Patient Testimonials

Dr Stetson and staff,

Thank you for allowing me to be back on the soccer field. After a shoulder injury, i am now in business.
J Chereque

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Dr. Stetson

I wanted to thank you, and in particular, your family, for allowing you the space to pursue your career.  Pursuit of perfection is typically a solitary endeavor.  So many sacrifices have to be made to gather all the knowledge available and create new knowledge.  So often, the family sacrifices.  You can’t create something no one has ever seen before if you are going shopping, or to PTA meetings.  So sacrifices are made and regrets are generated.  You sir, are an excellent doctor.  That tells me that you, and your family have paid the price for that excellence.  So I want to thank your family, as well as yourself, for all the sacrifices you’ve both made.  Because…. I am the recipient of that effort.  I lived for twenty five years with the pain of a torn biceps tendon because twenty five years ago, I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a doctor like you at the time.  I am eternally grateful for what you’ve done for me.  I can’t thank you enough.  I’ve been told that you like to coach your son’s baseball team, so I wanted to give you a book I wrote to help coaches and parents that are doing just that.  I don’t expect that it will help you as much as you’ve helped me, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to do anything that would positively impact you and your family. 

Thank you.
Terry Garcia

 

Update on Patient Vianai Austin

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Dr. Stetson, I just wanted to give you an update on Vianai. After your last appointment with Vianai this past December, you gave her your blessings to play and she made it back for the last six games of her senior college year. This past weekend was the senior’s day game and Vianai was able to play extended minutes after finally shaking off the rust in her knees. She scored 15 points (five 3-pointers) and received a huge ovation from the crowd as well as player of the game.

Dr. Stetson this was a huge accomplishment for Vianai because you have performed three surgeries in the last four years on her knees. The 3rd surgery you performed gave her a chance to complete her goal of getting one last opportunity to play in a couple of games for her senior season to complete her college basketball career. Well Dr. Stetson, mission accomplished and we owe you so much gratitude for guiding her on this journey.

Dr. Stetson, on behalf of the Austin Family, thank you so much for taking care of Vianai these past four years. Without your sincere care, she probably would not have been able to ever play again. Just to let you know, her team (Academy of Arts University Division 2) finished in 3rd place and will be starting tournament play this Thursday at Concordia University at 245pm. Your more than invited. Again thank you so much.

Sincerely Byron Austin

 

A Letter from USA Volleyball Star: Christa Harmotto
Dr. Stetson, Just wanted to say thank you for all that you’ve done to get me back on the court doing what I love to do. What a blessing it has been working with yoiu and your staff the past couple of years. I’ll never forget hearing that you prayed for my knee prior to what we thought was potentially a reconstruction. I think about that often and grateful to have been surrounded by believers during my surgeries. All the best to you and your family. I hope to only see you in passing as I plan to stay healthy! – Christa Harmotto
Lt Col Trevor Kleineahlbrandt

I was originally referred to Dr. Stetson from the military medical system two years after I was injured on duty in 2001.Trevor Having endured two years of liberal narcotic prescriptions and worthless cortisone injections, I was finally afforded the opportunity to consult with Dr. Stetson regarding my right shoulder. He immediately made a correct diagnosis and recommended surgery. The surgery itself was trouble free and went well. I’ll add that the entire process of being under Dr Stetson’s care was easy and my treatment was first-rate. I’m enclosing a picture taken on top of the Mayor’s office on one of the last days of the Fallujah battle this past November. Thank you, Dr Stetson for fixing my shoulder and helping get me back in the fight with my fellow Marines. Semper Fidelis, Lt Col Trevor Kleineahlbrandt

 
Testimonial of Katie Parucha

Katie Parucha celebrates with her teammates after her second half goal against UC Santa Cruz.  After she tore her ACL last year, she thought her soccer career might be over.  She had her ACL reconstructed last summer by Dr. Stetson and now is back competing for the Sonoma State Seawolves NCAA soccer team.

