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As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.

June 27, 2007

Ron S.

Physician Assistant Ron S. had worked with orthopedic patients for more than 30 years. In February 2007, Ron became the orthopedic patient — undergoing a total knee replacement. He says the experience changed his personal and professional life.

Ron’s journey to his new JOURNEY knee began 30 years ago, when he fell off a ladder and injured his right knee. Over the years, his knee got progressively worse. Finally, his degenerative arthritis became so bad it was interfering with his sleep, and he couldn’t walk more than a few feet without extreme pain. His knee pain was preventing him from doing the things he loved to do; and work was extremely difficult, as he was required to stand for long periods of time during surgeries.

Because Ron has such an in-depth knowledge of orthopedics, he limped around for about a year as he waited for a new prosthetic to hit the market. He had researched prosthetic knees and had his eye on a new prosthetic, JOURNEY, by Smith and Nephew. The design of the JOURNEY prosthetic is geared toward younger patients who want to lead an active life. At age 55, Ron was concerned he would probably need a second knee replacement during his lifetime (because, eventually, artificial knees do wear out). Based on research, SCO surgeon Dr. Timothy Panek said he hoped the unique metal that makes up Ron’s JOURNEY prosthetic knee could last 20 years or more, double the life expectancy of other artificial knees. There are also other advantages, too. “This knee looks and acts more like a human knee – and so it acts more like a knee for the patient,” said Panek.

Ron volunteered to be the first patient at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury to receive a JOURNEY knee. As he prepared for his total knee replacement, he was interviewed by WCCO and Smith and Nephew (who also filmed his surgery).

After surgery, that same night, Ron was already up walking around. He was able to flex his knee 120 degrees post operation; but, most importantly, the deep burning pain of his arthritic knee was gone. Ron went home the next morning, determined to complete his physical therapy on his own and get back the life he wanted to live. Two weeks after surgery, Ron went to Mexico for a work-related seminar. While he was in Mexico, he continued his therapy in the pool and enjoyed being able to walk without pain.

Ron credits Dr. Panek for his successful knee replacement. “He is an excellent surgeon who pays attention to the details,” he said.

Ron is very pleased with his new knee and is already busy putting it to the test. He loves waterskiing, deer hunting, biking and walking. Last summer, he went camping with his family and couldn’t go hiking with them. This year, Ron says, he’ll be leading them up the hiking trails out in front with the grandkids.

April 25, 2007

Mary Ann P.

Mary Ann has a long career spanning over 17 years at St. Croix Orthopaedics. On January 27, 2007, she went from employee to patient when she fractured her ankle.

Mary Ann was at a neighbor’s house for dinner and caught her foot as she walked down the steps. As she waited in the emergency room at Lakeview Hospital, she just wanted to know that everything was going to be okay with her ankle.

Mary Ann was relieved when Dr. Timothy Panek walked into her room. With her many years of experience at St. Croix Orthopaedics, his presence gave her the instant confidence that she needed as a patient. “I know how great our physicians are at St. Croix Orthopaedics,” explained Mary Ann, “and that made such a difference in my experience as a patient.”

Dr. Panek performed surgery on Mary Ann the next day and her recovery process was great. She was nonweightbearing for two weeks, so she had to rely on her daughter to drive her to work. But anyone who knows Mary Ann understands she is not someone who would read or watch TV for weeks. Mary Ann said she went from cast to ankle boot to ankle brace in six weeks.

“Dr. Panek did a phenomenal job of repairing my ankle,” noted Mary Ann. She credits his surgical skills with getting her back to work and driving again. “Being able to drive myself to work was a huge step for me. I just didn’t have time to be down with this injury.”

Mary Ann performed her part in the recovery process. She followed Dr. Panek’s post-op instructions and did physical therapy and exercises to strengthen her ankle. Her unfortunate accident did not slow her down as much as she had feared. She’s looking forward to getting back to the things she loves to do including walking her dog, gardening, and exercise walking.

“Because of this experience, I have a greater appreciation for the impact that our physicians have on people’s lives,” Mary Ann concluded. “Being a patient of St. Croix Orthopaedics has made me even more proud to be a part of this organization.”

January 15, 2007

Danielle and Diana W.

Blowing out your ACL is no laughing matter for anyone – athlete or not. When you and your twin sister are rising high-school soccer stars, a torn ACL can be a devastating injury. But two torn ACLs is doubly devastating!

Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened to Danielle and Diana. Danielle was the first to injure her knee playing soccer. After her recovery from knee surgery (performed by Dr. Andrea Saterbak), she was cleared to play again. A mere six weeks later, her twin sister Diana suffered a similar knee injury – which also required surgery.

“A lot of doctors provide good care, but she even took time out of her personal life to watch us play soccer.”

– Danielle W.

Having been a competitive athlete herself, Dr. Saterbak understood the girls’ competitive drive and was able to get them back on their feet within days after their surgery – and off crutches in a matter of weeks.

Danielle and Diana found this to be unique among the orthopedic surgeons they consulted after their injuries. “Dr. Saterbak is a great doctor because she truly cares about her patients,” Danielle said, adding with a vibrant smile, “A lot of doctors provide good care, but she even took time out of her personal life to watch us play soccer.”

The staff at St. Croix Orthopaedics was instrumental in getting these athletes back to the soccer pitch. “The SCO staff was very positive and cheerful,” Diana explained. “They joked around with us and made us feel comfortable.” Both sisters’ knees have been problem-free ever since – and the girls are back playing their sport.

The twins recently finished their final soccer season at Mahtomedi High School. The team was ranked 10th in the nation and are Minnesota State Champions. Danielle was named All-State and All-Conference goalie and Diana was a member of a summer club team that also earned state-champion honors.

There is apparently no rest for the twin high-school seniors, as they’ve both been recruited by Division I colleges to play soccer. They are currently training for their upcoming season at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota. There, the twins will not only be teammates, but study partners as well. Both plan to become physical therapists.

Dr. Saterbak fondly recalled her experience treating Diana and Danielle. “They are exceptional individuals,” she said with admiration. “Sports participation allowed them to gain confidence in themselves. Their knee injuries presented a setback for them, but it ultimately challenged them physically and mentally to return and become better athletes and individuals.”

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As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.

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