Dallas Sarcoma Associates
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Patient Testimonials

Dr. Casas-Ganem has been my Orthopedic doctor/surgeon and Oncologist for over 6 years. HE IS THE BEST. People come from all over the world for him to fix their knees, hips, shoulders etc either for the first time, or to fix other surgeon's mess ups.

Bill D.

Discover what our patients have to say regarding their office visit, surgical experience or recovery process. We also encourage our existing patients to share their own experience!

"October 31, 2011 my left hip broke without any warning, I was 42 years old at that time. The next month and a half I went from one doctor to another until my orthopedic surgeon recommended Dr. Casas. I had many morbidity factors that prevented any doctor in Tarrant County from performing the operations needed. Dr. Casas quickly confirmed the diagnosis, Avascular Necrosis, and we proceeded on a course of treatment. We attempted to save the left hip so I could resume my occupation as a diesel mechanic. While I was healing from that surgery my right hip went completely out. We replaced my right hip. Then I went through PT for a while until I was strong enough to have my left hip completely replaced. Many factors went into the reasons why my left hip did not take to the attempt to save it but I am glad we at least tried. We replaced my left hip in May of 2013 and as of today I rarely have pain and only use a cane some of the time. I walk with a slight limp but both Dr. Casas and Jennifer Reed, his PA, told me that eventually I will walk without the limp. I thank God every day for Dr. Casas and everyone at Dallas Sarcoma Associates for their willingness to sacrifice so much to bring healing to people like me. I enjoy everyday and live life to the fullest. Each day I experience some situation in which I stop and think I could not do this or that because of my pain or being in a wheelchair or having some sort walking aid. I have done many things to reduce or remove my morbidity factors although some will never completely be gone. I want to thank everyone at Dallas Sarcoma Associates for guiding, helping and healing me through this part of my journey in life. When life is at it's darkest moments don't give up hope because there are Angels like the ones at Dallas Sarcoma Associates who will help you through. Blessings to All !!! "

Michael L.
Left and Right Total Hip Replacement

April W

"In 2008, I was diagnosed with Myxoid Liposarcoma and had a tumor in my left leg in my quad muscles. I was 22 years old and in great shape - totally unprepared to face cancer. I was blessed to be paired up with Dr. Casas. His bedside manner was calming and informative. He is one of those rare doctors that understands the human connection while also being a genius in his field. I felt so well supported by his network of professionals that helped review my case to make sure that the proper steps were taken to remove my cancer. Dr. Casas removed part of my quad muscle in an effort to completely remove the tumor. His judgment in the overall treatment process was excellent and he was very informative about everything he planned to do and why he planned to do or not do something. He acted cautiously and kept a close watch on me as I entered remission. He listened to even the smallest of my concerns and provided clarification or help. In 2013, I celebrated my 5 year anniversary of being cancer free by bringing a big cake and balloons into my check-up. Dr. Casas celebrated with us and we ate cake together - what a guy! I pushed myself every year to accomplish new things on my compromised left leg and that same month I ran a half-marathon! Thanks to Dr. Casas, he saved my leg and saved my life. I am so filled with joy and thankfulness to God that we were paired together. He is an excellent doctor and wonderful person."

April W
Removal of tumor, diagnosis: Myxoid Liposarcoma

Hip Stories

Carl Savino

"It is unbelievable to think that I am pain-free after all those years."

"By the time I was 22, my left hip was filled with arthritis. Sports were out of the question, even simple things like jogging and golfing. In the meantime, I put up with the pain and led a boring lifestyle. Eventually my right hip, which I favored because my left hip was so bad, began hurting too. I finally made an appointment with a Stryker orthopaedic specialist. It's been 15 months since my two total hip replacements, and my life has improved tremendously. I no longer take painkillers. I'm able to do more things. I play golf. I walk more. I recently started horseback riding. And the best thing is, I'm pain-free."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Carl Savino, 52
Stryker Hip Replacement


"I decided it was time when my daughter started to walk, and I couldn't play with her."

"I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis about 14 years ago. I couldn't walk far. I couldn't climb steps very well. I certainly couldn't ride a bike. You name a daily activity you take for granted, I couldn't do it. Finally, the pain got so bad, I decided to have my hips replaced when my daughter started to walk, and I couldn't play with her. I couldn't even pick her up. So I had both hips replaced within a week of each other. If you're thinking about hip replacement, find a good surgeon, educate yourself, and make your own decision. You'll know when it's the right time."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Dan Skoglund, 42
Stryker Hip Replacement


"It was the best thing I've ever done."

"I'm a nurse working 12-hour shifts, and I'm on my feet constantly. I developed pain in my right hip, so I started taking medication. But it wasn't getting better. The pain was so bad that even routine things like getting out of bed, going to work, and buying groceries were difficult. My doctor said I had arthritis that destroyed my hip. We decided there was no other option: I had to have my hip replaced. He gave me information about the new ceramic technology from Stryker. After reading it, I was even more willing to have the surgery. And it was the best thing I've ever done. My life is back to normal. I don't even remember the pain anymore, which is wonderful."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Christine Bartholomew, 39
Stryker Hip Replacement


"When you no longer get enjoyment out of most anything, it's pretty much time."

"I played ice hockey for Women's Team USA for six years, and was involved in competitive sports for 24 years. My pain started in the lower back, then after a little bit of discovery, my hips were identified as the source. The process of deciding to have my hip replaced is one I now look back on and feel pretty comfortable with. I did quite a bit of research. You know, finding the right doctor. Finding the right hospital and care. Also being proactive and having your care thought through both before and after your surgery seemed to be an advantage. And picking the right parts. I felt very confident going with the Stryker ceramic-on-ceramic hip because of its long term benefits, its wear benefits, and also its function. I am truly thankful to have my life back."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Kelly Dyer, 38
Stryker Hip Replacement


"My doctor, the technology - they gave me the freedom to be myself again."

"My hip pain was undiagnosed for awhile. I was in pain no matter what I did. I have three children who are active in sports year-round - which means I need to stay active, too. Just a day on my feet was exhausting, but what was worse was the inability to sleep. Ultimately, the pain became so great, no kind of painkiller could help. So, I interviewed a number of surgeons until I found my Stryker orthopaedic specialist, who had done hundreds of these surgeries. As soon as I woke up, I knew I made the right decision. It really was instantaneous that the pain relief was so significant. My doctor, the technology, the experience - they were all integral to making a good decision. It's made a big difference in my life, and to the people around me as well."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Paul Noone, 43
Stryker Hip Replacement

Knee Stories


"There's a point where your life just becomes miserable if you don't get it replaced."

