For the surgeons on the medical staff at the Center for Orthopedics and Spine, there's nothing more satisfying than helping patients reclaim the life they thought was behind them.
Read these inspiring stories from our Pottstown - and Phoenixville-area patients. And remember: you don't have to give up what you love, either.
FIND A SKILLED ORTHOPEDIC SPECIALIST who can help you enjoy life like you used to.
Carole, Kathy and Sue A., Double Knee Replacement
Carole A. and her two sisters work together, baking and selling specialty cakes. Their days, she says, are filled with as much sweetness as their delectable desserts. Their business, Full Spirited Flavours™, is a second career for each of them and something the close-knit trio believes was destined to be.
But that's not all these women do together. In the past two years, all three have had double knee replacements, Carole most recently. All had their surgery at Pottstown Hospital, by the same orthopedic surgeon, NIKOS PAVLIDES, M.D. And they all stayed in the same room on the DEDICATED RECOVERY FLOOR at Pottstown Hospital's Center for Orthopedics and Spine.
"Dr. Pavlides is so tuned in to you as a patient, and his team at Pottstown is the same way," says Carole, a Glenmoore resident. "Everyone is on the same page. You feel safe and secure in their hands and so well cared for."
Sister Sue was the first to have surgery. Carole calls her "the scout" who researched and found the best doctor for "mature" knees pained by arthritis. Kathy had her surgery not long after.
"We were there for one another through the surgeries, and that support was great," Carole recalls. "But also, Dr. Pavlides has such a complete program at Pottstown. There's no way you can't recoup!"
Advanced Techniques, Personalized Care
Carole says Dr. Pavlides "is not one to jump into surgery" as the only option. He first advises weight loss, exercise and other nonsurgical options to alleviate knee pain. Her praise for Dr. Pavlides includes not only her hospital care and comprehensive therapy, but also her scar.
"I'm proud of my scar," she says. "At therapy other patients noticed it and other doctors have asked about it."
Dr. Pavlides uses minimally invasive surgical techniques and closes the incision from the inside out. It's a cosmetic approach, he explains. "I don't use staples or close from the outside, so you don't get that railroad track effect," he says. "It takes more time, but I feel patients don't need a big scar that's a constant reminder of the surgery."
From her sisters' experience, Carole also knew she would receive an extraordinary level of personal attention from Dr. Pavlides. "He spent time with me every day in the hospital and made sure I had everything I needed," she says. "I've never had a better experience."
Jim P., Knee Replacement
New Knee, New Outlook
A youth spent playing football and baseball caught up with Jim P. - a 64-year-old bank business development officer and Lower Pottsgrove Township resident - during the past five years. Every step he took sent pain rocketing up his left leg. He even altered his golf swing to take pressure off his knee, to the detriment of his handicap.
None of the conservative treatments Jim tried provided lasting relief, so he began researching orthopedic surgeons who offered knee replacement. His search led him to NIKOS PAVLIDES, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Pottstown Hospital.
"I'm a firm believer in the importance of having a great relationship with my surgeon," Jim said. "I met with a couple surgeons but didn't form a connection with them. A friend recommended Dr. Pavlides, with whom I clicked right off the bat. Everything we talked about focused on what was best for me, and I really appreciated that."
As a bonus, Pottstown Hospital is only a five-minute drive from Jim's home.
Back in the Swing
After touring the Center for Orthopedics and Spine and reading Pottstown Hospital's comprehensive joint replacement guidebook, Jim had surgery on April 22, 2014.
"Most surgeons cut the quadriceps tendon during knee replacement to get to the areas where implants must be placed," Dr. Pavlides said. "We used a minimally invasive, quadriceps-sparing approach with Mr. Phillips that's been shown to speed up rehabilitation."
Jim approached rehab aggressively so he could return to golfing as soon as possible. He began playing again that July and is working hard to relearn his pre-pain swing.
"My knee feels just phenomenal," Jim said. "I can't recommend Dr. Pavlides or Pottstown Hospital any higher."
His best advice for prospective knee replacement patients: "Do your research and take charge of your health. There is no substitute for that.
Kari R., Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery
Watching Kari R. jump in the waves at Ocean City, N.J., you would have never guessed she had undergone extensive back surgery just a month earlier.
