April 13th, 2016 · Leave a Comment
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.Â Read the rest of this entry »
March 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment
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, â€śIt felt like I had a BB pellet stuck in there.â€ť
Her knee became so sensitive that the slightest touch or inadvertent bump would â€śbring excruciating pain, sending me to the ground, screaming and crying,â€ť 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 »
February 3rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment
David Edming, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, didnâ€™t want to slow down when he retired. TheÂ U.S. Navy veteran, age 56, took up aviation and purchased a powered parachute ultralight aircraft â€” a three-wheeled machine with a propeller that ascends when wind fills an attached parachute.
â€śThe thing with a powered parachute is you only fly in perfect weather,â€ť David says. He found that perfect weather on July 2, 2013Â -- aÂ beautiful day with no windÂ -- andÂ 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.Â But this time, something went wrong. Although the wing should have caught the wind, it insteadÂ curled under, sending him into a nosedive. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
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 debilitatingÂ 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.Â Read the rest of this entry »
July 20th, 2015 · 5 Comments
When Virgil Jernigan came to Mayo Clinic for foot surgery, he was in for a lifesaving surprise.Â 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 â€“ a potentially life-threatening heart condition.Â Read the rest of this entry »
February 24th, 2015 · 3 Comments
Mark Pearce jokes that, "If something's going to happen, it's going to happen to me." That sentiment isn't hard to understand in someone who has had eight joint replacements (knees, hips and shoulders â€“ some more than once), has been cardioverted 18 times to restore normal heart rhythm, and had surgery for a brain tumor. Among other things. What may be harder to understand is how he's kept an amazingly positive attitude through it all.
For Mark, it starts with gratitude.
"I feel like being treated like royalty here," he says of his experience at Mayo Clinic. "It's amazing. And if there's any way that I could say thank you to the physicians here and to the complete staff â€¦ I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for you."
Mark came to Mayo Clinic in the 1980s for a procedure physicians in his home state of Michigan were hesitant to perform because of his prior neck fractures. At Mayo Clinic, he found physicians who were able to perform the procedure and manage things when his care got complicated. Since then, he's had his left knee replaced twice, and the right, once; three hip replacements; and two shoulder replacements. Brain surgery. Cardioversion and heart procedures. And a gastric bypass procedure to combat the weight gain cause by his pituitary tumor. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28th, 2014 · 1 Comment
At age 39, Tom Peroulas was active and fit. Coaching and playing rugby, biking to work in downtown Chicago, and exercising daily kept him in good shape. So when he started noticing pain in his leg, groin and hip, he thought it was probably related to activity. He tried stretching and yoga. He rested it. He worked with a physical therapist. Nothing helped.
After several months of persistent pain, Tom turned to his doctor, who referred him to a specialist in orthopedics. By the time he turned 40, in April 2013, tests revealed the startling reason for his discomfort: an uncommon kind of cancer called chondrosarcoma that begins in the cartilage around bones. The cancer was affecting Tom's hip socket, or acetabulum. But although the source of the pain had become clear, the best way to deal with it had not.
Faced with a wide range of surgical options, Tom dove into researching his choices. After an exhaustive search that had him talking with physicians as far away as Canada and Europe, he decided to go to Mayo Clinic. Using a unique technique for hip reconstruction, the orthopedic surgery Tom had at Mayo allowed him to return to his life with the cancer removed and chances good that he won't need another reconstruction in the future.Â Read the rest of this entry »
March 15th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
I have been going to Mayo Clinic since 1985. When I was 6Â years old, a doctor gave me an injection into left buttocks of Terramycin, and within minutes my left lower leg was paralyzed (motor and sensory). Terramycin is very acidic. After sixÂ months, I was able to walk.Â Sensation returned, but I was left with a foot drop due to the paralysis of the anterior tendon. I had my foot fused in 1985 at Mayo, and due to left ankle, I overuse my right hip. I have been receiving treatment for my hip since 2001. I have received excellent treatment from the doctors at Mayo and would recommend Mayo to all.
Tags: Patient Stories
February 14th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
If Proud Mary is playing, Sandy Dyson wants to be dancing.Â But last spring, it looked like Dysonâ€™s dancing days might be behind her. After knee replacement surgery, the 71-year-old Kennebec, S.D., resident was in so much pain that just walking seemed like punishment.
Thanks to a â€świckedly good teamâ€ť of rehabilitation specialists in the Mayo Transitional Care program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca, however, she was back on the dance floor by winter.
The Transitional Care program provides a step between hospital and home for patients, who are supervised by physicians and receive daily care from nurses and therapists. A multidisciplinary team of providers sets up an individualized plan of care for each patient designed to get them back home as quickly as possible.
â€śWithout their help I wouldnâ€™t be where I am today,â€ť says Dyson.
When she arrived in Waseca three days after having surgery at Mayo Clinic, Dyson was in â€śexcruciatingâ€ť pain.
She understood that the pain she was experiencing wasnâ€™t unusual immediately after knee replacement surgery, but Dyson was not happy about it. And not shy about letting people know it. But that didnâ€™t scare staff away. Dyson says someone checked on her every 30 minutes the first week she arrived, always meeting her tears and frustration with kindness and encouragement. Read the rest of this entry »
November 15th, 2013 · Leave a Comment
With no cure available, a Mayo patient finds comfort in a reunion with a former teacher whose words and encouragement had a lasting impact on his life. With some help from his Mayo physician.
Tim Ruettiger, a gym teacher and wrestling coach in New Lennox, Ill., had no idea what a lasting impression he had made on one of his students, Ron Krasneck.
In 1982, Krasneck was 14 years old when he first met Ruettiger, known as Coach Rudy. Krasneck was slightly built, standing just 4 feet, 6 inches tall. Born with a rare genetic condition linked to cancer, the teenager had undergone multiple orthopedic surgeries to treat bone cancer. But Coach Rudy treated Krasneck just like the rest of the students.
Thirty years later, Mayo's Horacio Asbun, M.D., a surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Florida, learned about Coach Rudy's impact during a conversation back in December 2012, after Krasneck learned that surgery couldnâ€™t cure his advanced gall bladder and liver cancer.
â€śI couldnâ€™t do anything for him,â€ť says Dr. Asbun, who knew much of Krasneckâ€™s medical journey. Diagnosed as a toddler, his disease ramped up in his late teens. At age 46, Krasneck had survived nine episodes of bone cancer, amputations of a hand and wrist, partial removal of a shoulder/scapula and removal and rebuilding of C2 and C3 vertebrae. He walked with a prosthetic leg, though it was hardly noticeable. He'd had more than 35 major surgeries. Read the rest of this entry »