What Our Patients Say
At the Joint Replacement Institute of Oregon, patients and their families are our focus. It is a privilege to work with them and learn from them. Hear what our patients have to say about their experiences at the Joint Replacement Institute of Oregon.
“I came from Alaska because Dr. Vessely is the very BEST!”
Patient story of Patricia Ossowski
A yoga practitioner and avid hiker from Kodiak, Alaska, Patricia Ossowski had always considered herself fit and capable. However, eight years ago, she began to experience pain in her hips that would come and go, but not fully resolve with rest or stretching. She remembers getting an x-ray in 2008 that showed arthritis in both of her hips and thinking, “That can’t possibly be right—I’m too young for that.” Eventually the pain limited her ability to practice yoga and became so bad that common activities, such as grocery shopping, became problematic. Patricia said, “I had trouble walking and was getting meaner and grouchier the more time passed and the less I was able to do. The pain eventually became unbearable.”
In June of 2015, she knew something was seriously wrong and that she needed to see an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation. She had been seen by other providers in Kodiak, but had been told that she was too young for surgery or that there were not many options available to her. After further investigation and after talking to friends and family, Patricia scheduled an appointment with orthopedist Dr. Michael Vessely in McMinnville, Oregon. After her initial consultation with Dr. Vessely, Patricia said, “I finally felt confident in my options.”
Patricia had not had a major surgery before and understandably, wanted to learn more about total joint replacement and about the Joint Replacement Institute before deciding what to do. “My mother (a long-time hospital volunteer) had heard such positive feedback from both patients and other volunteers about Dr. Vessely and the Institute—it was very reassuring.” She also talked to friends about their surgical experiences elsewhere. Because of the patient-focused approach offered at the Joint Replacement Institute, Patricia decided to move forward with total hip replacement surgery on both of her hips. She had left hip replacement surgery in April of 2016 followed by right hip replacement surgery three months later in July 2016.
Patricia’s recovery was remarkable—after her first surgery, the pain in her hip was gone, and more importantly, she felt like she could trust her hip joint again. “My hip felt solid, not like it was going to give out on me.” Her second surgery was even better than the first and three weeks after surgery she is gradually working back to longer walks and gentle yoga. Patricia looks forward to returning to other activities she enjoys such as hiking where she can get out on uneven terrain and “not slow everyone down anymore”.
Patricia credits her recovery to the team approach and exceptional care provided at the Joint Replacement Institute. “The experience was so complete, from my first call to the clinic to education before surgery and all of the follow-up care afterward. I got up and walked the same day as surgery–the emphasis on movement was so helpful. Everyone was thorough and kind, and I was confident that nothing would fall through the cracks or get missed. This high level of care and attention to detail decreased my worry which helped me recover more quickly with less medication than I would have otherwise.”
“If You’re In Pain, Get it Done Tomorrow,” Says Hip Replacement Patient
Tom Jackson endured terrible pain in his hips for more than two years. He walked with a limp and labored at work, but since both knees were replaced a decade ago, he wasn’t keen on another surgery. After a serious fall, he finally sought help at our Joint Replacement Institute.
“I fell down deer hunting and almost broke my shoulder!” Jackson said. He learned both his hips were bone-on-bone at that point, qualifying him for double hip replacement surgery.
Dr. Michael Vessely, orthopedic physician, performed an anterior approach hip replacement surgery. In this surgical approach the incision is in the front of the hip instead of down the sides or in the back of the hip, impacting less muscle and allowing a faster recovery. Jackson was able to walk to the bathroom within hours of the surgery, returned to work within five weeks and was driving again at six weeks – all thanks to Dr. Vessely’s expertise.
“Vessely is one heck of a surgeon. And a total human! He sits down and talks with you; goes the extra mile,” Jackson enthused. “It’s been years since I had a doctor like that. I can’t say enough.”
Jackson was impressed with all aspects of his care, noting he got to meet with his anesthesiologist a few days prior to surgery for a consult. “They really care about their patients,” he said. “And the food’s not bad either, which surprised me.”
Now three months post surgery, Jackson is practically pain-free and back to 80% of his activity. He’s owner of Tom Jackson Lock and Key, located in front of State Farm on 99W in McMinnville, and he’s thrilled to be able to freely climb in and out of his truck to service his clients.
His advice to others with joint problems is not to wait.
“Willamette Valley Medical Center has such a good program. I can’t think of a single way they could improve it,” Jackson said. “If you’re in pain, get it done tomorrow! Waiting just makes it worse.
For more information about the Joint Replacement Institute, call Natalie Reed, program manager, at 503-435-6571.
I Drove from West Salem to McMinnville for My Joint Replacement
A while ago I received a newsletter from Willamette Valley Medical Center about the Joint Replacement Institute and really liked the testimonials, so I held onto it. Then I started having terrible pain – it felt like a knife going through my hip. So I pulled out the newsletter and called the Institute.
I also met with the orthopedists here in Salem, but I was especially impressed with the Joint Replacement Institute, so I decided to go there.
I loved traveling to the hospital. I didn’t even have to go into McMinnville. You just turn off the highway and it’s right there. It’s so simple, and my doctor’s office was in the hospital, too.
I was really impressed with Dr. Vessely’s experience
Dr. Vessely was my orthopedist. He has a really outgoing personality, and he just strikes me as a straight shooter. He takes his time with you and really personalizes his approach. I felt like if I had to do this – I had never had surgery before – I wanted him to do it. I was really impressed with his experience.
The whole process is fantastic because the more contact you have with all the specialists involved, the more information you get, the less fear there is. I got to meet with the program manager, then the hospitalist, who had a wonderful personality, and also with the anesthesiologist. There was a lot of hand-holding from all these specialists, and it absolutely felt great. The morning of surgery I was a nervous wreck, but everyone made me feel at ease.
Miguel, my physical therapist, was fantastic. He doesn’t leave any room for you to slack off. He’s so professional, but also so personal that I tried to do way more than I was expected to. On my third week after the surgery I was showing off for Dr. Vessely, walking down the hallway back and forth without a walker or cane or anything. He had a big smile on his face.
I told my friend about my experience and she had her knee replaced here
I told my friend about my experience. She lives in Forest Grove, and she had her knee replaced at the Joint Replacement Institute two months later. She was happy as a clam and said it’s the best thing she ever did.
A big thanks to Natalie Reed, program director; Dr. Michael Vessely, orthopaedist; Dr. Atiq Syed, hospitalist; Miguel Alonso-Diez, PT; Tim Kirby, CRNA; and the rest of the amazing team. I’m telling everyone I know about the Joint Replacement Institute.