Patient Success Stories
- Joint Replacement
- Sports Medicine
- Upper Extremity
- Lower Extremity
Joe has always enjoyed living life to the fullest. After playing baseball at Notre Dame and earning a degree in government, Joe entered the Navy. While on a mission as a Naval Flight Navigator, his plane was shot down over Vietnam and Joe was held captive in Hanoi for nearly a year.
Diane came to South Bend Orthopaedics because she had pain radiating from her lower back, down through her hip and into her knees. This pain prevented her from enjoying her regular activities. A hip arthroscopy allowed her SBO physician to improve motion in her hip socket and an extensive therapy program got her back to her active lifestyle.
Natalie Achonwa with Notre Dame women's basketball suffered knee injuries her sophomore and junior years, but her senior year injury was the most severe. She tore her ACL, medial and lateral menisci, and was suffering from osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
Louis Nix with Notre Dame Football tore his meniscus during his senior year with the team. It was a heartbreaking that he had to miss the end of his senior season. But after South Bend Orthopaedics repaired his meniscus and a few week of rehab., he was back to 100%!
Zack Martin with Notre Dame Football is a perfect example of sport injury prevention. He holds the record of 52 straight starts with Notre Dame Football.
Skylar Diggins with Notre Dame Women's Basketball came to see physicians at South Bend Orthopaedics with different injuries she received over her many season's of play.
Tyler Eifert with Notre Dame Football injured his back right before his freshman year. After trying rest, therapy, and exercise, surgery was required and an SBO spine surgeon removed a broken piece of vertebrae that had been causing the pain.
Kapron Lewis-Moore with Notre Dame Football suffered a detached MCL injury during the USC game of his junior year. He missed the last six games that season, but after surgery and rehabilitation at South Bend Orthopaedics he was able to make spring training.
Brittany Mallory with Notre Dame women's basketball has suffered from numerous injuries during her college athletic career. During one game she came down at an awkward angle and tore her left ACL. South Bend Orthopaedics performed her surgery and coordinated her therapy.
Harrison Smith with Notre Dame Football had his shoulder injury treated at South Bend Orthopaedics. Smith had sprained both of his AC joints during his college career. Through quick intervention and an aggressive therapy program, he was able to continue playing without surgery.
Becca Bruszewski with Notre Dame Women's Basketball has suffered different sports-related injuries playing for the Fighting Irish. In this testimonial, Becca describes her injuries and the care she received at South Bend Orthopaedics.
Melissa Henderson with Notre Dame Soccer played thru the pain for a number of years. Her hometown physicians had trouble diagnosing her painful condition. It wasn't until visiting South Bend Orthopaedics that her compartment syndrome was diagnosed and treated with surgery.
Sean Lorenz with Notre Dame Hockey has suffered from repeated injuries during his hockey career. During one match an opposing player fell on his leg, tearing his MCL. He had surgery with South Bend Orthopaedics.
Joe Lavin with Notre Day Hockey suffered an ankle injury during a weekend double-header. He played the second game without realizing he had the injury.
Kyle Brindza with Notre Dame Football grew up with a club foot and even learned to walk wearing leg braces. he didn't let that stop him from playing sports and being competitive. Playing football has strengthened not only his legs and ankles, but also his determination to succeed.
Jerian Grant stayed injury free during his time playing with Notre Dame. He credits much of his injury prevention to South Bend Orthopaedics helping him with stretching techniques and muscle strengthening exercises to avoid common basketball conditions. Jerian was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2015.
Ronnie Stanley injured his elbow during high school playoffs and continued playing his freshman year at Notre Dame. Eventually he needed elbow surgery. Then his sophomore year he injured his knee when his foot got caught in another player's shoe. He had a knee scope to repair that injury. After treatment and rehab at SBO, Ronnie has moved on to play in the NFL.
Jodi came to South Bend Orthopaedics with pain in her leg, thinking she had a problem with her leg. Her orthopedic physician determined it was actually a back problem and internally referred her to South Bend Spine, SBO's Spine Center of Excellence.
Tyler Eifert with Notre Dame Football injured his back right before his freshman year. He received treatment at South Bend Orthopaedics. After trying rest, therapy, and exercise, surgery was required and an SBO spine surgeon removed a broken piece of vertebrae that had been causing the pain.
Professional back to life with center of excellence approach
Ruben provides athletes with guidance for physical conditioning as well as proper training techniques for free weights and other strength training equipment. His career as a strength and condition coach requires that he stay active and be able to demonstrate proper training techniques to athletes.
When Ruben first began mild pain in his right hip, he didn’t think much of it and certainly didn’t let it interfere with his work or lifestyle. Unfortunately, the hip symptoms persisted and he also noticed reduced range of motion in his hip along with low back pain. He talked with one of the team physicians about his symptoms and the physician suggested Ruben try some specific exercises and stretches that could help relieve some of the pain symptoms. Ruben incorporated the stretching exercises into his routine and found that the exercises did offer some relief.