"My dad was always a real outdoorsman just like his father was. So he raised my brother and me the same way, active in a lot of sports - fishing, cycling, camping. I was always pushing the edge, which took its toll on my knees over the years. The pain got so intense I couldn't do any of the activities I've always thrived on - and for me that's not living anymore. So, I did a lot of research. I interviewed several surgeons, looked at the different knee designs, and you know, I was quite impressed with the Stryker knee. I had the knee replacement, and the moment I woke up from surgery. I noticed that the arthritis pain I'd been suffering all these years was gone"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Dave Richards, 43
Stryker Knee Replacement


"I shouldn't have waited . I feel 20 years younger."

"I'm a nurse and I'm on my feet 10 hours a day. Fifteen years ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. Arthritis set in, the joint deteriorated, and the pain grew worse. Coming home to elevate and ice my leg was more important than sitting at dinner with my family. I felt like an old woman. My doctor recommended total knee replacement, but I was afraid. Then I heard about minimally invasive surgery, and I decided to go for it. I was amazed that everything went so fast. I had such a quick recovery. My therapist said I was too fast for a walker - the day after surgery! Nine days later, I walked into my doctor's office without even a cane. Stryker total knee replacement has totally improved my quality of life."

Results not typical and may vary by individual and not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Christine Ricciardi, 57
Stryker Knee Replacement


"I would say my quality of life is now 200%, versus 25% before the surgery."

"I'm a mother of five. Grandmother of two. I have an active life, which has gotten even better since I had my knee replacement. Before the surgery, my activity was very limited. I was in severe pain for a good two years before I came to the conclusion a total knee replacement was the only way to go. My bicycle riding came to an end, my bowling, even cleaning around the house and playing with the children or dancing with my grandchildren. But now, oh wow! The pain factor is gone. I'm looking younger, I'm feeling younger, and I've lost a total of 71 pounds because I'm much more mobile. I can scrub floors, I can climb a stepladder, I can bend and stoop, I can get in and out of the car. What can't I do? This is a quality of life procedure. It's gonna get you out of bed, keep you off the crutches, and out of the wheelchair."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Charisse Green, 42
Stryker Knee Replacement

Hip and Knee Testimonial

Life Rebuilt - New Knees, New Hips, and a New Outlook

Fifty-seven-year-old dentist Ray Tomb is a new man - from the hips down that is. Since he had both knees and hips replaced six years ago, friends, colleagues, and patients can't believe how well he gets around.

Knock-kneed since childhood, Ray didn't let an increasingly awkward gait, or knees that touched when he faced forward, stop him from playing racquetball, football, wrestling, or golf. But the intense groin pain that hit in his late 40s did. The diagnosis: avascular necrosis. The added pressure from his knee structure had been destroying his hips. His surgeon had to straighten his knees and even out his legs before repairing them.

At 51, he had three surgeries - one for both ScorpioĆ¢ knee implants, and one for each Trident® ceramic-on-ceramic hip - and was rehabilitated and walking the golf course within eight months. His swing has shifted from all arms back to his hips, and his game is better than ever. He swims and takes walks with his family on vacation instead of sitting things out. "I've just totally rebuilt my life," says Ray.

His patients, impressed with his recovery, seem to be following in his reconstructed footsteps. At least 10 have had either hips or knees replaced by the same surgeon. Several have also had both knees done at once, and couldn't be happier. Like Ray, they claim it's the best thing they could have done to bring back their quality of life.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Ray Tomb (Hip and Knee)

Hip Testimonials


Trident® Hips "A Gift" Worth Waiting For

Carl J. Savino, Jr., loves a story with a happy ending. After 30 years of living with a painful circulatory disease, which had deteriorated the top of his left femur - and had eventually broken down his right hip - the 52-year-old feels like a little boy who finally got the bicycle he hoped to find under the Christmas tree. And the best part is he can ride it, too.

For years, Carl's doctors encouraged him to put off surgery. Resigned from age 22 to a life of limited activity - no running, jogging, playing tennis, or golfing - he settled on taking increasing doses of Motrin to combat pain and arthritis. As his condition worsened, the Pennsylvania-based funeral director began asking for backup whenever jobs required lifting, carrying, and walking up and down stairs. The pain had permeated all areas of his life.

Now, after having both hips replaced with Trident® ceramic cups and titanium stems in a single operation, Carl focuses more on what's possible than on what's prohibited. "It's such a thrill to walk without any pain," says Carl. "It's almost too good to be true. I hope this 'bike' I've been given never disappears or gets taken away. That's how I feel about my hips. I never thought I'd feel this well. It's a miracle - just a great, great thing."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Carl J. Savino, Jr. (Hip)


Thirty-Nine and Feeling Fine - Thanks to Trident® Hip

At 38, Christine Bartholomew, RN, was shocked to discover the sharp pain in her hip was the onset of arthritis. Considered young for hip replacement surgery, she endured a year of progressive pain, finding it increasingly difficult to stand, walk long distances, take care of three children, or hobble through 12-hour hospital shifts. When her patients started telling her she looked like she was in more pain than they were, she knew it was time for orthopaedic intervention.

Ever since her surgeon removed a painful cyst that had developed under diseased cartilage and implanted a ceramic-on-ceramic Trident® hip with a titanium stem, Christine has been "ecstatic." "When I found out Stryker had come out with a ceramic hip, it motivated me to do the research and have the surgery right away," says Christine. Now pain-free, she's glad she did.

Encouraged by the potential durability of the Trident® hip for younger, more active patients, she feels great "peace of mind" for the future. "The door that closed - because I was worried about losing my job, becoming homebound, going on disability and parking in handicapped spaces for the rest of my life - suddenly opened," says Christine. "Now I can vacation with my family, walk up and down my steps, and work without worrying".

She adds, "I didn't think I would ever have a normal life again. And now I do. I am very grateful to Stryker Orthopaedics for giving me my life back."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Christine Bartholomew (Hip)


Trident® Hip Fits "Type-A" Lifestyle Perfectly

When Jason Baker's orthopaedic surgeon showed him X-rays of his 30-year-old, bone-on-bone joints, he asked, "Where did you get these hips from?" For Jason, the more important question was "How soon can I get them fixed?"

For years, the "Type A" athlete and corporate recruiter had been feeling progressively intense hip and rear muscle pain, which had thrown doctors off track because it seemed to emanate from his groin. Finally diagnosed with genetic osteoarthritis, he was determined to correct the problem and get on with life.

