Back to hitting the slopes and reaching new heights following orthopedic surgery at Portneuf

 “I was in intense pain, irritable, and had high expectations for the surgery that would let me ski again,” said Bill Gibson, an orthopedic patient at Portneuf Medical Center (PMC).

In January of 2020, Bill was involved in a ski accident that resulted in a fully torn ACL, badly damaged lateral meniscus, partially torn MCL and LCL and a compression fracture of his tibia plateau and femoral condyle.

Unfortunately, due to insurance, work, and bone and ligament healing time, doctors could not perform surgery until June, making it a painful 5 months.

Once surgery was scheduled, Bill was looking forward to being in the operating room with his surgeon, Greg Ford, MD.

“I went into surgery knowing exactly what was going to happen once I arrived, while I was under anesthesia, once I woke up, and what my care plan would be once I was home,” said Bill. “I work in customer service, and I know how difficult it is to communicate with customers. But the surgery team at Portneuf exceeded my expectations.”

With the surgery over, Bill was finally on his road to recovery. However, after months of physical therapy, Bills progress began to plateau. He continued to experience ongoing pain in his knee. Unfortunately, due to the severe damage, along with his age, Bill knew there was a chance that the meniscus repair would not be 100% successful.

Thirteen months after his initial injury, Bill was cleared to ski again. “I got over 30 days on the snow from February through March, and my new ACL held up like a damn champion!” However, the meniscus pain was still present.

After an additional MRI, another surgery was needed to complete the repair on the meniscus. On May 18, 2021, Bill was back in the operating room at Portneuf Medical Center.

“Again, they delivered beyond expectations. I was treated like a guest at a hotel. I didn’t want to be there, but they made it easy. The nursing staff knew their stuff, my IV was painless, instructions were clear, the anesthesiologist was thorough and welcoming, and we all shared some laughs,” said Bill.

The second surgery was a success. For the first time in 18 months, Bill was pain free.

“This injury was miserable,” said Bill. “I need my legs to work and to do things that make me happy. Portneuf, the surgery team, and the physical therapy team made my injury less miserable. They treated me like a person, addressed all my problems, coached me on how to be my own healthcare advocate, communicated with exceptional detail, and were incredibly friendly. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who was involved!”

Bill looks forward to working hard on physical therapy this summer, and preparing for another winter on the mountain.