Orthopedic Patient Stories

Orthopedic Patient Stories

New Anterior Hip Replacement Went Well

Orthopedic patient Jame Kochar, who had the new Anterior Hip Replacement SurgeryJames Kochar and his wife have been in this area for more than 25 years and first heard about Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck by reading an article in a hospital publication.

After suffering with terrible hip pain for more than two years and having his wife tell him his walking looked terrible, James sought help from Dr. Beck. At the age of 80, James had hesitated to have hip replacement surgery after watching his much younger relatives undergo the procedure. James enjoys gardening and says that his 6 acres of land keep him busy.

“I don’t know why I waited so long to have the surgery,” he says now. James spent 2 days in the hospital after his hip replacement surgery and left without any pain. At home, he performed exercises that he learned from therapy staff while he was in the hospital. He did not have to schedule rehabilitation following surgery.

“I was walking that first day after surgery and had a wonderful stay at the Richland Hospital,” James said. “Dr. Beck was great. The nurses and staff were kind, sweet, and attentive.” Today he feels wonderful and can do the things he likes to do. “I would recommend Dr. Beck and the Richland Hospital to anyone needing hip replacement surgery,” he said.

Tough Guy Injured in a Race on the Monkey Bars

Grayson Banker

Accidents can happen when you race your cousins on the monkey bars. Just ask Grayson Banker. When Grayson fell, his mother scooped him up, put him in the van and brought him in. His x-rays revealed that he had broken both bones in his right arm.

It would need to be looked at by Richland Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck. Later that day, he talked with Grayson and his mom. “Dr. Beck came in and told us what he was going to do,” Grayson’s mom, Laci said. “Everything went as planned.”

“The surgical team got us in after hours and were just great,” she said. “Bryan McCarvel (Grayson’s Nurse Anesthetist) told him how tough he was.”

“I wasn’t afraid,” Grayson said. “Dr. Beck is funny and I know Bryan.”

After surgery, Grayson went up to the Special Care Unit for observation and left the same night. Staying true to his “tough” guy status, Grayson and his mom went to volunteer at “Churnin’ Dirt” after he was released from the hospital. “It never really hurt,” Grayson said. “It doesn’t ever hurt now.”

Grayson was in a cast for 8 weeks after his surgery, but according to his mom, it didn’t slow him down much. “He can do everything he likes to do,” Laci said. “He even started playing fall soccer with his cast on.”

Looking back, Grayson said he was glad it happened after t-ball season had ended. He didn’t miss a game because of his arm. He had only one disappointment that he talked about. “I wanted a pink cast and got a camouflage one and a blue one,” he said with a chuckle.

That must be a joke between Grayson and Dr. Beck. Getting great care from local people can provide a great deal of comfort for patients. Laci said she never thought of going anywhere else.

The Richland Hospital, your first choice for better health.


Successful Hip Replacements Surgery for Local Farmer

Dan McCormick

Dan McCormick was a dairy farmer for years. He milked cows in a stanchion barn, climbed up and down to the hay mow every day, and battled cold temperatures and freezing pipes in the winter. “With the recent cold weather we’ve had, I don’t miss it much now, but at the time, I didn’t really want to sell the cows,” he said. “My hips just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Dan had his first hip replacement surgery shortly after he sold the cows. His second hip replacement wasn’t far behind. For Dan the pain was so great that he couldn’t do the things that he enjoyed. “I enjoy hunting, but I walked with a limp and it was painful,” he said. “I couldn’t straddle a 4-wheeler and had to sit side-saddle if I wanted to ride.”

“I feel so much better than I did before the surgery,” he said. Richland Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck performed both of Dan’s hip replacement surgeries.

“Dr. Beck is great. I’ve never seen a doctor like him,” Dan said. “He told me exactly what was wrong, explained how he was going to fix it and told me what to expect. Then, he went in and did what he said he would do. I had pain after surgery for about a day while I was in the hospital.”

Dan stayed in the Richland Hospital Med/Surg Unit for three days after each hip surgery. “The people were very good. I didn’t push the button very much, but when I did, they were right there,” he said. “The food was great. I got to order from a menu each day, which was a surprise. I thought you just got what you got.”

Dan still has young cattle to care for, and works 9 hour days standing on cement. For some, that might sound like it would be hard on his new hips, but Dan says it doesn’t bother. “I am looking forward to enjoying the outdoors,” he said.

The Richland Hospital is Dan’s first choice for better health.


Great Care Kept Her at the Richland Hospital


Delores Meador is from Baraboo, WI. While riding her motorcycle in rural Richland County with friends, she hit a patch of gravel on the road and lost it.

“I flew 25 feet in the air,” she said. “I wasn’t wearing a helmet, so I had lacerations on my face and head. I looked pretty bad when I came to the hospital.”

