In The Community
Watauga Orthopaedics has been blessed to care for thousands of athletes over the last 70 years. Many times we treat professional athletes, including those from other countries.
Recently, our team had the opportunity to work with Jess Pettis, a 23-year-old professional Motorcross and Supercross racer from Prince George British Columbia, Canada. Jess has been racing dirt bikes for 16 years and is now competing at the top professional level with the best racers in the world.
With summers spent racing in the Canadian Motorcross Nationals and winters racing in the US Supercross Series, there isn’t much time to nurse an injury. Unfortunately, Jess experienced his first ACL injury in September 2019 and spent the next few months in rehabilitation after knee surgery. After his recovery, he went on to win the 2020 Canadian Outdoor Championship. On January 16, 2021, Jess returned to the track competing in his first race in the United States. Sadly, the season opener didn’t quite go as planned and he re-injured his ACL during qualifying.
Facing his second ACL surgery in less than 18 months, Jess listened to the advice of his trainer, Mike Brown, and contacted our very own Dr. Marc Aiken whom he believed was the best in the industry. Jess connected with Dr. Aiken and shared his hope of getting back on the track for the Canadian season opener in July. Together, they developed a plan for David Lilley, physical therapist, to create a rehab program for recovery. Dr. Aiken performed outpatient ACL revision surgery on Jess and he started his rehab aggressively after his procedure.
Jess worked tremendously hard on his recovery and rehabilitation. He said his experience with Watauga Orthopaedics was top-notch from the time he arrived. “I was treated like family and felt comfortable right away.” Jess is now racing and winning races as he accomplished his goal of returning to the highly competitive and demanding race schedule in July.
Watauga Orthopaedics is thankful Jess chose our team to provide the urgent care he needed. Jess said, “This is my dream job, and I love traveling North America racing dirt bikes.”
We are proud to be a part of his story and wish him continued success in his sport. Jess is currently battling for the Championship of the 450 Class in Canada!
--Richard Duncan, MD – physician and patient
Professional Bowler Returns to Her Sport
Iris Jordan is one of the top three female bowlers in the Kingsport area, and she needed to get an Anterior Cervical Discectomy procedure done in May of 2012. Dr. Richard Duncan performed the surgery. “Dr. Duncan knows his stuff!” Ms. Jordan states. “He explains procedures at a level that patients can easily understand.” She was impressed with his knowledge and how quickly he was able to diagnose her health problems. She had been experiencing pain in her right shoulder and arm while bowling and was unable to play the sport effectively. Eventually, she was unable to bowl at all without serious pain. “Dr. Duncan’s staff was very kind and called me by name, like they knew me and remembered me. I wasn’t just another patient to them. That put me at ease and helped me make the decision to have the surgery.” Now, she is back to competing in her sport and is pain-free once again!
“It was the best decision I have made in a long, long time.”
Frances Maples of Jonesborough, TN has experienced the blessing of total joint replacement surgery. Dr. Marc Aiken did a total knee replacement on her left knee. She said after a year and a half of almost constant pain, she finally decided to have the procedure done. It was a tough decision to make, but it was the right one. "It opened up a whole new world to me," she says. "It was the best decision I have made in a long, long time." She is back to her active lifestyle of walking, working in her flowerbeds, and playing with her great grandchildren. "Dr. Aiken is wonderful!" she states. "If I had to do it over again, I would. I would advise anyone in need of a knee replacement to get it done."
“Dr. Stewart has taken exceptional care of both of my boys. They came to him with very different injuries, and he's always taken the extra time to make sure their needs were met. His kind bedside manner makes it easy to talk with him and discuss their care. His nurse Eliza is the best! She always takes the best care of us and always has a smile on her face. Watauga Orthopaedics will always be my choice for orthopaedic care."
“After an injury to my right shoulder in November of 2011, I had rotator cuff surgery done by Dr. Joseph Grant. I followed his instructions, as well as those of my physical therapist, Chad Capps. After 7 months, I had 100% movement and strength, and zero pain. I want Dr. Grant to know that I am very thankful for the great work he did to restore my shoulder. I am very grateful to him and would highly recommend him to anyone."
--Robert L. Thomas
“Dr. Fowler is my favorite doctor of all time! He is always so friendly and nice. Whenever I am hurt, I prefer to see Dr. Fowler. If someone else is hurt, I always recommend him! He is the best!"
A World of Difference
Sandra Dunn from Greeneville, TN had pain on her right side for almost two years. It took doctors a while to figure out what the case was, and various conservative treatments were not helping. Dr. Marc Aiken determined it was her hip, and she would need a total hip replacement. It made a world of difference to Sandra! "It was a big relief not to hurt every time I moved," she comments. She is now climbing stairs without pain and getting around so much better. "Dr. Aiken is great, I feel so much better, and I mean every word!"
