 2016

After Severe Rotator Cuff Injuries, Stuart Baker Found Relief at Mayo Clinic

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

StuartBaker805For Stuart Baker, flying was life. After beginning his career as a flight attendant, Stuart eventually earned a pilot’s license and flew for a major airline. But by age 40, this native of Winchester, Virginia, had torn his right rotator cuff twice, grounding his ability to fly.

It took seven years, three surgeries and extensive rehabilitation for Stuart to recover use of his right arm. Then, he damaged his left rotator cuff. But this time, he found Mayo Clinic.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Cederic Ortiguera, Florida Campus, orthopedic surgery, Rotator Cuff


August 2nd, 2016

Tree Farmer’s Passion for the Outdoors Thrives Thanks to Palliative Care Team

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Roger and Sally Conklin welcome visits from Charlene Anderson, a palliative care nurse practitioner. Roger Conklin has a passion for being outdoors. A tree farmer for more than 50 years, Roger looks forward to the changing seasons and experiencing the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting.

Over the last two decades, however, health concerns have made his outdoor activities more challenging. During that time, Roger has undergone hip and knee replacement, been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and faced additional health issues related to his heart and lungs.

Medical care from his team at Mayo Clinic Health System, along with support from a large circle of family and friends, have seen him through each of these obstacles. And in October 2014, a new feature was added to the mix when Mayo Clinic Health System Palliative and Supportive Care Service became part of Roger’s care team, too.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: hip replacement, knee replacement, Mayo Clinic Health System, Palliative care, Prostate Cancer


July 21st, 2016

Volleyball Player Realizes Her Dream With Help From Her Mayo Clinic Team

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Volleyball player Brooke Johnson was inspired by her care team after her hip surgery.As senior captain of her high school volleyball team, Brooke Johnson was determined to lead her squad to the state tournament. Never mind that the team hadn’t made it there before. Or that her small school had never sent any athletic team to a state tournament. Or that Brooke had health issues that made playing a challenge. Not even that she required extensive hip surgery four months before the season started. None of that mattered to Brooke.

“I was convinced we could do it,” she says. “That’s what I was working toward, and I refused to give up.”

The obstacles in her path were significant. Her team at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, worked with Brooke, though, to see her through to her goal. And in November 2015, her Heritage Christian Academy volleyball team made its first appearance in the Minnesota state high school tournament, earning third place overall.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Bruce Levy, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, orthopedic surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome


May 29th, 2016

Limb Lengthening and Regeneration Clinic Offers Hope for Amarachi

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Amarachi talks about her experience with Blount's disease. Just six months ago, every step for Amarachi Austin-Okoh was filled with pain. The 11-year-old from Nigeria had enough trouble walking. Things like running, playing tag or playing basketball seemed like a dream. But now they're things she can look forward to, thanks to a life-changing trip to Mayo Clinic.

Amarachi has a condition called Blount's disease. Her mother, Modesther Austin-Okoh, says the family discovered the condition with Amarachi was just two years old.

Todd Milbrandt, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic Children's Center, describes Blount's disease as "a failure of the growth plate to grow on the inside of the knee, specifically, the top part of the tibia." In Amarachi's case, her disease progressed to the point where she had severely bowed legs.

"We wish we could have seen her walk and be like other children," her mother says. "We were always crying for her."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Blount's Disease, Dr S Andrew Sems, Dr Todd Milbrandt, Limb Lengthening, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, orthopedic surgery


May 21st, 2016

Discerning Physician Turns to Mayo Clinic for Cancer Care

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Dr. James Biles turned to Mayo Clinic after his cancer diagnosis. Jim Biles, M.D., understands cancer treatment. A urologist who specializes in cancer surgery, he has spent his career focused on helping people receive the cancer care they need. So at age 72, when Dr. Biles received his own diagnosis of an aggressive type of cancer, he knew how critical it would be to get treatment from someone with experience and expertise.

"When I found out I had a bone tumor, I started hunting around to see who could do the surgery. It turned out that there are very few people in the world I would trust with it," he says. "Not many do it, and even fewer have the experience that Dr. Sim does. He is the kingpin."

Dr. Sim is Franklin Sim, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic's Rochester, Minnesota, campus. After a consultation with Dr. Sim, Jim decided to go through with a complex surgery at Mayo to treat his cancer.

"Being a doctor, I was pretty picky about all the details being well managed," he says. "It was exceptional. I really couldn't have had a better experience."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cancer, Chondrosarcoma, Dr David Lewallen, Dr Franklin Sim, Dr Peter Rose, Hemipelvectomy, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center


April 13th, 2016

New Surgery for Scoliosis Keeps Teen Agile and Active

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

CamdenChristopher350

Camden Christopherson (second from left) with Stephen Cassivi, M.D., A. Noelle Larson, M.D., and Teresa Christopherson.