Referred to a surgeon who was involved in trials for Stryker's Trident® ceramic-on-ceramic hip, he scheduled surgery during a break between jobs in November 2002. Within a week of replacing the worse right hip, he was walking without pain. A month later, he walked close to 70 blocks in New York City, drove back to Pennsylvania, and got out of the car unhampered by the old, dreaded pain and numbness.

Outside of initial surgical soreness and stiffness, he continues to recover better than expected. With the benefit of uninterrupted, pain-free sleep, he is back to enjoying all his favorite sports and weekend activities. Recently married, he is also looking forward to playing with his kids someday.

"A lot of people told me I was crazy to have the surgery at such a young age," says Jason. "The lesson I learned is I'm not willing to give up my way of life because of something like this. The fact that I had the surgery at 30, and now my life is back to normal, should indicate why people should do it. I couldn't be happier!"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Jason Baker (Hip)


Trident® Hip Transforms Pain into Gain for Former Pro Hockey Player

"It's tough to sell when you're in pain," says Kelly Dyer. The more the femoral head in her right hip deteriorated, the harder it was for the former Women's Team USA Ice Hockey player to get excited about the line of sticks and equipment she sells for TPS Louisville Hockey. "All I could think was 'I can't wait to get home and get some ice on this hip,' " says Kelly. "It really started to bother me."

Working trade shows was torture. Even getting in and out of her car after long trips required letting her leg hang out the door for awhile before she could put pressure on it. Worn out by the end of the day, her social life suffered, too. No longer able to take long walks or bicycle rides, she tried to keep active with occasional, moderate sailing and kayaking. When offered Boston Bruins game tickets, the longtime fan and one-time Olympic hockey advisor would think, "Stairs . parking lot . no, thanks."

After trying medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and several preliminary surgeries, the 38-year-old athlete was convinced replacing her failing hip was the only way to get back to actively living. Her surgeon recommended the Stryker Orthopaedics ceramic-on-ceramic Trident® hip with a titanium stem for its potential longevity and active wear benefits.

Recovering from surgery at New England Baptist Hospital, she was excited to find herself "not complaining about my hip at all." She looks forward to easing back into her favorite, least aggressive sports, possibly sailing and getting back to coaching this summer at her women's hockey school. For Kelly, the transformation has been "pretty amazing."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Kelly Dyer (Hip)

Not Ready for Nursing Home, Aerobic Walker is Agile Again

An aerobic walker for many years, Neva Moten, 65, felt like she'd stepped in a hole one day and never got out. Over two years, her condition worsened to the point where she couldn't put on a sock or tie her shoe. Unable to turn over in bed, she couldn't sleep at night. And once she crept downstairs in the morning she did her best to stay there until bedtime.

After trying sports medicine, rehabilitation, and a host of medications, she made her way to an orthopaedic surgeon. He explained how the cup in her once-damaged, and now arthritic, hip had worn, making one leg shorter than the other. With a 20% contracture, she was perpetually bent. "If I straightened my spine, my leg came up at the hip and knee and bent like a stork," says Neva. "And if I stood up on that leg, I bent forward at the hip and couldn't stand up straight."

Now, after Trident® ceramic hip replacement surgery, she can not only stand up straight, she can stretch out flat in bed, enjoy water aerobics, practice yoga, and walk several miles a day. "My friends just can't believe it," says Neva. "Before, I was ready for the nursing home. Now I can walk, I can stand straight, and I can smile - hip, hip hooray!"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Neva Moten (Hip)


With Trident® Hip, Active Dad Gets Back to Basics

For Paul Noone, 42, being a dad is more than a spectator sport. As the devastating pain in his hip made it increasingly difficult to play with his two sons, eight and six, and caddy golf tournaments for his 10-year-old daughter, he was anxious to set it right.

Avascular necrosis in his right hip had cut off the blood supply to Paul's femur, causing the bone to die where it meets the pelvis. Paul's doctor compared his collapsed femoral head to a broken ping-pong ball with jagged edges. Over an 18-month period - while he interviewed surgeons to get to the root of his originally misdiagnosed condition - he lived with intense pain, which made it difficult to walk, sleep, golf, or play with his kids.

Research led him to a surgeon involved in the Stryker Orthopaedics Trident® hip trials, whose volume, outcomes, and access to technology inspired him to schedule the first available date. Within days of receiving a ceramic-on-ceramic Trident® ball and acetabulum, he slept through the night for the first time in months. Soon, he hopes to resume his golf schedule, which had gone from 63 rounds a year to less than four. And, he looks forward to keeping up with his kids again.

"I can't imagine what it was like before they had surgery like this," says Paul. "Living with constant pain just breaks you down. I'm always telling people how grateful I am."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Paul Noone (Hip)

Trident® Hip Recipient Limps No More

Rich Haydinger used to think a serious hip problem would show on the outside. So he lived with pain and limited mobility in his right hip until friends with experience told him he'd feel it "on the inside." Still, he waited until he couldn't stand it anymore to schedule the hip replacement he knew was inevitable.

"I would have to bend over so far I'd get abdominal cramps because I couldn't lift my leg up and cross it to put socks on," says Rich. "And I started wearing loafers all the time so I didn't have to tie shoes. Remember Chester from 'Gunsmoke?' He'd drag a leg and say, 'Wait for me, Marshall Dillon.' That's what I felt like."

At 61, he learned an old football injury was the root of his calcium deposits, arthritis, and bone chips. After receiving a Trident® hip with a titanium stem from "the best surgeon [he] could find," Rich put his faith in his orthopaedic team - doctors, nurses, physical therapists - and his own hard work to regain basic function. Now, after religiously following his physical therapy program, he doesn't need regular doses of Motrin to get through his day anymore. He can easily put his socks on, walk up stairs, and drive his car to oversee the apartment buildings he owns, manages, builds, and rehabs with his three sons. With no more pain and all gain, he's moving on.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Rich Haydinger (Hip)

"We Got Our Lives Together Back" - Active Couple Appreciates Trident® Hips

Old age, extra weight, arthritis - for years, 52-year-old Richard Sloan attributed the pain, tightness, and limited movement in his hips to anything that didn't require total hip surgery. "The idea of total hip surgery was horrifying," says Richard. "I thought, 'That's a big deal. That only happens to really old people.' "

So, while his wife, Kathy, an orthopaedic operating room nurse, rallied for hip replacement, Richard tried everything else to postpone the inevitable. He exercised through the pain, hid how much it hurt to hike, took three or four aspirins a day, and used burning analgesics to mask the "shards of glass" shooting through his joints. Rooster comb and cortisone injections offered only short-term relief.

