Patient Success Stories
Shattered Clavicle Doesn’t Result in Shattered Dreams
The condition: Colleen, a Physical Therapy graduate student working toward her doctorate at University of Connecticut, was working out at the campus gym when a squat bar holding 200 pounds of weights fell off a rack and on to her. The result was a broken clavicle, in addition to a puncture wound to her lower abdomen. After a night in the hospital for the wound, she went straight to Dr. Angelo Ciminiello’s office at Danbury Orthopedics. Both of her parents, who live in Danbury, had been patients of Dr. Ciminiello and she knew she could trust him to treat her quickly and professionally. An x-ray revealed that her clavicle was broken in two places. Although Dr. Ciminiello told her that it was possible to wait and see if the bones would repair on their own, Colleen opted for surgery to get back into her physical routine and training as quickly as possible.
The treatment: Only 48 hours after being evaluated, Colleen was in surgery. Dr. Ciminiello repaired her clavicle with a permanent titanium plate and six screws. “Colleen is an active, young woman who had a devastating injury. We discussed various treatment options and felt that surgical fixation of her clavicle would allow her to get back to her active lifestyle the quickest,” explains Dr. Ciminiello. Three days later Colleen was back in school, and began stretching and lifting light weights to regain mobility in her arm and increase strength.
The result: Just three months post-surgery, Colleen could return to a full personal exercise regimen and do all her work as a physical therapist. She is glad that she did not “wait and see,” since if she had not healed on her own, she still would have had to have surgery and been out of commission even longer. She is thrilled and relieved that she could return to work so quickly. “Dr. Ciminiello was great. He spent so much time with me making sure I understood the pros and cons of surgery, and I could see that he really cared about me having an excellent outcome,” she explains. Today she is in peak shape, and can sumo dead lift 160 pounds, and do a 155 pound squat lift.
Wheelchair to Walking
The condition: Mary began having trouble walking in her early 50’s. The difficulty continued to progress, and in time her hips began hurting too. A series of tests and doctors determined that she had a neuromuscular disease that was also complicated by severely arthritic hips. She felt she was too young for hip replacement surgery, but after she became wheelchair bound and was unable to care for herself or her family, she decided to reconsider.
The treatment: Mary met with Total Joint Specialist, Dr. Robert Deveney, who explained that hip replacement would ease her hip pain but he could not guarantee full mobility because of the neuromuscular disease. “When there are other underlying medical conditions, surgeons are often reluctant to operate,” Dr. Deveney explains. “However, given the advanced surgical techniques and implants we now use, we have broadened our ability to help patients with a wider range of issues, and I was confident that the surgery would improve Mary’s quality of life and reduce her level of pain.”
Although she was scared of having surgery, Mary decided to proceed with Dr. Deveney to replace one hip, since she felt things couldn’t possibly get any worse. Twenty-four hours after her first hip replacement surgery, she felt no pain in her hip for the first time in years. “It was like a miracle,” she exclaimed. After three months of home care and physical therapy, Mary gained some mobility, and decided to proceed with having the other hip replaced. Three months following her second hip replacement, Mary began to use a walker and had independence for the first time in three years. She was pain free for the first time in years.
The result: In the year since her second completed hip replacement, Mary feels like she has been given her life back. She can now drive and move around her house without assistance. She uses only a cane outside the house (due to symptoms of her neuromuscular disorder) but she cannot believe how far she has come. “I can go to church after two years,” she explained, adding, “ten years ago I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be so happy to do such simple things.” Her advice to others: Don’t wait so long. “I made a mistake by waiting and lived with so much pain. It is an easy surgery and an easy recovery and it changed my life.”
Silicone Knuckle Implant Restores Finger to Full Working Order
The condition: Just as Dennis Darria was getting used to retirement, he had an accident: While helping his wife bring in the groceries one winter afternoon, he slipped on ice and, like so many people, used his hands to brace his fall. His right ring finger got jammed in a mound of frozen snow. When the pain, distortion, and lack of movement didn’t subside after a few days, he went to see a general orthopedist. The doctor attempted to spread the finger’s proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint by surgically implanting a screw, but found that the bone was shattered. He instead placed a pin in the bone. After a couple of weeks, it was clear to Dennis that something wasn’t right. Dennis was then told his finger joint would need to be fused, with the choice of remaining permanently either totally straight or bent at a 45° angle. Not wanting to give up movement in his finger, Dennis turned to his long-time trusted internist who strongly recommended that he consult Dr. Lunt.
The treatment: Dr. Lunt assessed Dennis’s finger joint and told him that he was a good candidate for a new silicone implant. The implant would replace the joint and preserve some of the PIP joint motion. Although it was a technically demanding procedure because of the fracture deformity, the surgery went very smoothly. After two months of occupational therapy Dennis had excellent motion and function.
The result: “My hand is back to normal!” exclaims Dennis. Dr. Lunt and the Hand Center’s certified hand therapists gave Dennis back virtually all the mobility he had lost; the difference was apparent immediately. “I hardly notice that I have an artificial knuckle. I rave about Dr. Lunt and his exceptional service to everyone,” Dennis says. Simple everyday things like shaking hands, driving his lawn tractor, and working around the house are no longer a problem for Dennis. He’s back to enjoying retirement with both hands, and his wife is glad she has her helper back.
Disclaimer: Any prior results discussed in this site do not guarantee a similar outcome.