Our Success Stories

Over the years, many patients have had great success with joint replacement at Scottsdale Joint Center.

Mario Gomez - 2 Anterior Hip Replacements

Mario Gomez's Anterior Hip Replacements

Mario Gomez had both hips replaced by Dr. Stuart Kozinn, after traveling the country in search of the best orthopedic surgeon to perform the procedure. Mario's recovery was so rapid that he returned to Dr. Kozinn to have his other hip replaced, too! "Thanks for the best hip replacement I could get!"

Dr. Kozinn used the anterior approach for both hips, which had Mario walking 2 hours after his surgery. Mario drove home from the hospital the next day!

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Holly - Total Hip Replacement

“I Didn’t Want To Just Get Back On My Feet…I Wanted To Get Back To My Life”. Physical fitness has always been a major part of Holly Hansen’s life. A resident of Billings, Montana, she spent a lot of time on the ski slopes and from the time she was in her twenties, she began working as an instructor for virtually every exercise class imaginable – aerobics, spinning, kickboxing, weightlifting and yoga, to name a few.

But while Holly was busy improving the physical capabilities of others through her fitness classes, her own physical health was deteriorating. “My hip had begun hurting me long before I actually paid much attention to it,” Holly admits. “After ten years of increasing pain, it really began affecting my performance while exercising and it finally got to the point where I could no longer ignore it.”

Holly went to a doctor in Montana for an x-ray, and the results were not what she had expected. She was told she suffered from osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease. “I just about fainted when the doctor told me what it was,” she laughed. “I guess all of those years of exercising and pounding on my joints caught up with me.”

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints deteriorates over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation.

A few days later, Holly called a friend of hers who lives in Scottsdale, and he happened to be riding horses at the time with someone who had recently had his hip replaced at Scottsdale Healthcare by orthopedic surgeon Stuart Kozinn, MD. He raved about Dr. Kozinn so much that Holly decided to fly to Scottsdale to meet him and discuss her options.

“He spent over two hours discussing the procedure with me,” says Holly. “I was so impressed with his thoroughness and the personalization of care he provided, I decided there was no doctor other than Dr. Kozinn I wanted to replace my hip.”

Holly had her hip replacement surgery performed with a traditional, posterior approach in December of 2005. She was so pleased with the care she received from Dr. Kozinn and Scottsdale Healthcare that when the pain in her second hip began intensifying a few years later, she came back in November of 2009 to have that one replaced as well. This time, Dr. Kozinn performed the surgery using an anterior approach, and Holly walked out of the hospital two days after her surgery with the help of only a crutch.

She is now back to enjoying all of the physical activities she did before her surgeries, only now without the pain. She recently conquered the most advanced, extreme ski trail in Montana’s infamous Bigsky Ski Resort and at an altitude of 11,000 feet, Holly said she had never felt better making her way down that slope. “I had a friend record me on a video camera skiing down that trail, and I’m going to send it to Dr. Kozinn as proof that he is changing people’s lives for the better!”

“As a younger patient, I wasn’t concerned with just being able to get on my feet again after my surgery,” says Holly. “I wanted to make sure I was going to get back to my life, bigger and better than before the surgery! And thanks to Dr. Kozinn and the wonderful staff at Scottsdale Healthcare, I am doing just that.”

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Charles - Total Hip Replacement

By the time Paradise Valley resident Charles Irion hit his early 40s, he had the worn out hips of someone twice his age, yet the ongoing zest for life of someone half his age.

In fact, the adventurer, author and entrepreneur was lacing up his hiking boots at nearly 60 years old to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro―Africa's highest mountain.

What made this possible? Hip replacement surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center's Total Joint Center.

A former cross-country runner, motorcycle rider, hiker, skydiver, climber and all-around devotee to living life with gusto, Charles experienced severe hip degeneration early in life. Thinking he was far too young for hip replacement, he lived with the pain of his hip bones rubbing against each other due to the deterioration of their cushioning cartilage. For years, he limped and constantly shifted his weight to relieve the discomfort that frequently woke him at night.

At age 51, Charles had had enough. He began interviewing doctors and ultimately chose Scottsdale Healthcare board-certified orthopedic surgeon Stuart Kozinn, MD to replace one of his hips. Pleased with the results, he returned to Dr. Kozinn later to replace the other hip.

“I talked to a lot of my neighbors who are anesthesiologists, and everyone had a profound respect for Dr. Kozinn’s abilities and expertise. When I met with him, he matter-of-factly answered all of my questions and wasn’t pushy,” says Charles.

After living in pain for nearly two decades, Charles had lost a lot of his flexibility―something that physical therapy and rehabilitation through Scottsdale Healthcare’s Total Joint Center helped him regain.

“I’m now free of pain. Hip replacement has been a god-send,” Charles says.

Not surprisingly, he encourages others with hip degeneration not to put off the hip replacement surgery that can return their mobility and restore their enjoyment of life.

“Pain and the stress it causes can impact your quality of life and shorten your lifespan. If you spend years in pain, you don’t get that time back. There are multiple benefits to stepping up and doing something sooner rather than later,” Charles says.

After attempting to climb Mount Everest in 1987 before his hip replacement, Charles will tackle Mount Kilimanjaro in mid-2011. His first major climbing expedition with his new hips, the adventure is Charles’ way of celebrating his upcoming 60th birthday, as well as conducting research for the last book in his series of murder mysteries that take place on the world’s seven highest mountains.

It’s all thanks to Dr. Kozinn and hip replacement surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare.

“I could have gone anywhere. But the quality of care, the staff and the facilities were great at Scottsdale Healthcare. That’s why I went there―not just once, but twice,” Charles says.