Click here to read more about Ruben's successful recovery from hip replacement surgery at South Bend Orthopaedics in Indiana.
"I could not do much of anything for about one year. I could not play with my grandkids or take walks. My spine surgery improved my life a lot. I am able to do things again, like normal daily activities. I feel like a new person. I cannot say enough good things about the physicians and staff and SBO. It was definitely worth having the surgery done. I was afraid and untrusting before coming to SBO, but I was taken care of very well. Everyone was great!"
"The pain I had was very seriously limiting my life. The spine surgery took away the horrific pain and I was able to move again. My overall experience was excellent! Dr. DeLeeuw knew exactly what I was going through, and was very open, honest and caring."
"Having had a high level of pain for several years, I would try to do things as usual (be very active) but it got to the point that I was in constant pain and my activities were severely limited. I was always active and involved in sports, including golf, but the pain became so severe that I thought I would have to give things up – which was not an option! After six weeks of just walking, I was cleared for other activities. Almost instantaneously (after letting the incision heal) I was pain free. I could get out of bed with no problems, tie my shoes, and after 6-8 weeks I got back to many of my activities pain free."
"I was miserable! I couldn’t walk 100 feet without pain radiating from hip to ankle. I could only shop I places with carts and only for short periods of time (20 minutes max). There was no way I could work. I felt better as soon as I was conscious after surgery. I can walk, dance, and shop without pain. I went on vacation two months after surgery and was able to work for long distances. I was worried that I would be laid up for a long time, but I was up cooking in four days and out to lunch in five! South Bend Orthopaedics is great! There was no long wait for my doctor or x-rays. I was really afraid, but now I wish that I had done this surgery years ago."
Dr. Ann Wiarda
Dr. Wiarda is an opthamologist in the South Bend area. She injured her shoulder playing softball, tearing her posterior labrum. It got to the point she couldn't move her arm, affecting her work and active lifestyle.
Marcelle has suffered from chronic joint pain for years, from her shoulders to her knees. She visited South Bend Orthopaedics to look for a solution to her pain. Overtime, Marcelle had both knees replaced and both shoulders.
Chad injured his hand while changing a race tire while working in the pit crew for a work-sponsored race car. The exploding tire broke his wrist, caused nerve damage, and deep tissue damage.
Kathy had hand surgery at South Bend Orthopaedics after falling and breaking her wrist. She also had carpal tunnel surgery during this timeframe.
"For some reason I didn’t have much pain, but I dislocated my right shoulder three times so I became a little more cautious and risk-averse. Dr. Ratigan is the BEST! My range of motion is back to 100%. He made this a painless process all the way. My experience was amazing and I tell everyone about my experience with South Bend Orthopaedics."
"The pain got very intense when I would raise my arm up over my head. The pain was so bad, I would drop whatever I was holding. I wasn’t able to do much that required both arms and it restricted my day. It even affected my sleep. Since the procedure on my left shoulder, I’ve noticed the pain is almost completely gone. My movement in the shoulder is full-range now (so cool!). Dr. Yergler got everything working well and cleaned out. I really feels good and it’s nice to have both arms again."
"Everyone was wonderful. They made a tough situation easier to deal with. They really care and that makes all the difference. Everything was explained clearly so I could understand it. I’m grateful for all they have done for me. I have already recommended SBO and one of my friends had his shoulder repaired. He too is doing well."
"I couldn’t move my right arm without severe pain. It was difficult and painful to raise my right hand over my head. The pain and range of motion limitations affected every aspect of my activities and daily life. I had my right rotator cuff repaired and it took away the pain and gave me back my movement. The staff at South Bend Orthopaedics took great care of me and educated me on what I needed to do to achieve the best possible outcome. I couldn’t ask for better care and better people. They didn’t just provide physical care, they provided education and a genuine personal interest in my welfare."
"The pain in my shoulder was intense enough to make me at night, almost every day for years. It was a struggle at times to lift anything high above my head, even light weight items. Even during the day, the pain was enough to take several Aleve tablets daily. As intense as the pain used to be, all of a sudden it was gone! It was terrific to be able to sleep all night again without taking pills. At my first checkup after surgery, I personally told Dr. Rozzi how great of a job he did and how the mobility was better every day."
Sandra was having intense pain in both knees due to osteoarthritis. After her exam, she discussed options with her SBO physician and they decided on having a total knee replacement in both knees.
Edward had both knees replaced at South Bend Orthopaedics. This testimonial tells his story, why he came to SBO and his pleasure with the final results.
Dan tore his ACL playing softball and came to South Bend Orthopaedics for treatment. This testimonial tells his story, why he came to SBO and his pleasure with the final results.