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Dear Dr. William Stetson, First of all I really would like to say thank you so much for helping me out with my shoulder. You went out of your way for some kid you did not even know and that shows how amazing of a person that you are. I owe you more than you could imagine. I am healing and my spirits are extremely high. Baseball has always been a dream of mine and I just never had the extra luck that I needed to make it to the next level. Realistically I believe that this is my last attempt to get to the next level. I have had a few disappointments in the past years, but what you have done for me has given me another opportunity. I am planning on being back on the field for any team in the spring just to try and get back in game shape and continue being active. I honestly do not think I could say thank you enough for what you have done for me. Thank you so much Doc! Thank you, KD

Testimonial of Sharon Krause – featured in “The Doctors”

(Watch video here) As I lay on the hospital bed watching Dr. Stetson sign my arm, I knew then that my right shoulder was never to be just “mine” anymore. I was so grateful to be part of a team that I felt was a miracle to find and have on my side. There was no way I was going to let them down. Sharon KrauseIt had all started July 5, 2009. It had been a great 4th of July celebration at our mountain cabin. Everyone had gone home and I looked forward to spending several days relaxing and enjoying the mountains. At about 11:00 pm I discovered a very large bug in the cabin. I was determined to “get rid of it” so that it would not have the chance to find me again! As I threw it on the ground I covered it with some magazine papers so as not to get my shoe messy. BIG MISTAKE! I stepped down on to a virtual “slip and slide”, and slip and slide I did. The pain from the fall was enough to make me feel like I would stop breathing and I just knew when I finally got up that my arm would be going the wrong direction. It wasn’t, but I was in pain! After the pain had somewhat subsided, but I realized I couldn’t move my arm. I brilliantly concluded that it was a temporary numbness. Two weeks later after doctor’s appointments, X-rays, an MRI and endless phone calls came the results: all four tendons in the rotator cuff torn and not operable. Wow!! This could not be happening to me. I kept thinking of all the U.S. soldiers who had lost limbs in war, and my own husband who lost his sight in one eye. I did not want to be selfish about what might be a tragic reality and not be able to accept a new way of life. But I also knew I could not just accept this diagnosis without another opinion. I was becoming all too familiar with what a useless arm was all about. Daily tasks, such as folding towels, were a challenge. Cooking, which I love to do, was difficult in so many ways; stirring, cutting, and washing dishes. My hair! It is impossible to use a curling iron with one hand. I couldn’t pick up my grandchildren and I couldn’t play basketball or other sports with the older grandkids. I continually felt like I might fall again. The shoulder pain was not so bad, but my back was beginning to feel the weight of a useless object hanging around!

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I knew that I had to confirm this diagnosis with someone else. My daughter contacted a friend who is a physician in the Los Angeles area. She encouraged us to come to LA and let Dr. Stetson exam the shoulder. I was scared. How would I know that this would be someone I would want to entrust with my life? We’ve all heard the stories, right? So off to L.A. we went. One appointment was all it took to know that I could trust Dr. Stetson. It was his honesty about the chances of a successful surgery that made me have confidence in him. He was so polite to me, even asked his assistant to hang up my jacket. Wow! I’ve never known another physician to be so concerned about little things like that! The surgery was a success. It is now almost a year later and at times intensive. At first it felt like it would never move again. But by following, to the letter, the instructions from Dr. Stetson and the therapists, little by little, no big giant gains but steady ones, I have almost complete range of motion. Also, ice became my good friend. The puffing sound of my little “Game Ready” put me to sleep for at least six or more weeks. I can still remember Dr. Stetson saying to give it a year and I probably wouldn’t think about the shoulder or notice that anything had happened. He was partly right. I don’t notice that there was anything wrong with the shoulder, but I can’t help but think about it almost every day. I am so humbled by the fact that my surgery was such a success. It was a miracle, to me, to find Dr. Stetson and be the recipient of his gift for doing orthopedic surgery. And I think too about the group of wonderful physical therapists that spent so much time encouraging me and listening to me worry that the pins would pull out of my arm and it would “fall off”. My greatest joy was to hold my new grandson born in May. I am able to bat fly balls and play basketball with my older grandsons. I shouldn’t have felt so sorry for myself not being able to do my daily household tasks, because now that I can do them again and nobody offers to help! Sharon KrauseIn this past year, I have found out many things about Dr. Stetson. Not only has he been given a special gift for doing orthopedic surgery, but he is willing to share his knowledge so others can be helped. All of my physical therapists watched the video of the surgery and were so impressed with his gracious manner during the surgery, explaining to those watching what he was doing (watch video here). His willingness to give his time to people who need care in other countries is a sign of someone who truly cares for people. Also, and this was the most telling, he was nice to everybody on the set of “The Doctors”, not just the other doctors! These are things that make a great person and surgeon! Thank you Dr. Stetson for all you have given back to me. It was truly a miracle that did not seem possible in the first few weeks. My prayer is for your continued success in using the gift you have been given. May there be miracles for others too.
 
