Our Focus on You

Fort Wayne Orthopedics understands that life is all about doing the things you love to do – with those you love. Our patient-centered approach to care combines deep orthopedic knowledge and expertise with a personal commitment to be with you through the entire restorative process. But, you don't have to take our word for it. Read what patients are saying about us.

Dr. Jack Dyer – Fort Wayne, IN

Dr. Jack Dyer struggled with back pain and knee problems for years. A longtime Fort Wayne physician and FWO patient, Dyer tried several back pain treatments and underwent arthroplasty procedures on both knees.

When his back and spinal pain worsened several years ago, he turned to FWO for emergency surgery. “They scheduled surgery right after the MRI,” he says “The pain down my legs came very suddenly, so they worked me up quickly.” FWO physician Dr. Kevin Rahn performed a spinal fusion and nerve decompression, and Dyer noticed immediate relief following the procedure. “I returned for injections a few times after the surgery,” he says “but I haven’t had any problems since 2006.”

“I haven’t had any problems since and I’m still very active at 73 years old.”

A few years later, Dyer decided to address his chronic knee pain with a more long-term solution. Dyer again consulted FWO and underwent a double knee replacement. Despite having the procedure done on both knees, he had a remarkably smooth recovery. “It was a very pleasant recovery,” he says “I expected a lot more difficulty, but I was back to work within four to five weeks.” The knee replacements gave him renewed energy and mobility. “Now I jokingly say they’re my two best parts!”

With both surgeries behind him, Dyer credits FWO and his physicians with playing an important role in his continued good health. “Both surgeries were super,” he says. “I haven’t had any problems since and I’m still very active at 73 years old.”

Coleen Mankey – Decatur, IN

For Colleen Mankey, surgery was the only real option. Her rotator cuff was torn and not repairable and this had caused her shoulder to wear out. This left her in pain and unable to accomplish simple tasks, so she opted for a reverse shoulder implant (a unique treatment for a difficult problem).

“If someone wants an opinion about surgery with Fort Wayne Orthopedics, without hesitation Coleen says, "Go!"”

After just one night in the hospital, she came home, and the following morning took a shower and washed her own hair. “I just did really, really well,” Colleen says. About nine months after the surgery, and after four weeks of physical therapy, she reports almost full range of motion in her shoulder.

If someone wants an opinion about surgery with Fort Wayne Orthopedics, without hesitation Coleen says, “Go! I would recommend Dr. Snyder to anyone. I had already had both knees replaced by Dr. Fisher, and I got along really well with that too. I feel very fortunate.”

Ellen Mock -- Peru, IN

 “After I finally had my surgery, I thought, ‘Why did I wait so long?!’” Ellen Mock of Peru, Ind., had been suffering the effects of spinal stenosis – neck pain, accompanied by weakness and numbness in her arms – for years. At the end of the day, wiped out, she would return home from work totally depleted, with no energy to tend to her home or enjoy other activities.

“Everything they told me about the spinal surgery and my recovery was right on target,” Ellen recalls. “I had to take it easy for a couple weeks, but by the third week I came back to work for half days, and then full time by the fourth week.” She now has full, pain-free mobility in her neck and shoulders and is enjoying life again.

"Now I have the energy to do the things I love!"

“The thing that’s been such a joy this summer has been working in my flower beds, sweeping off my deck and enjoying my gardening again. Now I have the energy to do the things I love!”

Ellen is a believer in the doctors and staff at Fort Wayne Orthopedics.  After her son’s recent injury in a bicycle-to-auto collision, she made sure he got it checked out at FWO, where Dr. Cooper is taking care of his shoulder injury. “I talk to people all the time about the great experience I had with Dr. Rahn, and I wouldn’t go anywhere else but Fort Wayne Orthopedics,” she says.

Linda Honegger – Bluffton, IN

Linda Honegger came to a gradual realization that she would need a hip transplant. “About 3 years ago, I started noticing that I couldn’t move my legs apart as far as I used to,” says the Bluffton native. Surprisingly, she never experienced pain in her hips or back… only in her thigh muscles. “As time went on, my thighs started hurting, and it got the point where I could hardly sleep at night because my legs hurt so badly. I’d sleep a couple hours, then get up and watch TV because my legs just ached. I rubbed my legs a lot.”

Linda is a charter pilot, and sitting in the confined quarters of a small cockpit became more and more challenging. There was very little opportunity there to reposition her legs and get comfortable. “You get to the point where you hurt so badly that you’ll do anything to make it stop,” she says.

Reading about her symptoms online, she came to realize that the pain in her thighs was typical of hip deterioration. Through her research and the recommendations of others, she sought out Dr. Fisher’s expertise, and he confirmed that she needed her hips replaced. To cut down on hospital expenses and time off from work, he performed a double hip replacement in July 2010.

"I haven’t felt like this since I was 18."

Four weeks after her procedure, Linda was back in the cockpit, enjoying a freedom and mobility she hadn’t experienced in decades. “I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Fisher and Fort Wayne Orthopedics, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” says Linda. “I can’t say enough good about Dr. Fisher.”

“At my six-week check-up, I told Dr. Fisher that I was disappointed because he had lied to me. He had told me I would be at about 90% mobility after the surgery, but I feel like I’m at 200% mobility! He was pretty pleased with that.”

“It’s been over two years now, and I haven’t felt like this since I was 18,” says Linda. “We have a cabin that we’re rehabbing up in Wisconsin, and I never have any pain related to my hips. What Dr. Fisher gave me… there just aren’t words. If it weren’t for him, I know I’d be in a wheelchair. I’m so thankful.”