Then, he read an article in USA Today about young people benefiting from the long-term potential of ceramics. "That's what I wanted to hear," says Richard. Two Trident® hip replacement surgeries later, Richard, a freelance writer and long-time "newspaper guy" wishes every hip pain sufferer knew what he knows now. "My wife and I can go dancing, walking, and traveling again," says Richard. "I'm feeling just incredible."

He mentioned his hips in a local newspaper article and will approach other publications, too. Kathy hopes spouses will take notice. "Patients aren't the only ones affected," she says. "While Richard was dealing with his hips, our lives together were basically taken away. When he got his total hips, he didn't just get his life back, we got our lives back. We're having so much fun. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Richard Sloan (Hip)


Journalist/Author Regains Youth, Credits Trident® Hips

A former television anchor and most recently the author of two popular Florida travel books, Robin Chapman, 53, is used to making appearances. For five years she gritted her teeth and appeared to be okay. But by the time she was diagnosed with advanced avascular necrosis, which had restricted the blood flow to her hips and severely deteriorated her joints, her surgeon couldn't believe she was even walking at all.

As it became increasingly difficult to get in and out of cars, sit through plane trips, ride her bicycle, go to the gym, sleep, or even walk across a room, Robin went from public personality to private pain sufferer. Now, after bilateral Trident® hip replacements, she's pain-free and back to her energetic, social self. "This surgery," says Robin, "has given me back my life."

"They say this is an elective procedure," reflects Robin, "In my case I don't think it was. For somebody like me who has led such an active life, it was a devastating picture of the future. It's tough to write travel books and make public appearances if you're in too much pain to leave your house."

Now, Robin feels she can do anything, even return to daily journalism if she'd like to, where she'd be chasing stories and rushing in and out of "live" trucks. Supported by ceramic-on-ceramic joints her surgeon calls "as beautiful as a German sports car," she's regaining lost time. "And now if you average the age of all my body parts," she says, "I am actually younger than I was before!"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Robin Chapman (Hip)


Exeter® Total Hip Proves Excellent Choice for Active Orthopaedic Industry Consultant

According to orthopaedic consultant and sales education instructor John Tilling, his symptoms were "textbook" osteoarthritis. Hours spent on squash, racquetball, and tennis courts had contributed to the gradual deterioration of his hip joint surfaces. After enduring 10 years of progressive pain and increasingly limited movement, he took the advice of the orthopaedic surgeons he works with and agreed it was time to "get that hip fixed."

When it came to choosing a surgeon, hospital, and hip system, he was in familiar territory. As a former Stryker sales rep, he had worked with the surgeon who designed the Exeter® hip system. Over the years, he had been involved in Exeter® workshops, observed Exeter® surgeries, listened to papers, and reviewed clinical results. However, even though he had a lot of confidence in the system, he knew it was most important to find the best and most experienced surgeon and let him recommend the implant.

His search took him back to the United Kingdom and the hospital in the city of Exeter® where it all began in 1968. Three years after receiving a hybrid Stryker Orthopaedics total hip device, consisting of an Exeter® hip stem and an ABG®* pressfit titanium cup, this 67-year-old is making the most of his newfound mobility and has resumed his life.

His left hip will most likely need replacing in the not-too-distant future. He is confident the results will be more of the same.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

John Tilling (Hip) - Not Ceramic Hip


The Fun is Back for Trident® Hip Recipient

Dan Skoglund could handle putting his own life on hold, but his four-year-old daughter couldn't wait. "My situation is severe degenerative osteoarthritis, and it's idiopathic. That's the medical term for they don't know. It started about 14 years ago. I was about 31 years old, and I had very, very sharp pain walking around."

Over nine years of living with painful, bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in his hips, he had given up all the activities he loved - football, basketball, volleyball, running, bicycling, downhill and water skiing. "My life got progressively less active, less fun, and less participative."

He didn't want to miss his daughter's childhood, too. When he went to the doctor's office, he knew his problem was a major one. "I'll never forget laying down in the X-ray room and hearing the radiologist who had taken the X-ray go, "Oh, my God."

Faced with so many things he couldn't do, Dan took charge to regain control of his life. He met with surgeons and conducted extensive Internet research. After pouring through FDA clinical trial data and research reports regarding the revolutionary new Stryker Orthopaedics Trident® Ceramic Acetabular System, he tracked down a lead clinical trial surgeon and scheduled surgery.

Since then, he has been living his life in twos. Over two weeks, he had two hip surgeries. Two weeks later, he was walking without crutches. In another two months he was walking as a morning workout. And now, he can take his daughter and her mom ice-skating and biking without painful repercussions.

"It's great to get my life back again," says Dan. "I keep reading all these stories of post-operation 'hippies,' as we call ourselves, and it seems to be a common thread - you get your life back."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Dan Skoglund (Hip)

Knee Testimonials


Back in the Swing of Things

Charisse Green is a woman with a zest for life. An active matriarch, she loves her children unconditionally, all five of them. The operative word here, however, is active because, as Cherisse says, "You can't be down and off your feet when you have an eight-year-old."

Before her surgery Charisse felt both the pain and the psychological limitations that come with it. Even the most mundane activities were becoming impossible. But it wasn't just her body. The scope of her whole world was shrinking. "I felt so limited that my mind wanted to do something and in my heart I wanted to do something, but physically it just could not happen. Between the swelling and the limited mobility in the bending of my knee, getting up off a seat was even a chore."

She tried alternatives to surgery like drugs but they had dubious benefits with side effects that were making her as uncomfortable as the pain. So she sees her surgery as an alternative with many positive factors. "I'm medication free. And that's a good thing 'cause you worry about your liver, you worry about your kidneys, you worry about this, your bladder, whatever."

After years of enduring the pain she decided that a total knee replacement was the way to go. First she had to find a doctor she could trust, but fortunately she didn't have to look far. Her sister had had her hips replaced and the surgeon she used made a strong recommendation. Almost immediately after the operation Charisse reported that her pain was gone. She quickly started on a program of rehabilitation, but she mainly credits the skill of her surgeon and the design of the Stryker knee with her positive response to surgery. "I would say it took me two weeks before I was back to full movement. I was walking up and down the stairs. It's been a very quick recovery. And between my cooperation, the skill of the surgeon, and the piece itself, it's a very good combination. It's a trifold thing, and without one with the other, you're not going be where I am today."

