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Bob Kaser

Dr. Michael Fuller

A very competent orthopedic physician /surgeon!

Dr. Fuller is my fourth orthopedic physician/surgeon (over the last 15 years) and FINAL orthopedic physician/surgeon that will provide care and services to me.  The three prior individuals, none associated with Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center, did not possess all of the qualities that Dr. Fuller has exhibited with me on every visit.  I believe, as consumers of medical services, that there are four key requirements that the Provider must possess:

  1. The willingness to take the time to listen to the patient.
  2. Ability to determine the problem
  3. Ability to articulate possible and probable next steps and outcomes
  4. The ability, where indicated to provide excellent surgical intervention.

I have personally been the beneficiary of Dr. Fuller meeting all four of the steps above and that is the reason that I am extremely happy to call him my final orthopedic physician / surgeon.

Guillermo Velasco

Patient of Dr Ed Rowland and Dr Nimesh Patel, Panorama Physical Therapy, and Return to Activity Program

During the summer of 2015, Guillermo Velasco was in the prime of his training for his 4th Triple Bypass Race – Colorado’s annual bucket-list bike race for cyclists from across the nation which covers 120 miles, over 10,000 vertical feet of climbing and takes racers from Evergreen to Vail over Juniper, Loveland, and Vail passes.  On June 20th, he began a training ride that had him breaking personal records and excited to continue his ride into Idaho Springs. As he looked for a place to refill his water bottles, his back tire slipped on gravel and he came crashing down onto his right hip. When he tried to walk off the pain, he realized that it was too intense and he would need to call 911. After being picked up by paramedics, Guillermo was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood where he met Dr. Ed Rowland, one of Panorama’s trauma specialists, who told him he had broken the head of his femur from the rest of his bone and needed surgery as soon as possible.

After surgery Guillermo was non-weight bearing for more than a month to let the bone heal. Finally, he began physical therapy with Brittney and Jessie at Panorama’s physical therapy location at The Institute in Highlands Ranch. Guillermo became quite at regular, visiting three times per week. During his PT, he set a goal for himself to be training on the turf with the athletes he could see working out through the windows of the PT office. Eventually, Brittney began taking Guillermo to the turf to start training with some of the more advanced equipment. Unfortunately, by the time October began, Brittney noticed that Guillermo was not making enough progress and sent him back to Dr. Rowland.

Dr. Rowland was sent Guillermo to see Dr. Nimesh Patel who is a total joint specialist at Panorama. After consulting with Dr. Patel, Guillermo decided to have a total hip replacement. He was back in surgery on December, 18th – so happy to be moving forward, Guillermo says “I am grateful he was able to accommodate me so quickly and schedule this surgery before year end.” Following his joint replacement, Guillermo once again began PT with Brittney and Jessie, but this time he progressed much faster. By mid-May, he was released from PT – happy to be done but sad to miss seeing his therapists as often.

Guillermo then took every opportunity to get back on his bike and back in shape but he kept thinking of The Institute gym. In August of 2016, Guillermo talked to Brittney and was placed into the new Return to Activity or PRO-Formance program at The Institute. This program integrates every service that Panorama offers to help patients return to their activities by connecting the therapists and doctors with the personal trainers at The Institute to help build them back up better and stronger than before.

Guillermo trained with Mandy Parker at The Institute for many months one-on-one until, after many hours of hard work and dedication on behalf of Mandy and Guillermo, he was able to join the regular strength and conditioning classes. Guillermo credits the Return to Activity program and Mandy for getting him much stronger than he had ever been – even prepared to maintain his strength and conditioning to support other injuries he once had. Today, Guillermo is a regular attendee at The Institute and his progress has even inspired his wife to join.

”Today, I am happy that I am skiing and biking as if this surgery never happened and I feel more fit and stronger than ever … I cannot wait to see how my evolution continues with the help of Mandy and all the great coaches of the Institute.

Two of my favorites mottoes are “Be Strong and Courageous” and “God gave us hills to climb and the strength to climb them“.  I always think of them and throughout this journey they have kept me going and working hard.” – Guillermo Velasco

Andy Kuritz

Patient of Dr Michael Ellman

Andy Kuritz was on a 16 mile trail run when he first noticed his hip was getting tight and painful. You see, Andy was training for the Boston marathon, a race he was running for charity in honor of his Father who had passed from Multiple Sclerosis the year before. A few hours later his hip started to become even more painful. By the evening it was worse. The next day, the pain was excruciating.