Sharon Lovell, on behalf of Nell Tays -

After previous family experiences with Fort Wayne Orthopedics, it was only natural for Sharon Lovell to bring her 78-year-old mother Nell Tays to Fort Wayne from Alabama when she needed back surgery in early 2012. Nell had undergone back surgery four years earlier, but was enduring debilitating pain as her condition deteriorated.  It affected her mobility and her quality of life. She would decline invitations to go places or attend her granddaughter’s activities because the pain was just too great. 

In addition to deterioration of her spine since her previous surgery, Nell had bone spurs in her back and a curve in her spine. Dr. Rahn performed a procedure that removed the bone spurs and fused her vertebrae from L2 to L5. But as soon as Nell awoke from surgery, she knew something wasn’t right. She had pain in her right side and down her right leg.

“...She was enjoying mobility that she hadn’t experienced in years.”

Over the next six weeks, as Nell recovered from her surgery and the pain did not abate, Dr. Rahn ordered tests to pinpoint the cause. He determined that her nerve was being irritated at the L5 vertebrae, the tailbone, and recommended additional surgery to fuse the L5. “Dr. Rahn was so conscientious about finding out exactly where Mother’s pain was coming from, and then figuring out what he could do to help her,” says Sharon. “It seems like sometimes doctors try one thing and then another to see what will help. Dr. Rahn didn’t do that. He was careful to pinpoint exactly what was going on with Mother, and then made the decision to do surgery to correct it.”

When she awoke from her second surgery, Nell felt immediate relief from the leg pain. Six months later and back in Alabama, she was enjoying mobility that she hadn’t experienced in years. And she even attended Grandparents Day at her granddaughter’s school!

“Through this whole experience, Courtney and the other nurses were so helpful and understanding,” says Sharon. “This was the first time I had gone through something so traumatic with my mother, and they were just so patient with her and with me. They were always so kind and so understanding and helpful. I want them to know how much I appreciated all of their kindness.”

Carol J. Morris – Garret, IN
(from a letter to the editor of the DeKalb Star newspaper)

On June 25, 2013 I had outpatient surgery on my hand. During the surgery, my heart started doing some funny things and I had to be admitted for observation. Dr. Niles Schwartz is a great hand surgeon, and he explained just what was wrong and how it would be fixed. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz. I often hear complaints about health care and I thought it’s time to say thank you to the people who give so much of themselves for us.

“I thought it’s time to say thank you to the people who give so much of themselves for us.”

Bobby and Roberta Gregory – Pierceton, IN

Bobby Gregory’s knees had bothered him for years. But the 70-year-old Kosciusko county farmer was hesitant to go through surgery – until the pain interrupted his favorite activities. “I do a lot of hunting at night, out in the woods,” says Bobby. “After awhile my knees got so bad that was afraid I couldn’t get myself back out of the woods. I’d be back there by myself, and they’d start hurting bad.”

He’d heard of Fort Wayne Orthopedics through friends. “I really didn’t know of any [orthopedic doctors], but heard The Orthopedic Hospital was a great place to go.” He called FWO and they set him up with an appointment with Dr. Kolettis.

“When I talked with him, I felt really comfortable,” Bobby says. Dr. Kolettis told him that he needed a knee replacement on both knees. “He looked at my knees and told me that it was bone on bone,” he recalls. Dr. Kolettis offered the option of doing both surgeries at the same time, but Bobby decided to schedule surgery on the right knee and consider the left later.

“It used to be I’d walk a ½ mile down the road and I’d have to stop about four times, because they hurt so bad. Now I can go a mile without stopping.”

“It worked out great,” he says. “Dr. Kolettis did a great job.” Within weeks, he was hunting again, and that’s when he noticed how much his left knee still bothered him. “After my first surgery, I got about a mile back in the woods and it was hurting really bad. I knew I had to get the other one done.”

 

Bobby had a second knee replacement on his left knee in December 2014. He says the second surgery was easier than the first. “It seemed like it recovered faster. I worked at it. If I’m not walking a lot during the day, I do my therapy.” After his second surgery, he met all his physical therapy goals in four weeks.

Thanks to successful surgeries and diligent therapy, Bobby feels renewed. “Both knees are doing really good. I’m walking at least ¾ mile day now, and they don’t hurt. It used to be I’d walk a ½ mile down the road and I’d have to stop about four times, because they hurt so bad. Now I can go a mile without stopping.”

Even Bobby’s wife Roberta was impressed. She’d injured her knee nearly 10 years ago and struggled with pain ever since. She decided to consult Dr. Kolettis and also underwent a knee replacement – with great results.

“I was in so much pain before and in 12 weeks I was pain free,” she says. “I work as a housekeeper at a nursing home, and the whole nursing staff was amazed that I was able to go back to work so soon. Especially since I’m on my feet, walking around all day. They were really impressed.”

“I was in so much pain before and in 12 weeks I was pain free. I work at a nursing home, and the whole nursing staff was amazed that I was able to go back so soon after my surgery.”

The Gregorys grateful for FWO and Dr. Kolettis’ expertise. “We really appreciate the fact that we found a surgeon that went the extra mile for us,” says Roberta. She knows she’ll need surgery on her other knee eventually – but she knows where to turn when the time comes. “People ask us where we went, and we always tell them about Dr. Kolettis and Fort Wayne Orthopedics.”