Vail Health Magazine 2013 - page 56

As of early January, Summers
was six weeks out from surgery.
He’d just begun to put weight on
the ankle.
“I’m confident that both
repairs were successful. It’s going
to be a long road. Hopefully a
year from now I’ll be 100 percent,”
added Summers.
No Such Thing As A Simple Fall
Last October, Denise Bolton had the day off
from her new job and was out doing errands
when she slipped on a patch of ice. “It was one
of those falls where you say to yourself, I hope
no one saw that!” But as far as falls go, Denise
didn’t think it was too bad and continued on
about her day with minor discomfort.
A couple of days later, she was hit with
excruciating pain as she twisted to pick
something up. When the pain didn’t go away,
Denise drove herself to urgent care where they
took x-rays and recommended she make an
appointment with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics.
She made an appointment for her next
day off, but by Wednesday night she noticed
some symptoms that didn’t seem right. VSO
got her in immediately on Thursday for an
MRI. After looking at the results, VSO physi-
cian assistant Jennifer Geller told Denise the
bad news. “She said it was the worse case
scenario and that I needed surgery immedi-
ately or I could risk permanent damage, even
paralysis.” Dr. Greg Poulter, a spine surgeon
who was the first in the nation to perform a
minimally invasive spine fusion, would meet
her at the hospital in an hour.
Denise was in disbelief. She and her hus-
band had just moved with their two young
children to Eagle in August. Her husband was
on the road, in Massachusetts where they
had just finalized the sale of their house. The
suddenness and seriousness of the situation
was starting to sink in. “Everyone was super
helpful. Jennifer was amazing; she explained
everything to me,” Denise said.
Denise went back to the dental office where
she works to tell them she was headed to the
hospital. “Many people in the office knew of
Dr. Poulter and spoke very highly of him.”
Parts of Denise’s discs had slipped and were
compressing her nerves. Her S1 and S2 were
ruptured. Dr. Poulter performed two minimal-
ly invasive spine surgery procedures: a lami-
nectomy to hollow out a part of the bone so
that the inflamed nerves have more space and
don’t compress, and a discectomy to remove
the parts of the discs that were ruptured. “Dr.
Poulter and his physician assistant, Cameron,
both took the time to review everything with
me prior to surgery which gave me reassur-
ance and confidence in their skills.”
“The next morning after surgery, I
noticed immediate relief.” Today Denise is
working hard at physical therapy to rebuild
her strength.
Excited about her new mountain lifestyle,
Denise has already hit the ski slopes and is
ready to take on everything she moved to the
Vail Valley to do, including lots of hiking and
biking this summer.
Dr. Paul Abbott
Sports Medicine
PA Brian Davis, PA-C
Dr. RickCunningham
ACL, Knee &
Shoulder, Partial & Total
Knee Replacement
PA Matt Cain, PA-C
Dr. Erik Dorf
Hand & Upper
Extremity, Sports Medicine
PA Annie Bowen, PA-C
Dr. John Paul Elton
Foot & Ankle
PA Molly Bryan, PA-C
Dr. Peter Janes
Wrist & Knee
PA Tim Smith, PA-C
Dr. Terrell Joseph
Hand & Upper
Extremity, Knee Surgery
PA Jan Idzikowski, PA-C
Dr. Greg Poulter
Advanced Adult
& Pediatric Spine Surgery
PA Cameron Youngblood, PA-C
Dr. Scott Raub
Spine Care,
Electrodiagnostic Testing
PA Jennifer Geller, PA-C
Dr. William Sterett
& Shoulder, Joint
PA Ben Hogan, PA-C
our doctors
Your best outcome is ensured by a fully-
integrated team approach at Vail-Summit
Orthopaedics. Each physician works closely with
a licensed Physician Assistant (PA) to provide
patients with a seamless continuity of care. The
relationship between a physician and PA is built
on trust and mutual respect and helps create
a culture of patient service that Vail-Summit
Orthopaedics is known for. In addition to their
sub-specialties, each physician also specializes
in orthopaedic trauma.
All doctor portraits by Brent Bingham
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