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Amanda - Total Hip Replacement

There was still snow on the ground on June 10, 2001 in Pagosa Springs, Colorado when Amanda Armijo and her husband mounted their horses for a familiar ride. Amanda’s black and white painted horse, Matisse, stumbled in the deep snow and fell down a slope, pinning her between a tree and his massive 1,500 pound body. She knew she wasn’t paralyzed, but she couldn’t move.

Cell phones were useless in this remote location, so Amanda’s husband went for help. Rescuers took the wrong trail and most were stricken with altitude sickness. Helicopters in the area already were dispatched to a nearby fire, and because of the elevation and rough terrain, would not have been able to air-lift her safely. Being in a national park, motorized vehicles were prohibited, further delaying her rescue.

A local hiker, who happened to be a nurse practitioner, found Amanda and administered first-aid. Her stranger-than-fiction tale finally came to an end nine hours later when she was removed from the park on a one-wheel cart and taken by ambulance to a Durango hospital. It was there she learned that her right hip was both fractured and dislocated.

After being flown to another hospital in Denver, Amanda’s doctors discouraged her from getting a full hip replacement. Instead, they inserted two screws in her hip. She spent the next eight weeks completely immobile and in great pain. Having led an active lifestyle since childhood, she now was reduced to just a spectator. She endured the pain of stiffness and arthritis for five years until the Armijo family moved to Arizona and met Dr. Stuart Kozinn, Chief of Surgery at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.

“Dr. Kozinn suggested an all titanium hip replacement. He was extremely honest about what he could do for me. He considered my active lifestyle when he altered the device by several millimeters to allow for more mobility. The physical therapy after the surgery was amazingly easy. I was taking the stairs in five days and back to my power yoga class in only four weeks!”

Coming from a long line of Olympic swimmers, it didn’t take long for the 45 year-old to dive back in the pool. She currently is coaching her daughter Ivy’s swim team, “Swim Neptune,” and enjoys all of the activities she loved before the accident – including horseback riding.

When asked what advice she would give someone in a similar situation, she said, “You don’t need to live in pain. One short month after your hip replacement surgery, you can have a new life. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family.” She smiled and winked when she said, “Thanks to Dr. Kozinn and the staff at Scottsdale Healthcare, I’m a much nicer person!”

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Tony - Total Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can change a patient’s life. Just ask Tony Danninger. “I can stand and walk forever,” says Danninger, a Phoenix resident who works as a lead security screener at Sky Harbor International Airport. “Before my surgeries, I was collapsing sometimes when I would take a step down, because my knees were in such bad shape. Now life is so much better after the best total knee replacement surgery I could get.”

Danninger had his total knee replacement surgeries a little more than a year apart. First was his left knee, when he underwent a minimally invasive procedure on his right knee. “The technique preserves more of the quadriceps muscle in the thigh,” says Stuart Kozinn, M.D., a nationally acclaimed orthopedic surgeon on staff at Scottsdale Healthcare who performed Danninger’s surgery. “And we used a rotating platform that allows the new knee to bend and rotate, so it may feel more natural in active patients”. According to Dr. Kozinn, “The rotating platform acts like a shock absorber, hopefully offering a longer-lasting knee joint for younger and more active patients who still want to participate in sports such as golf and tennis”.

Some patients, like Sharon Young of Scottsdale, do well with a minimally invasive partial knee replacement. “Dr. Kozinn said my bone loss was not severe and that I was able to have a partial replacement,” Young, 63, says. She had a total knee replacement a year before her partial replacement. “I’m especially delighted with the partial replacement,” she says.

“Not everyone with knee arthritis is a candidate for a partial knee replacement,” Dr. Kozinn says. “Partial replacement has been referred to as the first arthroplasty in the young, and the last arthroplasty in the old”. In the younger patient is can be a more conservative bridging procedure until a total knee replacement is necessary many years later. In the elderly patient, it can provide excellent pain relief without the increased medical risks and trauma of the larger knee replacement procedure.

Dr. Kozinn says patients who undergo partial knee replacement experience less stress, typically go home one or two days after surgery and are often able to use a cane immediately, rather than a walker. “These patients have less pain and become more functional much more quickly and usually don’t have to go to formal physical therapy,” Dr. Kozinn says.

Another new technology, computer-assisted navigation can help a surgeon properly balance and align the knee. “It’s an emerging technology that is not yet fully incorporated into most surgeons’ practices,” Dr. Kozinn says. “But it looks promising as a way to enhance the ability to accurately measure and check the alignment of a patient’s knee.”

“We have used the computer on selected patients”. When coupled with our rapid recovery program, which includes femoral nerve pain blocks, and immediate full weight bearing, patients are returning to their jobs and athletic activities much sooner.”

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Robert - Total Hip Replacement

My name is Robert, and I recently had a total hip replacement on June 14th. Prior to that on June 13, I had out patient surgery to have a Vena Cava Filter placed prior to the hip surgery. I just want to express my sincere appreciation to the admitting department and to ALL doctors and nurses that attended to me. If you have to have surgery, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborne is the only way to go. It was a very excellent experience and well done.

Dr. Stuart Kozinn was my orthopedic surgeon who did wonders with my hip. No question when I selected Dr. Kozinn for the surgery.

Dr. Robert Jorgenson in the Radiology Department. Dr. Jorgenson inserted the Vena Cava Filter. He is a gem. He spent much time with me explaining the procedure. I can't recall ever meeting a doctor who took so much time to explain everything both before and after the surgery.

To all the nurses and aides both in out patient deptartment and to all those in the pre-op and post-op departments. Everybody was great.

To all the folks in the admitting department and to the entire staff at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborne, a sincere Thank You.