Dr. Stetson Testimonials
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. Four 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.
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. It 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!
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,
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.