Suffering from multiple injuries, Delores was admitted to the Med/Surg Unit at The Richland Hospital. She spent many days as an inpatient and then continued her stay as a swing bed patient.*

She had broken her L4 vertebrae and the small bone in her right leg, but says initially she didn’t have any pain in her left leg. “I didn’t know there was anything wrong with my left leg until I tried to get up and my knee buckled,” she said. “That’s when they called Dr. Beck and I found out that I had a torn ACL in my left knee.”

Delores had surgery to repair her ACL with Richland Hospital’s Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck. During her hospital stay, Dr. Beck stopped by regularly. “If you’re feeling down, he is a ray of sunshine when he comes in the room,” she said.

She could have been transferred to a hospital closer to home, but looking back at her experience, it was the care she received that kept her at the Richland Hospital. “During my hospital stay on Med/Surg, the care was just awesome,” Delores said. “I didn’t have to retell my story. Everyone who came into my room knew my story and knew what was wrong with me.”

It has been 13 weeks since Delores’ ACL Repair surgery. “I’m right on schedule with my ACL repair, but total recovery will be a long process,” she said. “I am glad Dr. Beck was right there to do surgery. I would recommend him to anyone.”

*The Swing Bed program is an option for Richland Hospital patients who do not require acute care but do need skilled nursing or rehabilitative care for a limited time before they can go home. Though not a substitute for long term care such as that provided in a nursing home, in some cases, Swing Bed can be a valuable alternative to a nursing home stay. The Discharge Planner can be contacted for additional information on this program.


Feeling the Best She Has in Years

Rhonda Parish – Knee Replacement

When Rhonda Parish was 18, she was in a car accident. Her femur was broken in 8 places and she was in traction for 2 ½ months. After that, she wore a full-length leg cast for 4 months. The cast had a hinge at the knee for better mobility. “It seemed good at the time, but Dr. Beck said he thinks the hinge placed a lot of stress on my knee joint,” she said. “That was 33 years ago.”

More recently, Rhonda began seeing Richland Hospital’s Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck to find an alternative fix for her knee. She tried injections, therapy, and more. “We tried different things hoping to find something that would help so that I wouldn’t have to have knee replacement surgery so young,” she said. “After exhausting all other options, I threw in the towel and got the knee replacement.”

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website, “Currently, more than 90% of modern total knee replacements are still functioning well 15 years after the surgery. Following your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions after surgery and taking care to protect your knee replacement and your general health are important ways you can contribute to the final success of your surgery.”

Rhonda went in for surgery on a Monday and left the hospital on a Wednesday. “It was a good stay,” she said. “Everyone was very nice.”

Dr. Beck used the new Signature Knee System on Rhonda. “Dr. Beck is just a great doctor,” she said. “On the day I was scheduled for surgery, I should have been nervous, but I wasn’t. I knew everything would work out.”

“Now, I feel the best I have in years,” she said. “Everyone else noticed how I limped before, but I never realized how much pain I was in. I just got through each day.”

After surgery, Rhonda attended physical therapy here at the Richland Hospital for 13 weeks. She worked with many different therapists during that time and said that they were all wonderful.


A Fall on the Ice Sends Angela Privett into Surgery

Wisconsin winters are notorious for throwing curveballs and handing out conditions that can be treacherous without notice. Last Fall, on the day before Thanksgiving, Angela Privett did not see the ice that caused her to fall and break her leg in three spots and dislocate her ankle.

She ended up at the Richland Hospital and in surgery with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck. The leg was broken at an angle and splintered. It required a plate and several screws. “I don’t remember too much about the surgery, but I trusted Dr. Beck and my husband to make the right decisions,” Angela said. “He’s a super nice doctor. I love him. He calls me pumpkin.”

Angela stayed at the Richland Hospital one night after surgery. She said it was comforting to know that the people who were taking care of her were people that she already knew. “I had a good stay. The nurses were awesome,” she said. “Wendy Jakimczyk has known me since I was two years old and she was fantastic.”

When Dr. Beck gave Angie permission to walk, she broke down and cried. When he asked her what was wrong, she related that she is just so happy to be making progress. “It has been such a long haul,” Angela said. “Soon I will be getting a screw taken out and then I can start physical therapy. I am excited about that.”


Mark Scherer – Dr Beck and the Surgical Team Used A Titanium Rod to Shorten Recovery Time

The Scherer family; Mark, Daniel and Jillian

Mark Scherer and his wife, Dr. Jillian Scherer, enjoy outdoor activities, including biking with their son, Daniel. Typically, Mark pulls Daniel along in a trailer behind his bike while Jillian follows behind them. Most days it is a smooth ride and a great way to spend time together. One day last Fall, however, everything came to a halt during their bike ride.

