Jane Keutzer’s first impression when she met Brian Bear, MD? “This guy is younger than I thought and he has a lot of energy!” A retired nurse and hospice director, Jane was referred to OrthoIllinois by her orthopedist in Peru, Illinois. As an arthritis sufferer, she was in constant pain and had reached the point where bone was rubbing on bone in her shoulder. “Everything I did was painful – just reaching or grabbing for something hurt,” Jane said. “The day I first saw Dr. Bear, I could hardly move.”
Jane, 73, was no stranger to pain and surgery. In her 50s, she began experiencing problems in her knees because of arthritis. After retiring in 2009 as director of a local hospice Jane’s pain from arthritis increased. She had her first knee replaced in 2011 and surgery on her neck in 2012.
The arthritis traveled to her shoulders, so Jane’s pain was managed with steroid injections until those stopped working and the constant pain became too much. Her physician referred her to Dr. Bear at OrthoIllinois, and Jane decided to make the trip to Rockford. “It was the best choice I could have made,” Jane said.
After her first impression, Jane was relieved because she knew Dr. Bear would be able to help. “I really felt like he knew what he was doing right from the start. He was extremely patient and thoroughly explained how my shoulder was damaged from the arthritis,” said Jane. After discussing her options, they decided a total anatomical shoulder replacement was the best fit. Not familiar with this type of procedure Jane thought, “They do that!?”
Shoulder replacements are not as common as hip or knee replacements. Surgeons at OrthoIllinois performed 182 in 2016. A year and a half after the 2015 surgery, Jane is thrilled with the results. “Life without pain is wonderful,” says Jane.
Jane is looking forward to traveling more to Florida and St. Croix and is anxious to get back on her bike, which she bought right before she started having shoulder pain. And she’s always happy to refer others to OrthoIllinois.
“I had heard such good things about OrthoIllinois before I had my first appointment,” says Jane. “They did not disappoint. Everyone there knows what they’re doing, and they have a wonderful process in place.”
Jane also credits her good results in part to her commitment to physical therapy. “They made it clear to me in Dr. Bear’s office that I could not give up on my PT, and they were right. Sometimes it hurt, but it was worth it.”
Jane is now getting cortisone shots in her right shoulder, and she’s hopeful that surgery will not be necessary. But if it is, she knows who she’ll choose: “I’m going straight to Dr. Bear and OrthoIllinois!”