Carl Von Hinken - Midland, MI
"The professionalism of the staff – from start to stop – really impressed me. There is nothing they could have done to make my stay better."
Local Veteran is Back on His Feet After a Total Knee Replacement
While Carl Von Hinken of Midland was on active duty in Iraq with the National Guard, he injured his knee. He dealt with the pain and went on with his life. However, years later, in 2014, he slipped on some loose gravel and reinjured his already arthritic knee while on active duty in Afghanistan. This caused more pain and a lack of mobility.
Two years later, Carl knew it was time for a permanent solution to the now chronic knee pain. "I had to do something," he said. "Even though I was young for the procedure, I decided why put up with the pain if I didn't have to?"
Because both injuries occurred while he was on active duty, Carl worked through the Department of Veteran Affairs to determine he needed a knee replacement to resolve the ongoing and worsening pain issue. After investigating his options, Carl determined he could use Veterans Choice to get the surgery done locally.
Carl did some more research, and found out that Orthopedic Surgeon Denise Stadelmaier, D.O., would accept his military insurance. "Her staff is great," he said. "Veterans Choice is complicated, but they went out of their way to work with me and make it happen. They are professional and accommodating. I would highly recommend them to anyone."
Once he started the process, Carl was anxious to move forward. "I wanted it done as soon as possible," he said. "Again, they made it happen. They found an opening in the schedule about a month out. Specifically, Maisie Pyles, R.N., from Dr. Stadelmaier's office, worked with Veterans Choice to make sure my case did not get delayed. Because of her efforts, from the time the Veteran Choice option was selected until the surgery was completed, only took about 30 days."
After an initial meeting with Dr. Stadelmaier, Carl went back to the VA for pre-op approval. Thanks to Dr. Stadelmaier's staff, things went smoothly, and on February 14, 2017, he underwent total knee replacement surgery at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland.
"The surgery went fine. All I remember is waking up in recovery and things were somewhat fuzzy," Carl said. "I was very impressed with everyone. They were polite and professional."
Carl was required to attend Joint Camp before surgery and physical therapy after surgery. "They knew exactly what I needed to do," he said. "Being younger, I saw results quickly and hit the targets quickly, but I also did the exercises exactly as I was told. I went out of my way to do them because I wanted my recovery to go smoothly. The physical therapists and nursing staff definitely made me feel like I mattered to them while I was recovering in the hospital. The way they conducted themselves and did their jobs was excellent."
His hard work, both before and after, paid off. When Carl was discharged from the hospital, he began working with Physical Therapist Dave Bearss, D.P.T., C.S.C.S. "I've always been skeptical of therapy, but from the first session with Dave I knew I needed to be there," he said. "His professionalism and knowledge was obvious."
After just two weeks, Carl said he had very little pain. "I used a cane at first, but now I'm just walking carefully," he said. "My immediate goal is to normalize my stride. Dave's care and treatment during my recovery process has been most beneficial and, I truly believe, shortened the time needed for me to resume my normal lifestyle."
Carl said everything about his experience was outstanding. Small things, like the private room and the menu-based meal service, made for a very pleasant stay. However, it was the people of MyMichigan who made the real difference, he said. "The professionalism of the staff, from start to finish, really impressed me. There is nothing they could have done to make my stay better."
Those who would like more information on Dr. Stadelmaier or MyMichigan Health’s orthopedic services may visit www.mymichigan.org/bonesandjoints.