So just where exactly is Charisse today? Happily reengaged with her active life. "I can pick things up, bring my laundry up and down, I can stand, I can wash dishes and scrub the floors. I can take down my blinds, I can climb up on a stepladder. I had the surgery March 30th - May 22nd I'm on the dance floor boogying to disco music."

She even goes so far as to advise those who might be considering a similar procedure. "This is going to get you out of the wheelchair. It's going to get you out of the bed. It's going to get you out of the wheelchair and keep you off the crutches, the walker. Go ahead and do it!"

Since the surgery, Charisse has lost weight, become active again, and has her life back with a whole new positive attitude. She has this to say by way of thanks to the people at Stryker for the difference they've made in her life. "I could do everything I wanted to do, so you guys, you're good guys, keep up the good work. Thank you."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Charisse Green (Knee)


New Knee Implant Improves Golfer's Life

After injuring his knee while skiing in 1968, golfer Jay Litty went through three operations to remove cartilage and seven arthroscopies to "clean out" bone chips and scar tissue. By the mid '90s, he was lucky to be walking - his knee was "totally gone."

Even when he lost use of his left leg and could barely get in and out of a car, Jay postponed implant surgery for another three years. "I never was sure about it," he says. "If I'd have known the benefits, I would have done it a long time ago. My quality of life has changed so dramatically."

In fact, Jay's recovery has been so spectacular, his surgeon calls him his "poster child patient." Three days after he received his Stryker Orthopaedics Duracon® knee, he walked himself down two flights of stairs to rehabilitation. Three intensive days later, he went home. Four weeks of long hours in outpatient rehab prepared him to hit golf balls again. On day 66, he played an 18-hole game without a cart; 30 days later he won a member/member, 36-hole tournament with his surgeon, Dr. Mark Powers, as his partner. Jay, who had continued to play daily with a swing that bypassed his left leg, is thrilled to get his old game back. "I tell friends who have bad knees that waiting is not the answer," he says. "Waiting sends your quality of life backwards. I want to go forward."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Jay Litty (Knee)


Nurse Back on Her Feet Thanks to Minimally Invasive Surgery

Christine Ricciardi is a "people person." You see it immediately in the sparkle in her eyes and the zest for life she radiates. But this professional nurse and full-time aerobics instructor was not always able to enjoy her family and friends the way she can today. "I was depressed for many years because I had to suffer with pain and pain medications."

The problem was her knee. Painful arthritis was making life difficult and unpleasant for her. "If I was in the car for an hour, my knee would lock up on me. And it would be embarrassing to get out of a car because everybody had to help me. I couldn't sit on a beach and on a blanket. Somebody would have to pull me up. I felt like this old woman."

To feel this way was out of character for Christine, and she didn't like it. So when she heard about a new kind of surgery that was minimally invasive, she became very interested. "I had heard about this new minimally invasive surgery, the four-inch incision. I had a friend who had the surgery, and I saw how fast she recovered. And so that kind of clinched it then. I said okay. I just have to set a date and do it. It's something I have to do for myself."

The decision is one Christine has never regretted. Looking back on her life, however, she wonders why she didn't do it sooner. Immediately after her MIS surgery, she was up and about, coping for herself. "I was up and out of bed the next morning. I handled it all myself because it really wasn't that hard. It wasn't that painful."

But the real improvement was in her quality of life. The way she related to her family and the way her family related to her. Once she could get around on her own, without pain, things looked up for everybody. Even family meals, which had been a chore, became a pleasant and fulfilling focal point of her days again.

Today Christine feels great. "Like I said, I don't have any pain. I'm not depressed. I feel renewed. I'm really excited about getting back into a routine at the gym."

When asked if she had any advice to give, she was quite forthcoming. "I'd say go for it. I'd say go for it and go for the surgery. Make sure you do all your research and get a really good surgeon that knows what they're doing ... because there's just a world of difference."

A Stryker knee coupled with minimally invasive surgery has been a powerful combination for Christine Ricciardi. Today she's upbeat and happily living the life of a professional nurse and beloved family member. And she's doing it without the pain of degenerative arthritis.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Christine Ricciardi (MIS Knee)

Passionate Outdoorsman Gets His Active Life Back

"One day I was up in Alba skiing in two feet of fresh powder on a beautiful sunny day, and I couldn't even finish a run, my knee hurt so badly." Dave Edwards is a passionate outdoorsman who especially loves the thrill of skiing, fishing, and pushing life to the edge. But when pain forced him off the slopes, it was time for Dave to take a look at getting his knee joint replaced. "The pain got so intense, I just couldn't do any of the activities I wanted to do, and for me that's not living anymore."

Dave noticed the improvement immediately after his operation. "The moment I woke up from surgery, I noticed the arthritis pain I'd been suffering all along was gone." Because Dave had previous work done on the knee, his recovery was a little more demanding than most, but Dave toughed it out. "I just knew I had to hang in there." And he's glad he did.

Now recovered, Dave is thankful to have his active life back. "To just walk in the stream when I'm fishing used to kill me. Now it's pleasant again."

Dave has learned to rely on his new Stryker knee and is quite pleasantly surprised by the strength and functionality. "It's become my strong leg rather than my weak leg."

In fact, the surgery was so successful, he is now considering having his other knee replaced. "I'm quite impressed with the Stryker knee itself."

Just like Jack Nicklaus, Dave is quite pleased to have his life back. "I'm back to the level of activity I've always enjoyed."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Dave Edwards (Knee)

Auctioneer Sold on New Stryker Knees

Seventy-year-old Remmer Schuetz is not a man who sits on his laurels. But after 15 years of suffering from knee pain, that's just what the Dundee, IL, resident had resigned himself to doing. An active auctioneer and expert restorer of antique tractors, Remmer became accustomed to keeping his eye out for a nearby chair. "My knees were worn out from years of abuse - too much hard work. It got to the point where I would just drop. All I could do was look for a place to sit down. I was always looking for a place to sit down - it hurt just to stand up," explained Remmer.

"When I could hardly walk, and it got to the point where it was slowing me down to nothing, I knew I had to do something. It was no way to live. So you start asking everyone you see who's had joint replacement what their experience was like. My neighbor had it done with Dr. Schroeder and had an excellent experience, so I went to see him." Dr. Schroeder suggested partial knee replacement to rid just the diseased portion of Remmer's knee. "You've got to trust your doctor and like your doctor. Dr. Schroeder explained everything to me and didn't use any terminology that would have left me confused. I'm just a farm boy who's worked in dirt and iron all my life, but when he was through showing me the X-ray and explaining what he wanted to do, I understood everything."