Problem: Degenerative joint disease in my right knee, Peter Beck , Age: 21

I was diagnosed, much to my shock and chagrin, with degenerative joint disease in my right knee just weeks after my 21st birthday. My physical life as I knew it began to change then, even if I didn’t really know it. Peter BeckFour years later I jumped on the surgery merry-go-round. After four surgeries in as many years, I had come to the end of the road in terms of treatment options and the pain in my knee was getting progressively worse. I could barely walk a mile without subsequent, nearly debilitating pain in the days to follow. I was referred to Dr. Stetson by my orthopedic surgeon, one of his own colleagues. Doctor Stetson outlined for me three treatment options. One was a structure altering surgery that would do little more than treat my symptoms and buy me a few more years of functionality. Option two was a partial replacement of the knee at the age of 32. Option three was the most radical concept, a fairly new procedure that was barely in the investigative stage of testing: a meniscal allograft. There were no guarantees of success but this option seemed the most promising especially given my young age. In August 1997, Dr. Stetson transplanted a donor meniscus into my right knee, the first such procedure in St. Louis. This operation and Dr. Stetson’s efforts have given me twelve years of relatively pain free activity. I’ve been able to resume some of my previous activities like skiing and soccer. While I’ll never be able to play at the level I had as a teen, Dr. Stetson’s care and this procedure have guaranteed that I can enjoy these activities with my twelve year old son in a way that I feared would have been impossible twelve years ago. Thanks for all you did then and still caring today. Peter Beck

 
USA Men’s Olympic Volleyball Player, Riley Salmon

Goup PictureUSA Men’s Olympic Volleyball Player, Riley Salmon, avoids surgery and helped lead our USA Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team to a gold medal in Beijing. He came to Dr. Stetson two years ago after being told by another doctor that he needs to have surgery on his shoulder which may end his career and his Olympic dreams. Dr. Stetson treated him with a course of rest and rehabilitation and he was of the starting players on our USA Men’s Olympic volleyball team which won a gold medal in Bejing. Dr. Stetson is one of the team physicians for our Men’s Olympic volleyball team and recently celebrated their gold medal performance here in Southern California. Watch Video >>

 
Problem: Right Shoulder, Ian Ayers , Age: 36

Ian AyersMy name is Ian Ayers, and I just want to inform anyone looking into orthopedic care, they have found the right person, Dr. Stetson. Here’s my story, 20 years ago in high school I developed popping in my right shoulder which followed up years later with extreme pain in the back of my right shoulder. I love to work out and play sports but the only thing that made my shoulder not hurt was to not work out. Since that was not an option I have been dealing with finding a fix to my shoulder issue for about 15 years or more. Over the past 15 years I have seen HMO doctors who only cared that I could move my arm above my head and sent me on my way, and I have seen PPO doctors who I researched thinking they would be the best because they were team doctors for most of the major league sporting teams we have here in Los Angeles. While seeing at least 10 or more doctors over the last 15 years, I’ve received 5 MRI’s, multiple x-rays, nerve testing (including a nerve block which numb your entire arm and right side of face, yeah that was fun), multiple cortisone shots, and even a botox shot (not because my shoulder had wrinkles, but its actually a muscle relaxer, who knew), and numerous years of physical therapy and pill taking of anti-inflamatory stuff. None of it helped. And not one previous doctor knew what the problem was because none of the MRI’s or X-rays revealed anything an exact problem.

