Addressing my 28-year history of knee problems

“I am so impressed with my experience once again and glad I chose him to do my surgery as I am doing amazing.”

Graphical text: Summit Stories, overlaying a collage of patient-submitted images

Dr. Skendzel and Summit are truly my Silver Lining during Covid.

I’m not one to sit still too long. I like to stay active, but it has definitely been a challenge. Because of my love of sports and having an active lifestyle, I ended up tearing the labrum in my hip (again) and compounded existing issues in my knee in March during a combination of events that built upon each other. I tweaked both my hip and knee while skiing in MN followed by surfing in Hawaii and topped off by twisting and reaching during gardening this Spring. I tore the labrum in my hip. I was in a lot of pain. I had torn the labrum in my hip in the past and had resulting surgery, so I knew what I was facing. I called the orthopedic team I was seeing, but they were not seeing patients due to Covid. I tried for 2 weeks, then called Summit Orthopedic. Summit was seeing patients. I went in that evening to OrthoQuick and had an MRI scheduled the very next day. I found out that week that I needed surgery.

I met with Dr. Skendzel who helped me understand what needed to be done to fix my torn labrum. Then the Governor put all surgeries on hold. I had to wait another month to have hip surgery. I was concerned and in pain. Dr. Skendzel and his team remained in constant contact with me throughout the moratorium on surgeries, checking in on me and reassuring me that I’d be one of the first on his list for surgery once the the Governor lifted the order. Once the Governor gave his blessing for surgeries to begin again, I received an email, then a phone call from Dr. Skendzel and his team letting me know my surgery date. I got in for surgery very quickly and Dr. Skendzel did an amazing job repairing my torn hip labrum and communicating with me throughout my post surgical rehab.

While rehabbing my hip, it became very apparent that I also needed to have my knee repaired as it was inhibiting my ability to progress further in physical therapy. I expressed my concerns to Dr. Skendzel and we discussed my long 28 year history of knee problems stemming from an ACL injury and surgery in high school that never seemed to heal correctly in addition to all of the career changes I’ve had to make and activities and sports I love to do that I’ve had to give up to accommodate the issues caused by my knee over the years. Dr. Skendzel took the time to listen and consider my concerns including all of the interventions I’ve tried with other doctors and physical therapists over the past 28 years. I appreciate Dr. Skendzel’s active and engaged listening so very much as the previous 6 knee surgeons I’ve seen over the last 28 years did not listen as well nor wanted to take on my complex surgical case. Since no other doctor up to that point was willing to do surgery on my knee, I thought my previous doctor’s option was really my only option, and I was never comfortable with grinding my knee into shreds to ultimately have a knee replacement at the age of 43.

Dr. Skendzel reviewed my MRI from my previous doctor, while in the meantime went for a second (in reality an 8th opinion) with another doctor. That doctor ordered a new MRI, and discovered the true complexity that all other doctors had missed – he found the meniscus root tear that no one else noticed, in addition he saw that my ACL was too vertical and partially torn, scar tissue that was blocking the ability to extend my knee, and the visible bone spur and plica that were causing popping pain when bending my knee. When I went back to Dr. Skendzel with the information, he was very open to talking about the findings and totally appreciated the fact that I had gotten a second opinion, which I was very impressed with and felt relieved about since others doctors I saw in the past were offended by me seeking other doctor’s opinions. Refreshingly, Dr. Skendzel saw the same issues with my knee that the other doctor saw in his findings and agreed that surgery definitely needed to happen. I am very impressed with Dr. Skendzel’s willingness to discuss the different surgery options with me and his gentle, yet firm and professional insistence that the repair of the ACL would be a stronger supporting fix to protect the meniscus root repair.

After taking time to think about the options before me and discussing my concerns in depth with Dr. Skendzel about both options, which by the way I am super impressed and so very appreciative that he took the time to do, I ultimately chose Dr. Skendzel because I had personally experienced Dr. Skendzel’s fantastic attention to detail, amazing communication skills, kind and caring demeanor and bedside manner, and high level of surgery performance on my hip already so I knew that I’d be in good hands again and that Dr. Skendzel would give the same level of effort for my complex knee surgery he was about to perform.

Fast forward, and I am now 10 days post op from the complex knee surgery performed by Dr. Skendzel and I am so impressed with my experience once again and glad I chose him to do my surgery as I am doing amazing. I already have surpassed the extension that I never achieved after my first ACL repair in 1992 and am confident that I will be able to achieve close to zero (completely flat) or perhaps more as my PT feels that hyperextension is within reach during my rehab and physical therapy. Thank God for Dr. Skendzel and Summit Orthopedics or I’d still be waiting for surgery on my hip and would never have had the opportunity to have my knee repaired appropriately after all these years of missed diagnosis and extensive treatments for knee, hip, and back issues, pain and surgeries (3 knee surgeries, 2 hip surgeries, 2 back surgeries) over the years all due to the instability of my ACL and root tear of the meniscus in my knee. I have hope that I have gained dozens more years of use out of my knee before needing a full knee replacement. You’ve saved me years of continual, agonizing pain, money and time spent on physical therapy, and possibly many additional surgeries.

Thank you! Thank you! I am forever grateful for all that Dr. Skendzel, his amazing team, and Summit Orthopedics have done for me. God bless!

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  • Jack Skendzel, M.D.

    “An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”

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