After undergoing a successful Stryker EIUS® Uni Knee System procedure on his right knee, he went back to get his left knee done less than a year later. "I had my surgery on a Friday at 7 a.m. and was home by 4 p.m. That Monday I went to see my surgeon who removed my brace. Tuesday I threw my walker away. Wednesday I threw my cane away. The following Friday I moderated two auctions and felt great."

In addition to auctioneering, Remmer has over 50 Case tractors with the oldest being from 1918 to the newest, which is from 1963. Through his skills and passion, all of his tractors run perfectly well. To restore these antiques, Remmer is constantly bending and squatting, which had been painful for him before he underwent partial knee replacement.

Moderating three auctions a month where he sells anything and everything, Remmer was used to standing all day long. Even when he was in pain he never missed one. "I would just grit my teeth and go out there. I would sit if I had to. Now I can go to an auction and be on my feet from 7 in the morning to 7 at night and not be in pain. I'm not like I was when I was 20, but I'm 70. I farm a bit, bale hay, load hay, and drive tractors. I still put in 12-hour days. I'm active, and I am no longer in pain."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Remmer Schuetz (Knee)

From Falling to Strolling: EUIS® Knee Puts New Spring in 51-Year-Old's Step

Ever since she broke her kneecap at age 13, Brenda Jackson's knee has been a problem. By her mid 30s, it was a constant annoyance. Through her 40s, her knee would swell, pop, lock, cramp, and often give out - a potentially dangerous situation. When, at 51, her knee suddenly let go and she hit her head against a screw on the basement wall, she ended up with three stitches and a firm date for implant surgery.

Her EIUS® unicondylar, or partial, knee from Stryker Orthopaedics has her back in higher heels and taking on stairs with confidence for the first time in years. "I used to be able to hear myself walking," says Brenda. "It was like somebody gritting their teeth and it really got on my nerves." Now, she is walking quietly, painlessly, and in stylish shoes she can actually fit into since the swelling went away.

Brenda had put off surgery until she could no longer stand the pain or risk falling again and not getting up. Now, she wonders what took her so long. She says she would tell anyone in her situation to "go for it." She's glad she did.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Brenda Jackson (Knee)

Arthritic Knees Get Scorpio® Treatment - Full Speed Ahead!

Sixty-two-year-old Dolores Bush had always had a "little problem" with her knees. For a while, twice-yearly cortisone shots seemed to keep her advancing arthritis at bay. But when she began taking regular doses of Advil just to get through the day and more to bowl at night, her husband, Charlie, a team leader in the Stryker Orthopaedics Technical Services area, convinced her to investigate further.

When a surgeon told her both knees were now severely arthritic, bone-on-bone, and that one had an inch-long gap, she was stunned. "I had no idea my knees were that bad," says Dolores. "You just learn to live with the pain. I wasn't even thinking of knee replacement."

After discussing with family - including her 28-year-old daughter, Nicole, and 39-year-old son, Charlie, who works in Stryker's Spine division - she scheduled surgery for bilateral Scorpio® total knee replacements. Waking up without pain was her first sign of good things to come. After several months of therapy, she is back to driving, walking without a cane, working, and, maybe most importantly, bowling with her team.

For Charlie, his wife's progress is both personally and professionally rewarding. "Over 30 years of working in implant manufacturing, I've always felt I was having a positive impact on someone's life and well-being," says Charlie. Now he knows for sure.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Dolores Bush (Knee)

More Movement, More Quickly, Less Pain: A Winning Equation for Minimally Invasive Total Knee Recipient

Now that 62-year-old Errol Smith has had minimally invasive total knee surgery, he can't imagine any other way. After recovering from his June 2004 Scorpio® implant much more quickly and with less pain than his other knee in 1999, he predicts minimally invasive becoming the way of the future.

The first few months made the difference. "Once the first knee healed, it was great," says Errol. "But with a much smaller incision, I didn't need as much pain medication, and my hospital stay was two days versus five. I was able to walk on my knee immediately after waking up and do a lot of things sooner."

For instance, three months post-surgery he joined his wife, a military officer stationed in Kuwait, for "R&R" in Europe, where they hiked trails and walked through pedestrian-friendly cities. A retired teacher and publishing house editor, Errol now concentrates on remodeling his house and making the most of all of his surgeries, including a double heart bypass.

"I ought to be in good shape for a while if I just maintain it," he says. "It was hard with my aching knee. Now I can use a cross trainer and walk at least nine holes of golf." He adds, "I tell people that nature's not going to reverse it. Shark pills and other 'natural' treatments will not reverse the damage, whether it's from an injury, old age, or osteoarthritis. The sooner you have joint replacement surgery the more quickly you can recover. Why wait?"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Errol Smith (Knee)

The Difference Stryker Knees Make

Most individuals have a passion in life; for Judy Gigliotti it's the pleasure and enjoyment she derives from spending time in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Two of Judy's favorite wilderness activities include mountain hiking and fly-fishing with her husband.

In 1992, Judy began to experience discomfort in her knees. She tolerated this pain until she could no longer enjoy her hobbies. Total knee replacements were recommended, and Judy had Johnson & Johnson PFC® knees implanted. Judy did well with her replaced knees and was able to resume her outdoor activities.

In late 1999, Judy began to experience discomfort in one of her replaced knees and scheduled an appointment to meet with one of Colorado Springs' orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. William Ciccone II of the Bone and Surgery Center in Colorado. After evaluating Judy, he determined that she had worn out her original poly insert to such an extent that significant osteolysis (bone loss) had set in. Dr. Ciccone determined that immediate intervention was needed. If the original total knee was not replaced, she could suffer a debilitating fracture. Judy was again scheduled for surgery.

In just a few months, after extensive rehabilitation and effort, Judy was walking around unaided by a cane or crutches. By the fifth month, Judy had regained full mobility with virtually no limp. Judy claims she has as much flexibility as she ever had. To test her progress, this 67-year-old hiked a mile and a half up the Mount Crested Butte ski area in Western Colorado and began fly-fishing once again. Five months after her revision surgery, Judy has been reunited with her passion, the streams of the Rocky Mountains and all they have to offer.