The teenager was diagnosed with scoliosis, an abnormal curving of the spine, a year prior to surgery. While the condition did not cause Kari pain or other symptoms, it was detected after a neighbor had noticed an unusual lump on her back.
For more than a year, Kari wore a brace in hopes of preventing further curving in her spine. However, her condition worsened until her family and her doctor, JAMES GUILLE, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Pottstown Hospital, decided surgery was the best option.
"If we had done nothing, her spine would have just continued to curve," says Kelly R. of Schwenksville, Kari's mother. "We really don't know how bad it would have gotten."
They didn't take their choice of Pottstown Hospital lightly. They sought a second opinion at a Philadelphia hospital. Ultimately, they were impressed by Dr. Guille's experience and the caring attitude of the nurses they met during a pre-surgery visit to the pediatric unit.
Treating Complex Spine Conditions
Spine surgeons at Pottstown Hospital have long been among the region's leaders in using advanced surgical techniques to TREAT A WIDE RANGE OF SPINAL CONDITIONS, from herniated discs and fractured vertebrae to arthritis of the spine.
Lesser known is that these complex spine procedures are also being offered for children, says Dr.
Guille. "These are difficult spine procedures that people might think are only available in the Philadelphia children's hospitals," Dr. Guille says. "We're doing them at Pottstown with great success for our pediatric patients."
Kari's seven-hour surgery involved having screws implanted in her spinal vertebrae. Two rods were connected to the screws to permanently straighten out the S-shaped curve in her back.
"Her recovery has been amazing. You would never even know she went through surgery," says Kelly.
Expecting a Normal Life
A week after surgery, Kari was walking around the block. Less than a month later, she was back to doing the things she loves - babysitting her neighbor's children, spending time with friends and visiting the beach with her family.
"I was very happy with the choice I made by getting the surgery done by Dr. Guille at Pottstown," Kari says. "I didn't like always having to wear a brace, and now I don't have to worry about my back anymore."
She adds that without the brace, "I can finally wear clothes my size again!"
Robin M., Left Total Hip Replacement
After years of enjoying an active lifestyle, including marathon running, Robin began to experience continuous hip pain that interfered with her daily activities. She battled her hip pain for more than 10 years, undergoing numerous treatments and injections that proved to be unsuccessful.
At the age of 52, Robin made the decision to "take back her life" by having Total Hip Replacement Surgery at Pottstown Hospital - Center for Orthopedics & Spine. She researched her decision thoroughly, and knew from previous recommendations made by family and friends that orthopedic surgeon, Nikos Pavilides, M.D. provided outstanding care. "The orthopedic program was instrumental in helping me regain an active lifestyle," says Robin. "I knew that Dr. Pavlides was a great surgeon who specialized in Joint Replacement and I immediately felt like this was the best decision."
Putting me to ease
"The staff on the Orthopedic Unit was welcoming, friendly and informative. They took their time explaining things to me and I never felt as though they were too busy to fulfill a request or tend to my needs." Prior to surgery, Robin states she initially felt some "pre-surgery" jitters, but after arriving to the orthopedic unit and being greeted by the nurses and therapists who would be involved in her care, all feelings of anxiety were relinquished and she was able to feel at ease. "The unit was quiet and calming. The nurses and therapists knew how to sooth and reduce my anxiety and provided me with comfort. The orthopedic team members were all helpful in keeping my pain levels at a minimum, which aided in the recovery process and gave me the strength and confidence to persevere through physical therapy."
On the Road to Recovery
With her spirit rejuvenated and hope for regaining an active and vibrant lifestyle, Robin was committed to spearheading her healing process by actively following-up with Dr. Pavlides on scheduled post-operative appointments and receiving outpatient physical therapy at the CarePlex facility, located in Pottstown. ""My physical therapist was EXCELLENT! She knew I was active prior to surgery and knew just "how" and "when" to encourage me, progress me, and slow me down when necessary, "says Robin. "Along with Dr. Pavlides, my physical therapist was instrumental in helping me remain motivated and achieving successful results."
Robin recalls the first three months of the recovery process as being the most difficult, because she had to start at the beginning. However, she states "by the conclusion of my sixth month following surgery, I was walking a few miles, without any limping." "With the exception of running, I am back to all activities and performing at a higher level."
Robin adds that her experience was extremely positive and states "if I would have known how much better I was going to feel after surgery, I would have done it much sooner." "I am extremely satisfied with the care that I received and my level of progression."
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