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Ian AyersDetermined to continue to live, work out, play sports and be a father, I learned that the only thing that temporarily relieved my shoulder was to severely stretch the back of my shoulder muscles. After family members grew tired of standing on my shoulder to stretch it out, I went to Home Depot and created my own muscle stretcher which I had to use for at least 30 minutes after every work out or I wouldn’t be able to move my arm for a week afterwards. After years of this self therapy the shoulder just kept getting worse and worse, so I tried to diagnose the injury myself through lots and lots of research. I thought that it sounded similar to an injury volleyball players get and at the same time I was reading this a coworker told me they had gone to Dr. Stetson for their shoulder. So I researched him and found out he was a professional volleyball player. So I booked an appointment. Now this is where is gets amazing!! I walk in without having any MRI’s or X-Rays, he moves my arm around, asks me a few questions about how it feels and makes a diagnosis, a torn labrum. I was shocked, after seeing over 10 specialists multiple times over the last 15 years, no one had ever had a clue as to what the problem was. Although it wasn’t the “volleyball injury” I thought it was, I didn’t care, I was just elated that someone actually had an idea as to what the problem was. It actually seemed like a miracle. Although I was still skeptical that it was the right answer, I was just happy that someone actually diagnosed it. I booked the surgery for one week later, and as it turned out from the surgery he was exactly right with his diagnosis. During the surgery he actually taped the surgery process and showed me the large torn labrum ligament which is exactly what he thought it was. He fixed it up and sent me on my way, and within a month or so I was working out again with no pain. It’s now about 10 months later and my life is completely different, I feel like a different person now that the constant daily pain is out of my life. I can even play with my son now without feeling the pain for days after. Thanks Dr. Stetson, you’ve changed my life.
 
John Jacobsen

John JacobsenDear Dr. Stetson, It has been a journey back to good health and to experience the joy of life since September 3, 2002. As you know, I am a very fortunate 57 year old guy who loves to watch and participate in sports. A series of events has enabled us to become friends, first because you became my trusted doctor. Of course there were prerequisites for this to happen. Living as a kid in a 57 year old body is a start. I love activity and sports, but things happen along the way. First, there was a shoulder injury from high school football that was never treated. I was a macho kid who did not have the sense to know when I was hurt, so I let it go for years, aggravating the injury playing football, baseball, tennis, and ski falls.