Here's what Judy had to say about her experience: "I am very happy with the result of my new knee and am extremely grateful to the people of Stryker Orthopaedics for developing this wonderful device that has allowed me to enjoy the things I like to do again."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Judy Gigliotti (Knee)


Catch Him if You Can: Scorpio Knees Give Electrician/Farmer New Lease on Life

Now that Jim Baty, 55, is back in action, his wife says it's rare to find him sitting down. After years of being in so much pain that he had to sleep in a chair, Jim seems intent to stay out of one.

Four days after surgery to replace both severely arthritic knees with Scorpio® Single Axis Total Knee systems, Jim felt well enough to attend an employee's wedding. Six days after surgery he drove his pickup truck. And in less than two weeks he rode a four-wheeler and a skid loader on his 670 acres of farmland. Within three months, Jim went back to work as an electrical contractor - crawling on his knees, climbing ladders, and pushing his son, who is also his business partner, to keep up with him.

Jim had been living with bad knees for about 15 years. When the cortisone shots, glucosamine, Synvisc, and pain killers that had been keeping him going stopped working, Jim knew he had to "do something" to keep his life, livelihood, and sanity on track. Once his surgeon told him the Scorpio® knee could get him back to working, hunting, walking, bicycling, and being active in general, he didn't hesitate to act.

"There's practically nothing I can't do right now," says Jim. "I attribute all my success to the Scorpio® knee and to my surgeon. If I had known the outcome would be like this, I'd have had the surgery 10 years ago. This is truly the greatest thing that's ever happened to me."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Jim Baty (Knee)

Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery Makes Nana's Grandchildren Proud

"Nana walks funny." For Sally Dowaliby, 71, these kinds of comments from her grandchildren and others finally convinced her to do something about the arthritis in her knees that made her walk with a pronounced limp and take steps one painful stair at a time.

"I didn't really think I needed a knee replacement," says Sally. "But everybody else did." Finding out she could have minimally invasive surgery with a top notch local surgeon convinced her "now's the time." She says that the new minimally invasive procedure is "unbelievable."

Sally left the hospital shortly after surgery, and was off pain medication and left her walker behind soon thereafter. "My recovery was phenomenally fast," she says. "It's amazing!" Now walking straighter, she has eliminated problems with her left ankle and heel, and doesn't think she'll need surgery on her right knee.

Married 44 years, she is looking forward to spending more active time traveling with her retired golf-pro husband, and keeping up with their three grown children and eight grandchildren. She may even take up golf now that her bad knee no longer impedes her swing. But her greatest reward is the day-to-day difference. "Nana, you're walking normal now," the little ones say. It doesn't get much better than that.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Sally Dowaliby (Knee)


After the Pain, It's Back to Business for Union Benefits Worker

Now that pain is no longer a focal point in Shirley Spriggs' life, she can accomplish many things - like walking to work, squatting to pick things up from the floor, and sleeping comfortably through the night. For Shirley, life with her Scorpio® total knee replacement is more "normal" than it's been since she was hit by a car in 1989.

Initially, emergency microsurgery saved her legs. The steel beams and plates inserted restored restricted function. Her left knee, however, which had required additional surgery, continued to grow more stiff, swollen, and painful. While the scars healed on the outside, at night she lay awake from "throbbing like people were playing African drums inside my legs."

In her role managing computers for a union's benefits program, she kept hearing about a "miracle surgery" which had restored pain-free mobility for several clients. She sought out their surgeon, a specialist with the skill and experience to offer more options than the pain medications she had been given.

At 55, she chose implant surgery over early disability. She no longer needs pain pills, and gave up babying her leg soon after surgery. The limp she tried to conceal for years is gone, and she continues to work on building strength and endurance. Most of all, she is glad to be back on her feet and back to business. To her, that is the real "miracle."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Shirley Sprigg (Knee)


New Knee Brings Renewed Ability to 54-Year-Old Hospital Worker

At 54, Sophie Webster was too young for total disability. For years she had gotten by on her painful leg - avoiding stairs and taking lots of ibuprofen. Finally, when the swelling in her knee didn't go down after three days of rest and elevation, she felt it was time to act.

Within three months, she had been diagnosed with noninflammatory degenerative arthritis and scheduled for surgery. Now that her surgeon has replaced her bone-on-bone joint with a Stryker EIUS® unicompartmental knee, she is back on her feet and back to business. Sophie believes her faith is what saw her through her surgery and continues to guide her as she heals.

A registered central service technician for 34 years, Sophie spends hours standing, sterilizing medical instruments, and stocking hospital floors with patient supplies. Working with her supervisor, she was always saying, "Let's catch the elevator." Now when her boss goes for the elevator, Sophie says, "No, let's walk down instead." And that is an ability she is most grateful for.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Sophie Webster (Knee)

Standing Tall Again with a Stryker Knee

Dr. Richard Lackman, Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is an Orthopaedic Oncologist who specializes in treating patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. He has been doing limb-sparing surgery for over 20 years and is world renowned as a leading clinician, researcher, and educator in his field. Dr. Lackman has used the Stryker Orthopaedics Modular Replacement System in almost every segmental replacement procedure he has performed.

One of Dr. Lackman's patients, 18-year-old Danielle Naylor, was diagnosed with a tumor in her distal femur when she was 15. Danielle underwent 23 months of chemotherapy in total. After her first session of chemotherapy was done and the tumor was more manageable, Dr. Lackman performed a knee replacement with the Modular Replacement System. During her battle with cancer, Danielle was diagnosed with a spot in one of her lungs, and it was removed and found to be benign. Several months later, another spot was found, and it was malignant. It was removed, and Danielle has been on an unbelievable road to recovery.

Danielle's mom wanted to make sure that everyone at Stryker Orthopaedics understands how their work impacts real people and real lives, just like hers and Danielle's, every day. "It's not just a box that's being sent out the door. Thanks to the implants that you make, my daughter is still standing tall."

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Danielle Naylor (Knee)

Back on Track With Her Stryker Knee

Ten years ago, while walking through the trails of Tyler State Park in Pennsylvania with her husband, Susan Thompson experienced some left leg pain. Convinced arthritis was causing this pain, she brushed it off and thought she was just getting old. When the pain persisted, she sought medical attention through her family doctor.

When an X-ray had revealed a tumor on her left femur, she was referred to Dr. Richard Lackman, an Orthopaedic Oncologist. After undergoing a bone biopsy, she added the word chonrosarcoma to her vocabulary. She had bone cancer and needed surgery to remove it. Dr. Lackman's renowned medical and surgical expertise in this field, and his calm and reassuring demeanor would see her through. Surgery was performed and her cancer was removed.