Andy’s story of a torn labrum in the hip is a common one. For people with this type of injury – on average, patients see 3 – 4 medical providers to get a diagnosis of a labral tear in the hip.

Initially, Andy saw a doctor who ordered an MRI for a closer look at the hip. The MRI came back showing no tear in the labrum and no structure damage, so it was recommended that Andy take a break from running. Andy went to physical therapy. There he worked on the IT band – maybe it was too tight. He tried running one or two more times but it was too painful. Now, he had a noticeable limp. Despite the pain and the recommendations from the doctor Andy said, “I had raised money in honor and memory of my dad, so I was running the Boston marathon on April 16 – once I started, I felt uncomfortable as I hadn’t run in two weeks. By mile 9 the pain was so bad I had to start walking – I walked/ran for 17 miles. Andy finished the marathon, but missed the official time stamp. “I could barely walk when I was finished. The next day I was going to walk around the city with my family, but I couldn’t do it. The pain was 15 on a scale of 1 – 10.”

When he returned home to Denver, he saw another doctor who identified the torn labrum in Andy’s MRI that was initially missed by the radiologist who read his MRI. After consulting with this doctor, it was suggested that he proceed with a reconstruction of his labrum, a process that sometimes can take nine months to a year to get back to running. Through a family member he found Dr Ellman and he came to Panorama for a second opinion. Dr Ellman is conservative in the operating room, yet aggressive with rehabilitation. He said, “A labral reconstruction is not necessary at this point and a labral repair is a great place to start. He compared it to a tire – Just because you have a flat tire you don’t buy a brand new tire. Let’s fix it.” Andy wanted to get back to running quickly, so this seemed like a good option.

Andy went through with the surgery to repair the labrum in his hip on August 30 – Everything went well. He started physical therapy three days later – and that continued for 3 and ½ months. His goal was to be running again by December 26 as he was planning to run the Boston marathon again in April and he needed to start his 16 week training program. So, that he did. Andy never missed even one of his 64 training runs, as he trained 4 days a week, and he had no problems. “I started running 3 ½ months after surgery and started marathon training 4 months after surgery. This year I ran the Boston marathon for a different charity – Cops for Kids with Cancer. This was 7 ½ months after surgery and I felt physically great!

Julie Lyons

Patient of Dr Jared Foran

Julie Lyons is a World Champion cyclist and patient of Dr. Foran.  When Julie came to Panorama with knee pain in 2016, Dr Foran suggested a knee replacement to keep her doing the things she loves. Eight months after her knee replacement, Julie competed in the Gran Fondo World Championships in New York. The Gran Fondo is a 100 mile bicycle race which attracts cyclists from all over the world. The highly competitive field includes former Tour de France racers, Pan American Race champions, and Olympians.

As Julie tells it, “I am 8.5 months post-op and not only won my age group but crushed the previous record for 60-64. I actually beat all the 55-59, and had the 3rd fastest time for the 50-54 age group as well. You can tell which one is me on the top of the podium by the straight legs. Both of them straight!”

Julie was one of only 3 champions from the USA. Others were from Brazil, Columbia, Italy, and Canada.

“Thank you so much, Dr. Foran, for helping me to continue with the activities I love. Although I am still working on sitting cross legged on the floor, I am ripping it up in every other aspect. I am sure that final 5% flexion is in the bag,” she says. “Couldn’t have nailed it without you. You da’ bomb and I am a World Champion!”

Wilburn Holloway

Patient of Dr. Bharat Desai, Dr. Peter Lammens, Dr. Mitch Seemann and Dr. Amit Agarwala - Trauma, Spine, Sports and Foot & Ankle Surgeries

Wilburn Holloway is a seasoned Kansas Farmer and sometimes he looks up – way up – at his 25,000 bushel grain bin and catches his breath. “How did I survive that?”

On July 6, 1998 Wilbur did what he had done many times before.  He climbed to the top of the bin to close the lid.  A rainstorm was coming and the moisture would ruin his wheat. Holloway hoisted the huge metal lid precisely at the moment that a wind gust ripped across his farm, whooshing under the lid and knocking him a staggering 43.5 feet to the ground.

