My time with HSS began back in 1998 when I first met Dr. David Altchek. I was a nationally ranked tennis player with a torn rotator cuff, labrum, bursa, etc. Dr. Altchek kindly agreed to put my shoulder back together at the end of my season. However, little did we know that in my last tournament, I tore my ACL/MCL in my left knee. Dr. Altchek graciously swapped the date of my surgery and agreed to fix my knee first, and then fixed my shoulder three weeks later. Over the next year, I rehabilitated my shoulder, and knee, and earned my spot back on my team.
A few years later when I was beginning my career as an educator, I was unlucky and tore my right ACL/MCL. Yet again, Dr. Altchek swooped in and rebuilt my other knee. With my third surgery completed, I was grateful to Dr. Altchek and HSS for taking such amazing care of me.
In 2016, I began my 16th year in education with many aches and pains. With a chronically painful and degenerating spine, I was trying to push off massive spine surgery as long as possible. It was much to my surprise during the year when I began to experience tremendous problems in each arm/elbow. After a few weeks of pain, I did what every uncertain athlete does in this situation, I called Dr. Altchek. After two quick MRIs, we learned that my flexor/extensor tendons were torn in each elbow. Soon operations four and five were scheduled to repair both of my elbows. During our many meetings, I also asked Dr. Altchek for his advice about my spine, as I knew he has some challenges as well. He recommended I see Dr. Patrick O'Leary immediately.
In June of 2017, I met with Dr. O'Leary to evaluate my spine, and at the same time, I met with Dr. Bryan Kelly to help me with a problem in my right hip. After numerous radiological studies, I learned that I was an excellent candidate for a multi-stage spinal fusion. On Thursday, July 20th, 2017 I went under the knife at HSS one more time to repair my badly damaged spine. After about seven and a half hours of surgery, I woke up in recovery. Like it was something out of the movies, I woke up with full feeling, and no pain in my legs for the first time in about five years. I am grateful to Dr. O'Leary for ending years of pain and suffering, and giving me back the use of my back and legs.
Currently, I am waiting to recover from my spinal fusion so I can schedule surgery number seven on my right hip with Dr. Bryan Kelly to repair a bone spur and torn labrum.
Now, a veteran of six operations at HSS, I am a walking ambassador for the hospital. I routinely tell anyone who will listen about the amazing doctors, facilities, and treatments at HSS. Over the years, Dr. Altchek has extended beyond just helping me as he successfully operated on my brother, mother, and several friends.