Learn about real-life experiences
from Tri Rivers patients
Your hands and wrists are utilized more often than you might think. They stay busy while you dress in the morning, type on the computer at work and cook dinner for your family at home. Chances are you don’t even notice you’re using them – except when they hurt.
Terry Graham, a retired math teacher, began experiencing sharp, intermittent discomfort in his right wrist that worsened with activity and improved with rest. As the pain slowly progressed, Terry began taking anti-inflammatories and steroids, yet the symptoms did not subside. After talking with his primary care physician, Terry decided to visit an orthopedic surgeon.
Corey Pacek, MD, a Tri Rivers hand and upper extremity surgeon, happens to be a graduate of Knoch High School, the same school where Terry taught. Although Terry never had Dr. Pacek in class, he had heard great things about him before, both as a physician and a person.
“When my PCP referred me to Tri Rivers, I didn’t realize I would be getting Dr. Pacek,” Terry said. “I was really lucky and fortunate to be on his list of patients.”
Dr. Pacek diagnosed Terry with right De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. He recommended that Terry try cortisone injections to help ease the pain. Still experiencing pain after conservative treatment, Terry chose to pursue surgical options.
Dr. Pacek performed surgery on Terry’s right wrist, specifically called right first dorsal compartment release, in September 2018. At his postop visit two weeks later, Terry rated his pain level as a 0 out of 10.
“The recovery process was no problem whatsoever. I wore the wrist brace for about a week or so. I began doing the same things I could always do, but with no wrist pain at all.”
The Knoch connection between Terry and Dr. Pacek extends to the gridiron, too. On fall Fridays, Terry works at Knoch High School football games. Dr. Pacek not only played football for Knoch, but he now serves as the team physician for his alma mater. Shortly after his procedure, Terry ran into his friendly orthopedic surgeon at a game.
“I saw Dr. Pacek there, and he asked me how I was doing. I said I was doing well. He told me to still be careful with the wrist, and I was. Everything has been great since then.”
What started as a distant hometown connection between Terry and Dr. Pacek has evolved into a patient-physician bond that remains special to both.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the opportunity to take care of the community in which I grew up,” Dr. Pacek said. “I feel that, since I grew up with these patients, I can better understand their wants, needs and desires. My hope is that this helps me take better care of the community.”