Injured Runner Recovers to Compete in Triathlon
“I’ve been a runner since high school. I run to compete; I run to clear my head; but mostly, I run to eat. I've had a few aches and pains through the years that would come and go, but no real injuries to speak of. Then, a year ago, seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of a run, something broke free in the left knee. I 'locked up' for the first time in my life. It was a long limp back home.
A call to Watauga Orthopaedics started a speedy road to recovery--an initial assessment, an MRI, surgery... all within three weeks, all faster than a 5k! Dr. Bob De Troye (also a runner) was my guide and surgeon through the whole process. The diagnosis? A significant cartilage lesion under the knee cap. The solution – a micro-fracture procedure to re-grow some cartilage from my bone-marrow stem cells.
Recovery for this procedure was long and tedious – cartilage does not grow overnight, you know! But with the help of Watauga Orthopaedics's physical therapist, David Graham (not a runner), I was able to get back to some cardio within a few months and back to running in 2012. I celebrated my first-year anniversary of the 'lock up' by finishing my first triathlon (see picture below). Yes, I've moderated the running a bit and added some joint-friendly swimming and biking into my routine. But no slowing down for me, thanks to God's healing power working through the hands of Dr. De Troye, David Graham, and the great team at Watauga Orthopaedics."
“On October 3, 2011, I submitted to the skilled hands of Dr. Aiken of Watauga Orthopaedics for the replacement of my diseased left knee. What a good decision and great experience that was! Even though I'd read the information about joint replacement, had talked to Dr. Aiken about it, and had attended a very helpful and informative pre-operative training session, I still wasn't sure how I would get along. From the moment I checked in a Johnson City Medical Center's Joint Center on that Monday morning until I was discharged four days later, Dr. Aiken and his very capable PA, Shawn Sutterlin, saw that I had the best care possible. I had no adverse reaction from the anesthetic or any of the meds, and my therapy went well. On Wednesday, October 12, I began out-patient therapy at Watauga's Physical Therapy Center – another good decision. In a follow-up visit, as I looked at the before and after x-rays of my knee, I could not believe the difference in what I was seeing--a straight leg versus a very crooked one. As I go about my busy life, I thank the Lord for Dr. Aiken and his team who continue to make a difference in the lives of others like me."
“I appreciate Dr. Fowler greatly. I'm an SHHS football player, and he has done a lot for me and other players. There's been numerous times where I've cramped, and he's stretched me, so I can go back in the game. When I tore my ACL, he broke the news to me in an easy way. He felt sorry, he was there for me. He's a good man, he's funny, and he's an all-around good doctor."
“Dr. Stewart has seen many of my family members. He has helped each of them have a wonderful recovery from each situation. I personally saw him for a broken wrist, and he helped me with all of the steps to healing. Not only is he a great physician and surgeon, but he is also a wonderful, caring person. You can always count on to listen to you, because he really cares! He has a gift of understanding each person and meeting them where they are. He is someone that you can put your complete trust in."
“Dr. Robert De Troye replaced both of Mr. Doyle Cloyd's shoulders in 2012. Before the replacements, Mr. Cloyd was unable to sleep well, work, or even put on his coat without help due to tremendous discomfort. After Dr. De Troye performed the surgeries, Mr. Cloyd experienced wonderful relief! He was able to resume normal activities again. "Dr. De Troye is a great, great guy! The atmosphere at Watauga Orthopaedics is wonderful, and Dr. De Troye is a great man both professionally and spiritually. I am 150% satisfied!"
The Extra Mile
From the first visit Marilyn Johnson had with Dr. Richard Duncan and his staff to the very last appointment, her treatment was everything she asked for. "I was taken very good care of before, during, and after my herniated disk surgery. All of the staff did their jobs well. They were educated, kind, thoughtful, caring, and did everything they could for me. Dr. Duncan went the extra mile to make sure everything was okay. He is a very caring doctor...I have told several people about him, and if anyone has back/disk trouble, he is the person to go see."
Dr. Gregory Stewart and his physician assistant, Alvin Murphy, traveled to southwestern Kenya in July 2015 with their families to provide orthopedic care to the Kenyan people. They went through World Medical Missions (a medical outreach arm of Samaritan's Purse) and worked with Tenwek Hospital, a mission that has served in Kenya for over 75 years. They have an orthopedic department with an orthopedic residency that began in 2014. Their motto: "We Treat, Jesus Heals."
The Stewarts and Murphys served for almost the entire month of July.
Not only were they able to provide medical care – they were also able to visit/help an orphanage and “mud” a home.
The Murphys were able to take care of a newborn baby boy who had been abandoned, and Dr. Stewart and Alvin were able to meet a little girl with spina bifida who had been receiving excellent care at Tenwek Hospital and was progressing well. They met a young man who had been a patient at Tenwek Hospital two years ago and had accepted Christ while there. He now visits patients in the hospital and shares the Gospel with them.
The Stewarts and Murphys were so blessed by the trip and are thankful to the Lord for providing a way for them to serve Him in this way.