He broke his left femur, three vertebrae in his lower back, both legs below the knees and every bone in his right foot.  Both rotator cuffs were torn and he had a severe concussion. He was immediately put on a flight to Denver.  In the hands of several Panorama Orthopedic trauma surgeons, Mr Holloway underwent a number of surgeries while his neighbors looked after his crop and his three teenage sons. “We were told that half of all people who fall 15 feet die, yet here was Wilburn who fell three times that distance.”  Dr. Desai said it was the most complicated case he had ever seen, recounts Wilburn’s wife Harriett.

All total Wilburn has now had 22 surgeries in 17 years on his feet, ankles, legs, back and shoulders. “Today, you wouldn’t know anything is wrong with him, except that he rolls his right foot when he walks,” says his wife.

“The beauty of Panorama is that they could tackle our complicated set of problems with sub specialists all working under one roof.”

Denver joint replacement

Brad Cooper

Patient of Dr. Ed Rowland - Clavicle Surgery

Jerry Schemmel, KOA and Rockies radio announcer and United Airlines flight 232 survivor,  had a long time dream of one day riding in the Race Across America. This annual ultramarathon, transcontinental bike race starts in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. With competitors from around the globe, it is non-stop from start to finish and covers more than 3000 miles. It is usually completed in a week. In comparison, the world’s most famous bike race, the Tour De France which travels about 2300 miles over three weeks.

Jerry approached long time friend Brad Cooper and asked him if he would consider competing in the Race Across America as his teammate. Brad, currently 49 years old was already an endurance athlete, a nationally recognized wellness speaker and CEO of US Corporate Wellness.

After agreeing to partner with Schemmel, Brad Cooper began six long months of grueling training – riding 25 to 35 hours a week. Just a few weeks now before the big race, Cooper was on a training ride at Chatfield Reservoir when a goose knocked him off his bike. He broke his clavicle and four ribs and also suffered a concussion.

He called Dr. Seemann who immediately got in touch with Dr. Rowland. Dr Rowland, having never seen him, but understanding the urgency of the situation agreed to meet him at the Hospital the next day. Brad Cooper underwent surgery to repair his broken clavicle and within a couple days he was back on the bike and returned to full training within a week. He was determined to do the race, even though he would be hurting.

“Not optimal, but make the most with what we’ve got,” Cooper said. “I made a commitment, we’ve got a great crew, they’re giving up a lot of time and effort and energy. Jerry’s a great teammate, and I’m looking forward to doing this with him, even though it’s funny — we will probably not talk the whole trip because someone’s always riding.

The plan was for Schemmel and Cooper to take turns in the race, covering about 450 miles a day, never stopping. When one was riding, the other would be resting in the RV. During the day, they alternated an hour on, and an hour off.  At night they tried to ride three to five hours at a time so the one resting can nap.

536 people competed and Brad Cooper and Jerry Schemmel won the 2015 Race Across America.  Two months later Brad competed in and finished the Ironman triathlon.

Patrick Almdale

Patient of Dr. David Schneider - Shoulder Surgery

When Patrick Almdale started to lose distance off the tee, the avid golfer chalked it up to age. But when the 66-year-old Westminster resident could hardly swing his driver — much less reach for the salt shaker at dinner — he knew something was wrong.

“I’m not a woe-is-me-er,” Almdale says, noting that after trying to strengthen his arm on his own, he turned to Panorama for surgery. “I had no cartilage left in my shoulder. I was bone on bone,” he says.

Before and after shoulder replacement surgery by David Schneider, MD, Almdale benefited from a new Panorama program called OrthoPlus. The program coordinates care for patients, starting with presurgery preparation and continuing through surgery and rehabilitation — rather than each of these critical components happening in piecemeal fashion.

Almdale says he went into surgery knowing what to expect in terms of pain and armed with tricks to help with everyday activities such as dressing. He felt confident going home the day after surgery.

And he describes outpatient rehabilitation as a highlight. “I’ve done PT before. I definitely saw a difference at Panorama. They know who your doctor is; they are familiar with patients and rehabilitation goals. They had access to my chart. It was all under the same roof — I liked that,” he says.

Looking forward to his next golf trip, he’s not one to just sit idle. In fact, at just four months post-op, Almdale is already making his way up and down — and up and down — an extension ladder to paint the exterior of his house. “I’m a mover. I fix everything around my house,” he says, glad that the Panorama staff is made up of fixers, too. “To be able to do the things I’m doing now at the earliest part of my recovery, I couldn’t be happier.”