Camden Christopherson is an athlete: volleyball, basketball, softball, cross-country. She does them all. So when doctors told her, at age 13, that she had to wear a brace for 22 hours a day to combat scoliosis, and surgery to fuse her spine was likely in her future, Camden was devastated.

These treatments could help correct the severe spinal curve that had developed quickly during a growth spurt, her doctors said. But Camden didn't want to give up her flexibility and freedom of movement. And her mother, Teresa Christopherson, wasn't ready to accept that a brace and fusion surgery were her daughter's only choices.

"I wanted a second opinion," Teresa says. "I wasn't going to go forward based on one recommendation, so we went to Mayo."

At Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, mother and daughter met A. Noelle Larson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, who discussed another possibility with them: anterior vertebral body tethering, or VBT, a new surgery for scoliosis that doesn't involve fusing vertebrae together. It was just the answer they needed.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr. Noelle Larson, Dr Stephen Cassivi, Dr Todd Milbrandt, orthopedic surgery, Scoliosis


March 23rd, 2016

Sarcoma Diagnosis Proves to be a Blessing for Young Mom

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Paige Douglas and her family on the family farm.Growing up on a farm in central Florida, Paige Douglas enjoyed a unique childhood, caring for a menagerie of animals, horseback riding, even barrel racing at local rodeos.

But, when she was 10, Paige inadvertently hit her left knee while bouncing on a trampoline. Though she had no visible cuts, pain radiated up and down her leg.

Later, Paige would say, “It felt like I had a BB pellet stuck in there.”

Her knee became so sensitive that the slightest touch or inadvertent bump would “bring excruciating pain, sending me to the ground, screaming and crying,” she recalls.

Paige visited countless doctors near her home in Ocala, Florida, trying different medications, topical treatments and steroid injections. The pain persisted. After an exploratory surgery in 2001, doctors told her she had a neuroma, an area of increased sensitivity and pain that often develops after physical trauma to a nerve. They said removing it should resolve the issues.

It did, but only for a short time. Then the pain returned. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Courtney Sherman, Dr Peter Murray, Dr Steven Attia, Paige Douglas, sarcoma, synovial sarcoma, patient story, Florida Campus


February 3rd, 2016

Wisconsin Man “Falls From Sky” and Survives

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

David Edming survived a fall from the skyDavid Edming, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, didn’t want to slow down when he retired. The U.S. Navy veteran, age 56, took up aviation and purchased a powered parachute ultralight aircraft — a three-wheeled machine with a propeller that ascends when wind fills an attached parachute.

“The thing with a powered parachute is you only fly in perfect weather,” David says. He found that perfect weather on July 2, 2013 -- a beautiful day with no wind -- and he took off from his hay field to pass by a local golf course, just as he had done many times.

After his flyby, he tried to increase altitude while making a turn, which was standard procedure. But this time, something went wrong. Although the wing should have caught the wind, it instead curled under, sending him into a nosedive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Broken Pelvis, Dr Fernando Serna, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Medically Induced Coma, Nerve Damage, orthopedic surgery


November 12th, 2015

Restoring Mobility and Hope After Traumatic Motorcycle Crash

By Hoyt Finnamore HoytFinnamore

Troy Chroniger enjoys time with his daughters after brachial plexus surgery.

Troy Chroniger enjoyed a busy, if hectic, life in Orlando, Florida, as a construction estimator and dad to three daughters. To relax, Troy, age 43, enjoyed sports and an occasional motorcycle ride with friends. Life changed dramatically one Saturday in November 2011, when he was out for a ride, hit a rough patch of road, veered and collided with a guardrail. He was rushed to a hospital in Orlando, where doctors diagnosed him with a debilitating brachial plexus injury.

"It was one of the worst the doctor said he'd seen," Troy recalls the physician saying. Of the five nerves that make up the brachial plexus in the shoulder, Troy suffered a complete nerve evulsion injury. His doctor referred him to Mayo Clinic, which performs hundreds of brachial plexus procedures annually.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: brachial Plexus, Dr Peter Murray, Florida Campus, neurosurgery, Orthopedics


July 20th, 2015

Patient Comes to Mayo for Foot Surgery, Receives Lifesaving Surprise

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss cindyweiss

Virgil Jernigan is enjoying his retirement thanks to surgery to repair a leaky mitral valve.When Virgil Jernigan came to Mayo Clinic for foot surgery, he was in for a lifesaving surprise. During an exam before his surgery, he mentioned to his nurse practitioner that he had been feeling fatigued and short of breath. So she ordered cardiac testing. Virgil was shocked to learn he had a leaking mitral valve – a potentially life-threatening heart condition.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cardiac Surgery, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mitral Valve Disease, orthopedic surgery


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