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In September 2002, I was involved in a horrific automobile accident on the freeway as I was plowed by an 18 wheeler on the 2 Freeway. The truck was traveling 55 miles an hour as I was moving 5 miles per hour. At the point of impact, I was knocked unconscious and was pushed 400 feet in a ball of flames crashing into 5 other cars. A passing motorist woke me up and saved my life. The car exploded seconds after my escape from the wreckage. As the picture tells the story, one can see why I feel so lucky to be alive and want to continue to live and love my family with my passion for sports activities included. Especially the fact I sustained only a concussion, 6 stitches in the back of my head, black and blue bruises covered my arms, legs, back, and chest including an awfully sore right hip. That’s when I met you….a referral from Dr. Edmund Lew. You gave me cortisone shot to alleviate the inflammation in my hip. At the time I was so impressed with your professionalism. Little did I know I would be seeing you within 6 months as a result of another injury? Feeling rather invincible after my new lease on life, on March 9, 2003, I was skiing Mammoth in the snowboard park with the brats. I shattered my right femur in 6 places as I biffed on the side of a jump hitting solid ice. Again, I was very fortunate to be in good hands as Dr. Steven Banner operated and inserted a titanium rod in the shaft of my femur at the hospital in Mammoth. Returning home, it was you Dr. Stetson who came to my need as you were my doctor who treated and rehabbed my leg for months to come. It took many months of hard work as your team encouraged me to continue to never give up my passion to ski and get back to the sports I love. John JacobsenThe next ski season I was back on the slopes! The leg was not quite as strong as I wanted and believed it to be. I had problems in the steeps not able to hold an edge turning right as I could not initiate the proper angle and pressure needed. My left ski just did not bite as it used to. The alignment of my left leg was also slightly tweaked to the outside making it even more difficult to set an inside edge. As a result, not able to complete a turn, I fell backwards, doing a number on my right shoulder. Actually, this was the finish of my shoulder, an accumulated history of athletic abuse tearing the 4 rotator cuffs. Back to you, Dr. Stetson, my trusted sports medicine man! On June 1, 2004, you repaired my shoulder, something I should have done many years earlier. But, of course I am glad I waited. Your skills and improved technique certainly worked in my favor. Record snowfall in 2006! Not quite the edge control I used to have in the avalanche chutes and steeps? Probably not, but I was not thinking that in February 2006. I took a slider and my shoulder chose to stay planted on the slope as the rest of my body went for a ride, meaning I ripped my labium and rear rotator cuff again. I know because I have the video featuring Dr. Stetson’s surgical repair dated July 13, 2006. Matter a fact, as you know, these surgeries inspired our mutual friend, Andy Aitken and me to record a spoof UCLA medical training video posing as doctors. We had so much fun! I am really committed not to get injured again. The timing gets too complicated. There is work, harassment from friends, not being able to drive my manual transmission car, other sports, sleeping with a sling, and the list goes on. Not to leave out pain and suffering. I have zero tolerance for ski falls! My right shoulder and left leg are strong once again, thanks to you Dr. Stetson. You have become my friend. Professionally I will recommend you to everyone I come across who is in need of orthopedic care. Especially to people who have the passion to return to the activities and sports they truly love. You are the best and I thank you for your care. Best regards, John Jacobsen
 
Debbie Munsey

Debbie MunseyIn 2002, a bouldering accident at Joshua Tree rendered me unable to walk or to put any weight on my right leg. After an emergency room misdiagnosis, I made an appointment to see Dr. Stetson who knew almost immediately what the true problem was: a torn ACL. He outlined the treatment options?both surgical and non-surgical. I felt that he was very thorough and straightforward about the advantages and disadvantages of each choice, so I was able to make a well-informed decision that was right for me. In my case, I wanted to continue to hike and backpack for many years, to be as strong as possible, so I opted for surgery. In all phases of the process, from preparation for the operation to recovery and physical therapy, Dr. Stetson managed my case beautifully and I always knew what to expect. The only nasty surprise in the whole process was the initial accident itself! As the mother of an active six-year-old, getting back on my feet fast was important. Under Dr. Stetson’s care, I returned to my normal activities quickly. The following year, I day-hiked Mt. Whitney (22 miles and about 6,000 feet of elevation gain) without knee pain (see above). Not bad for an over-forty mom with two screws in her knee, and I owe it to the skill, knowledge and guidance of Dr. Stetson.

 
Helen W.

Dear Dr. Stetson, Humanity is so blessed to have your presence as a part of it! The work that you do enables human beings (like me for instance) to live life to the fullest (again)!!! From the bottom of my heart I thank you, I only wish that words could express the greatness which you give to humanity! Sincerely, Helen W. Age 16

 
Patti Paniccia and Jeff Mailes

Patti Paniccia and Jeff MailesAs a former top ranked professional surfer and now, an avid recreational surfer, I’ve spent decades pushing my shoulders beyond what most people can imagine. The shoulder endurance is demanded not while riding a wave, but when paddling through giant breaking waves to reach the outside lineup. When I reached my 50s, it seemed that my shoulders were falling apart. I thought there was no coming back, but Dr. Stetson surgically repaired a torn and weakened rotator cuff. No more pain, no more living on ibuprophen, and no more icing my shoulder after a good day surfing with my family. He also operated on my husband Jeff, a news photographer who carries a very heavy camera on his shoulder. We both highly recommend him. Patti Paniccia