Lito Tejada - Flores

Patient of Dr. Doug Wong - Spine Surgery

‘Back’ to the slopes

At 74, Lito Tejada-Flores fancies himself a “freelance human being.” The Crestone resident has written “how-to” books on skiing; produced videos on skiing; and taught skiing in the Rockies, the Sierras, and Switzerland. These endeavors have supported his lifelong love for skiing and engaging, as he styles it, in the “impossible romance of sliding over snow.” It’s been one good, long run. Until his back balked.

His back problems began 13 years ago when he fell from his home’s roof and suffered a burst fracture of the L3 vertebra. He was flown to Denver, where Panorama surgeon Courtney Brown, MD, fused his L2 through L4 vertebrae.

Tejada-Flores maintained his high level of activity for almost 10 years until two conditions — spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis — started ganging up on him. Spondylolisthesis results when one vertebra “slides” forward over the bone below it. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

The result? For Tejada-Flores, a pins and needles sensation would strike his feet after
10 minutes of hiking in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains. By January of 2015, acute, paralyzing pain struck. “Just standing at the kitchen counter for two to three minutes would be so painful that I needed to sit down.”

An MRI revealed what he feared was true: It was time for a second surgery. He again turned to the Panorama surgical staff. Douglas Wong, MD, removed the instrumentation from his former fusion, added the L5 vertebra to a new L2 through L5 fusion, and repositioned his vertebrae to create enough space to give the nerves room to heal. “When I came back to consciousness, the pain was gone. It’s been gone ever since. Surgery was 100 percent successful,” says Tejada-Flores, who is — not surprisingly — counting days until the snow starts to fall.

My surgeon is an enthusiastic skier. He took it seriously that I was an active mountain enthusiast, and he wanted me to stay that way.”


Vicki Wattier

Patient of Dr. Jared Foran - Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery

A physical education teacher for 25 years, 61-year-old Gunnison resident Vicki Wattier spent the last three years of her teaching career sitting on the sidelines while her students ran and played. “I got to the point where my knee was deformed. I had bone spurs and lots of nerve damage,” she says.

Arthritis began limiting her full participation in sports, too. Tennis and skiing became extremely difficult. She couldn’t hike or bike without pain. And the fly-fishing she enjoyed? Out of the question. “Fly-fishing requires stability and good range of motion. I couldn’t even bend my knee 90 degrees.”

In 2011, she learned of a unique, minimally invasive knee replacement technique offered by Jared Foran, MD, a joint replacement specialist at Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center. “I like new technology and innovative approaches to things,” she says. “There’s not too many doctors who perform total knee replacement the way he does. Dr. Foran does this small incision — kind of like a reverse comma shape — that starts right above the kneecap and curves toward the inside of the leg. It’s real short, probably only 3 inches long.”

Wattier was up and walking the day of surgery. Shortly after her October 2011 knee replacement, she was living life at full tilt again.

Today, she spends winters as a cashier at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where one of the perks of the job is a ski pass that she uses 50 to 60 times every season. She’s back to hiking, biking, swimming, and playing golf. “I wish I had done the surgery sooner. I’m pain-free, and I have full range of motion. It’s great.”

“Dr. Foran’s knee replacement technique is less painful, less damaging to cartilage and tissues, and there’s a quicker recovery. I liked the idea of getting back to activities more quickly following surgery.”


Betsy Steelman

Patient of Dr. WIlliam Peace - Anterior Hip Replacement

Retired from software technology sales, Betsy Steelman has always been a mover and a shaker. So the 56-year-old Castle Pines resident wasn’t about to let a bum hip tarnish her golden years.

“I’m active. My passions are travel, yoga, golf, and my grandson,” Steelman says. Early last year, she began to have pain in her right groin. But, as is often the case, her “groin” pain was actually radiating from her hip.

In September, X-rays revealed that the cartilage around her hip joint was completely gone. Her pain worsened, and shot down her leg with even simple activities, such as loading the dishwasher and grocery shopping. “I faced the prospect of becoming more sedentary. Then the thought struck me, ‘I’ve got a lot of life to live here.’”

She researched her options — getting second and third opinions — and finally settled on total hip replacement with Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center, where William Peace, MD, specializes in an anterior, or “front,” approach to the surgery. “It’s less invasive, there’s far less blood loss, recovery time is quicker, and you don’t have nearly the amount of restrictions in how you can move following surgery,” Steelman says.