Dr. Lackman replaced her knee with Stryker Orthopaedics replacement parts. The physical therapy that followed was hard and painful, but Susan remained determined to resume her active life. When she completed the therapy, she returned to work to shift her focus from her leg to work at hand. With her new leg working great, she soon returned to life as usual. This "Bionic Mom" continues to lead a very full and active life.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Susan Thompson (Knee)

Sarcoma Testimonials


A Passion for Fishing, Science and Egyptology

Billy Gowacki lives on a small island outside Tampa Bay and enjoys regular outdoors pursuits such as fishing snook, red fish and sea trout. When he has the occasion to leave the island, he is an avid visitor to city museums where he engages in interests like Egyptology and volcanoes. Billy's eyes light up when he talks about the latest in Egyptian archaeology and the exploits of Dr. Zahi Hawass, a well-known conservationist of Egyptian monuments and relics.

"I always dreamed that when I grew up I would be some kind of '...ologist', such as a volcanologist or an Egyptologist," says Billy. "But I am also just generally interested in science. Having had to deal with cancer at such a young age, I have had to learn a lot about my disease and how it's commonly treated. Now I have even thought about becoming an oncologist and dedicating my life to cancer research."

Billy was just ten years old when he found out he had Ewing's sarcoma in his right distal femur. His initial pediatrician had attributed his recurring aches to 'growing pain', delaying treatment for close to a year. When the disease was finally recognized, the team of doctors said he would lose his leg. However, after several months of chemotherapy, a bout with leukemia and a bone marrow transplant for which he found a perfect match, Billy has since made a full recovery and undergone a successful knee and hip replacement in addition to having a successful implant from Stryker GMRST that has allowed him to lead a more normal life.

"I have always kept a positive attitude throughout the entire process and believe it's very important to remember to laugh, eat well and not believe any of the statistics you hear with regard to treatment and survivor rates. Overall, I am just truly grateful for the technology that is now available with modular replacement systems. It has helped restore my quality of life," says Billy.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Billy Gowacki


A Patient Wise Beyond Her Years

Janet Walko is a 19-year-old survivor of osteosargenic sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. She currently works with a non-profit organization called Base Camp, a group that provides monthly social outings and support to siblings and families affected by pediatric cancer. Janet's experience with cancer has impacted her long term career aspirations - she has been inspired to start school at Valencia Community College and become a radiology technician.

"I want to be able to teach people that they should not be scared to talk about cancer because discussion is the first step towards better understanding the disease. When I was going through it, I didn't have that many people to talk to and I know what a difference it can make so I continue to devote volunteer time towards educating others," says Janet.

"Dr. Letson believed that chemotherapy, surgery and a bone implant could save my life and my leg and I was implanted with the Stryker GMRST system in my right proximal tibia. It's true these treatments were lifesavers. The care I received from Dr. Letson and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research were equally important. Dr. Letson wasn't just my doctor but my friend - he gave me his home phone number and a bicycle for rehab. Arnold Palmer taught me that happy thoughts make happy cells and helped me keep happy thoughts in my head all the time."

"It's been several years now since the surgery and the implant has given me a new perspective on life. Because of it I can still roll over and step out of bed on my own two feet and I still have my own leg and my own knee. I have made it a part of my life and have learned to be a go getter no matter what."

"I can't express enough gratitude to Dr. Letson, Moffitt and the makers of my implant - Stryker. What the company is doing means so much to so many different people. They helped give me my life back!"

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Janet Walko


An Appreciation for Each Day

Timothy Wahl had just returned from a vacation skiing when he noticed that he was having a hard time walking. Prior to going to see a doctor, he thought he had pulled a muscle. When the doctor told him it was probably poor circulation, and a Doppler came out fine, he thought it was likely nothing to worry about.

But after having recurring pain in the middle of the night, he decided to have an X-ray after which his doctors confirmed his worst fears; that he had osteosarcoma in his left distal femur.

"It was a real blow to me and my wife. While my wife immediately began putting all of her energy into researching the disease and the treatment options that were available, I wasn't even in the mind frame to do that when I first found out. We have three children, ages 6, 8 and 10 years old, so my first thought was that it would be in their best interest to wait until they were older before we discussed my cancer," says Timothy.

"They said that as long as it was contained, it would be non life-threatening," he said.

The next day, his doctors called to say that they had succeeded in containing his cancer and that the possibility of losing his leg was out of the question.

"From that point on, my only focus was my family, recovery and maintaining a positive attitude. I am a big skier and I work out a lot and play basketball, so I was hopeful I would be able to resume many of the activities I had engaged in before," said Timothy.

"I don't run around as much as I used to, and there are still some things that can be a little hard, but I am truly glad to be alive. I have more of an appreciation for each day and I am thankful that there are technologies out there like the Stryker GMRST system, " he says.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Timothy Wahl


Leading an Active Country Life

Rebekah Bishop is a teenager actively involved in her local 4-H club and the raising of the 550 dairy cows she helps take care of on her family's 525 acre farm near Okeechobee, Florida. A natural athlete involved in everything ranging from soccer, football, running, basketball and swimming to knee boarding, she has long been an active teenager with a true zest for life. So when she first heard that she had Ewing's sarcoma in her right femur, a rare disease in which cancerous cells are found in the bone or soft tissue, Rebekah was scared of the long-term implications it would have on both her physical and emotional well-being.

"When they first tell you what you have, you're truly numb and nervous because you have no idea of what to expect. Although the statistics are better in cases of early diagnosis, there is always the risk that you might lose a leg or that your health will be severely compromised," says Rebekah, "so I really had no idea what to expect going into surgery."

At the time of the diagnosis in 2005, Rebekah was 14 years old and points to the fact that although the period was a generally sad and lonely time for her, she was determined to not let it affect her overall grades at school and had a strong determination to succeed.

"However, despite these obstacles, I benefited from a really positive support network - friends that helped me with my homework, neighbors that would bring dinner to our house on a regular basis and telephone calls from my extended family. I knew that my attitude, spiritual beliefs and medical treatment would be the key to my overall success and recovery," she says.

She was successfully implanted with the Stryker GMRST System in her right proximal femur, a solution designed to help patients that require radical bone resection.

"I have had the best that life can give under my circumstances and would like to help people facing similar challenges. I can now dance at my senior prom and may even have children. This experience has taught me to look at life with completely new eyes. So many people take the small things in life for granted, and I have really learned to look at each day with new eyes," says Rebekah.

Results not typical and may vary by individual. Not all patients will reach the same activity level.

Rebekah Bishop