The front tire came off of Mark’s bicycle, causing the full weight of his bike, the trailer, and Daniel to come down on Mark’s leg. As a result, he broke both the tibia and fibula in that leg. The couple got to experience the Richland Hospital’s emergency, surgical, and med/surg units first-hand in the following days.

Mark was casted right away on Sunday to hold everything in place. Then Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck talked with Mark. He outlined the anticipated healing time with surgery and without. “With surgery, we were looking at about 6 weeks. Without surgery, it could be 12 weeks or more, and it may not heal,” Mark said. “I appreciated Dr. Beck’s ability to explain what he was going to do and why,” Mark said. “Our common engineering background helped.” Mark opted to have surgery. The orthopedic surgical team began working on getting a titanium rod to place in his leg.

“Nurse Anesthetist, Rachel Shannon-Goodrich was very good and made me feel like I was in very good hands,” Mark said. “During my stay, everyone was really good about making sure I was comfortable and had what I needed. Dr. Beck and Dr. David May stopped in often to check on me. After surgery, I was surprised that I was not in much pain. I barely needed any pain medication.”

Six weeks after surgery, Mark’s restrictions were lifted and the family was back on their bicycles. They took a trip all over town via the bike trail. “Some days the leg I broke feels better than the one I didn’t,” Mark said.

Dr. Jillian Scherer was humbled and grateful for the support the family received. “Christy got the bikes and brought Daniel and myself to the hospital. Co-workers made meals and visited. People brought us diapers because we use cloth and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with that. Ingrid watched Daniel while Mark was in the hospital. Ron and my brother made a ramp so that Mark could have easier access into our house,” she said. “We can’t say thank you enough. This is a wonderful community.”

Helga and Leslie Shultz - Leslie had two knee replacement surgeries with Dr. Thomas Beck

Leslie Shultz – Determination Helped Recovery From Two Knee Replacements

Leslie Shultz has been the pastor at Arena Congregational Church for the past 15 years. He became a pastor 50 years ago after serving in the Navy. He has traveled the Western seas and lived in 5 states. Leslie has been around the block, has been a part of many lives, and enjoys traveling with his wife, Helga.

Leslie and Helga live in Spring Green. They are patients at Spring Green Medical Center and see Dr. Kay Balink for their healthcare needs.

In 2013, Leslie had his left knee replaced at the Richland Hospital by Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck. After experiencing success with the first knee, he stayed with the Richland Hospital and had his right knee replaced by Dr. Beck in 2014. “I had virtually no pain after either surgery,” Leslie said. “Dr. Beck is a wonderful doctor.”

Leslie worked very hard to rehabilitate both knees and says that the physical therapists who helped him were great. Maureen Smith, PT, worked with Leslie after his first knee replacement. Charlene Puskala, PT, worked with Leslie at Spring Green Medical Center with his second. “Working with Charlene at Spring Green Medical Center was easy and convenient,” Leslie said. “I have seen some people not push as hard as they could have during their rehabilitation and their outcomes were not good. I was determined that wouldn’t happen to me.”

Leslie celebrated his 81st birthday in February. This summer, he and his wife will once again be traveling. They have reservations at a couple of tourist area cottages. And, Leslie says that his knees will not be holding them back.


New Custom Fit Knees for Lester

Orthopedic Knee Surgery patient, Lester Studnicka

Lester Studnicka had both of his knees replaced at the Richland Hospital. Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beck performed both surgeries. Having suffered from significant knee pain since he was 40, Lester put off knee surgery as long as he could. He knew it was time to talk with Dr. Beck when he was playing with his grandkids at a Father’s Day get together and his knees locked up.

“I’m glad that I waited as long as I could to have my knees replaced,” he said. “Because I waited, I got the new Signature™* knees that were made specifically for me.”

Lester worked very hard at rehabilitating both of his knees. Kim Darcy-Liska, MSPT in Physical Therapy said Lester was their poster child because he worked hard and his knees healed so quickly. His first knee replacement took place in August and his second followed approximately seven months later. He recently put a new floor down in the garage. “My legs didn’t like it, but we got it done,” he said.

That type of hardworking mentality has been the secret to Lester’s success following his knee replacements. “Dr. Beck was impressed with the degree of flex that I had at my first appointment,” Lester said. “I did the machine, but you have to move it yourself too if you want to get muscle tone back. Most people work up until they have pain and they stop. I worked up to and through the pain. You have to do that to have any gain. If you got no pain, you got no gain.”

Lester believes the doctor is really important. “He does the surgery, fixes you, and puts you back together,” he said. “BUT, you have to do the rest. The machine can only do so much. You have to look at the process and say, I want to get better and then you have to work at it.”

*Dr. Beck utilizes the Signature™ System for knee replacement surgery which utilizes MRI technology to create custom guides for each patient. With the MRI, and Signature™ personalized positioning guides, patients receive greater precision for personalized implant positioning.

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