Ronnie Stanley injured his knee when his foot got caught in another player's shoe. He had a knee scope to repair that injury. After treatment and rehab at SBO, Ronnie has moved on to play in the NFL.
Back on course after joint replacement surgery
Richard began playing sports as a child and he has continued to play since. While attending Notre Dame he played both baseball and basketball. And Richard went on to play professional basketball with the Detroit Pistons. Thoughout the years, Richard has maintained an active professional and personal lifestyle. In fact, one of his favorite ways to unwind and relax from the stresses of life is on the golf course. But, after years of running down the basketball court, followed by years of twisting, squatting and walking on the golf course, Richard began experiencing stiffness and pain in his knees.
He made an appointment to see his family’s orthopaedic physician at South Bend Orthopaedics. After examining Richard and ordering diagnostics, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeon explained to him that he was suffering from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease in his knees, the condition was worse in Richard’s left knee.
Click here to read more about Richard's successful recovery from joint replacement surgery at South Bend Orthopaedics.
"Dr Cien performed 2 total knee replacements for me in 2021, 5 months apart, using the robotic assist. He and his staff are outstanding. Surgeries and healing went better than expected. Any questions or concerns I had before and after the surgeries were answered quickly and professionally. In the middle of a Pandemic, this was a huge relief to me. I highly recommend Dr Cien and will definitely use him in the future, if needed. 5 Stars!!"
"Last weekend Culver traveled to Dublin, OH to play in a lacrosse tournament. Culver won the tournament, and Matt was honored with MVP of the Year. Most unusual to have an LSM win anything, as they ususally pick scorers and goalies - he was surprised! It's great to see that 1 year later from his ACL repair - He's Back! We will never forget you and the process. Thank you Dr. Ratigan for taking such great care of Matt, and getting him to a place where not only can he play lacrosse, but he is achieving high honors."
"My life was severely impacted because it was very difficult to get in and out of my car, and walking normally was painful. I awakened at night with pain, so sleeping all night was not possible. Now that I’ve had knee surgery, I feel even younger! After surgery, it is important to do exercises on the affected knee and water therapy helped. The outcome allowed me to keep up with friends and live my life without pain. I think Dr. Ferlic has been great. He really understands your dilemma and has the answers to your questions. The staff is super and the medical assistants help the procedure go smoothly."
"Every time a friend talks about the possibility of knee replacement, I always tell them and show them my outcome. They are amazed at my flexibility and that I walk as someone without any replacements. I hope anyone thinking of knee replacement will take advantage of South Bend Orthopaedics. You will be treated not just as a patient, but as a friend."
"I experienced pain in my left knee and anxiety due to not knowing what the problem was. After having total knee replacement I had to slow my activity level initially, but gradually I regained strength. My experience with South Bend Orthopaedics was wonderful. I would return and refer others. The staff went above and beyond to meet my needs. Dr. Fred Ferlic is very observant of his patients and appears to genuinely care about the well-being of those entrusted to his care."
"I could hardly walk due to the excruciating pain. My knee replacement surgery made me a new person. I was even ready to return to coaching football – with no pain. My experience with SBO was excellent and I highly recommend them to anyone in need of orthopedic care. I never had a bad experience and everyone bent over backwards for me and my family during the whole process."
"The pain was really bad. Sitting with my leg up and icing my knee wasn’t working, so I visited the doctor. I still have some soreness but nothing like before surgery. I feel like a different person. I’m using a cane and feel 90% better. I am very well satisfied! My experience with Dr. Heller and his office staff was great. They are a great bunch of people."
"I am 86 years old and I was scared to have surgery. But I am so glad I did. Dr. Heller is special to me as my doctor. If I had to have another surgery, I would go back to Dr. Heller. I know several people who have gone to South Bend Orthopaedics and they are well and happy again."
"The pain I had walking was very uncomfortable and always letting me know I should see the doctor. I did have a lot of pain after the surgery, but as time goes on it is getting better and with therapy it is coming along very well. The physicians and staff at SBO are very professional and there were no long waiting periods to be taken care of. Dr. Heller and his staff are very friendly and caring – they are a wonderful group of people."
"It was becoming more and more difficult to perform daily tasks of living. The pain was not as much a factor as my bowed legs, causing severe limping, and also the bone-on-bone rubbing made walking almost impossible by the surgery date. The two total knee replacements are like miracles! I am grateful everyday – you gave me my life back. Even my children think the results are amazing."
"Dr. Jeff Yergler was professional, caring, and was good to my children. The staff was very kind to me in the office and on the telephone, as I had many questions and problems to discuss. I definitely recommend Dr. Jeff! I have already been his best PR person in the community."
"I was unable to garden and had pain constantly when walking. The outcome of my total knee replacement was marvelous! I am able to walk and do all my activities with no pain. Dr. Ratigan, Dr. Balint and their staff are great. I would and do recommend South Bend Orthopaedic."