 
Kris Krise

Kris KriseI have played baseball since I was 5 and have been a pitcher since I was 9. I always dreamed of playing in the Major Leagues. When I was 14 the high school football coach asked me to play football. My parents didn’t want me to, but told me it was my choice. I decided to play. After all, lots of kids play more than one sport in high school. It was September 26, 1998, the third game of the season and we were winning with less then 2 minutes left in the game. I went to sack the quarterback when I felt a terrible pain in my elbow. My pitching elbow. My own teammate had hit the back of my elbow with his face mask, hyper-extending my arm. The ulna bone broke off and lodged into my dislocated elbow, taking the ligaments and tendons with it. I couldn’t feel the last three fingers on my right hand, which I later found out was because I had shredded the nerve on both ends. All I could think about while riding to the hospital in the ambulance was that I would never throw a ball again. No more baseball. No more dream. I was lucky enough to have Dr. Stetson on call that day to do my surgery. Dr. Stetson repaired the nerve, ligaments and tendons and put the ulna bone back on with a 2 ½ inch screw. I was pitching again 6 months later for the varsity baseball team at Crescenta Valley High School. I graduated in 2002 and was drafted by the Arizona Diamond Backs, but took a full baseball scholarship to UC Irvine. The summer of my freshman year in college I went to Cape Cod and played for the Brewster White Caps. In 2004 I was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, but took a full baseball scholarship to Chico State University where I went 9-2, was “Pitcher of The Week”, won the 2005 Western Regional Championships and went to the Division II College World Series in Montgomery Alabama. On June 7, 2005 I was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers. A week later I was on a plane to Utah to play for their Rookie team, the Ogden Raptors. My dream finally came true. I am 22 yrs old now and getting ready for Spring Training. None of this would have been possible without Dr. Stetson. He gave me back my dream. Thank you Dr. Stetson. Sincerely, Kris Krise

 
Todd Siemering

Todd SiemeringI was a patient of Dr. Stetson’s in 1999-2000. I had chronic dislocation of my right shoulder. He operated to put it back together, basically, and he did an excellent job! Dr. Stetson also wrote a letter of confidence to the Army for me so I could get in. With his help, I was able to succeed in the Army for four years. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me, and it will pave the way to what seems to be a promising future. I just wanted to thank you Dr. Stetson for your great work and friendly service. I hope this letter finds you well, and I hope you can continue to help others the way you’ve helped me. Thanks, Doctor! Sincerely, Todd Siemering

 
Robin Noll

Robin NollI had been suffering from very painful “tennis elbow” for several months. It happened at a very inopportune time as I was scheduled to participate in the translocation of endangered peninsular pronghorn antelope in the Vizcaino Desert in Baja, California. Several weeks prior to the departure date I seriously did not think I would be able to go. I could not pick up a cup of coffee without pain let alone a pronghorn! I had seen Dr. Stetson some time ago for a shoulder injury sustained at work and was impressed (and healed) with his skill. I thought it was worth a chance and scheduled an appointment. After one visit and cortisone treatment I had absolutely no pain. I had one of the best experiences of my life and we successfully translocated 28 pronghorn to a new habitat where hopefully they will reproduce and thrive. Two months later I continue to be pain free. Thank you Dr. Stetson!

 
Jonathan Bowman

Jonathan BowmanI have been very active in sports all my life: gymnastics, rock climbing and now endurance horse racing. This entails racing horses cross-country for 50, 75 and 100 miles. My horse and I have been to the Pan American Championships and have been ranked in the top 4 in our weight division on the West Coast for 6 years. We can’t afford to be slowed down much by a broken leg… In mid-February, I broke my leg and Dr Stetson had to install a plate and 6 screws to hold me together. Because of his excellent work, I have retained my flexibility and the strength is quickly returning. I am racing again, having completed a 50-mile race in mid-May, after short 3-month layoff. This picture was taken at an endurance race called the Tevis Cup in the Lake Tahoe area. Thank you Dr. Stetson.

 
Tony Esteban

Tony EstebanThanks Dr. Stetson for getting me back to handball!