Steelman is so serious about her golf game that she scheduled surgery for December, when her clubs would be collecting dust anyway. “Instantly there was no pain,” she says. “It was amazing.” By the end of January, she played 18 holes of golf. By the end of February, she was back to yoga — totally unafraid to try poses that required putting her body weight on her right leg. “Looking back, I realize that pain limited everything. By choosing surgery, I was choosing my lifestyle,” she says.

“Today, I can tell that my right hip – the one I got replaced – works better than my left hip.  It just moves easier.”


Fabio Sabatini

Patient of Dr. Agarwala - Trauma spine surgery

Fabio Sabatini is a professional cyclist who rides for Team Cannondale. He’s been racing professionally since 2006 and is considered to be one of the fastest sprinters in the world.

An accident during the US Pro Cycling Challenge left Fabio wondering if he’d ever be able to return to cycling again.  He was in Steamboat Springs racing when a serious crash shattered the vertebrae in his back.  Local doctors in the Yampa Valley told him he needed to see Dr. Agarwala, an expert spine surgeon at Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center in Denver.  He was sent via helicopter on Flight for Life to St Anthony’s Hospital where Dr. Agarwala attended to him.

“Fabio suffered a thoracic burst fracture, says Dr. Agarwala.  “This is a common and severe spinal fracture from a high energy fall or crash.  While some burst fractures can be treated without surgery, the injury Fabio suffered was more unstable and thus surgery was required to provide good stability, correction of deformity, and protect his spinal cord from paralysis.  We placed screws and rods spanning his broken vertebrae in a three hour operation that went smoothly.  Fabio recovered very well while in Colorado and then returned to Italy.  I continued to give instructions through email and was thrilled to hear that he returned to cycling within 3-4 months after his crash.  When we heard he would be competing in the Tour de France that summer, I knew his recovery had been truly successful,” added Dr. Agarwala.

“My experience with Dr. Agarwala was very good and I believe that it was only because of him and the care he provided that I was able to return to racing so quickly,” said Fabio. “My surgery was in August.  I was training again by November and was back to professional racing by February.  The Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix are two very important races that take place in the spring of each year – both are on the cobblestones in Europe and are very rough.  “I was thrilled to be able to ride in both races and surprised that every part of my body hurt – except my back,” Fabio commented.  In fact, Fabio’s recovery was so good that he was in optimal shape and able to ride in the Tour de France, a race he has finished four times, by July.

In having this surgery, he knew he would need to have another surgery, in a year, to remove the hardware once everything was healed.  Having grown up in Pistioia, Italy, Fabio currently lives in Monaco.  “There was never a question that I would return to Dr. Agarwala to have another surgery.  I was fearful if I stayed in Italy for surgery that the outcome would not have been as good – I trust Dr Agarwala and only Dr. Agarwala,” he said.

“St Anthony’s Hospital was also exceptional,” he said.  “After my experience here, I was not afraid to have surgery again,” he added.  In his three days in the hospital Fabio got to know the staff and nurses.  Many he knew personally, some who even went to the extent of checking on him throughout the year.  They all remembered him when he came back for his second surgery a year later.

In talking about his recovery, Fabio says, “I was amazed by how quickly I was back to racing, when I thought I may never ride again.  I told my teammates  –  it was unfortunate that I fell and was seriously injured, but I feel very fortunate that I was here in Colorado when it happened.”

Fitness Trainer Melissa Meyers

Melissa Myers

Patient of Dr. Schneider - knee reconstruction

Melissa Myers wears many hats. She’s a fitness trainer, the mother of two small children … and a professional fighter who competes in mixed martial arts (MMA) events. “I’ve been an athlete my entire life,” said Melissa, 33, who also competes in figure events, which showcase contestants’ beauty and physiques. “But I’m not a recreational athlete. If I’m going to do a sport, I have to compete in it.” A college rugby player, Melissa first honed her skills through wrestling, kickboxing and jujitsu. About a year ago, she got into the cage for MMA. “I’m not a violent person, I’m not an angry person,” said Melissa. “When I compete in MMA, it’s skill against skill.”

When she tore her ACL preparing for a match, her chiropractor referred her to Dr. David Schneider at Panorama Orthopedics. After an MRI, Dr. Schneider and Melissa discussed not only the need for surgery but also why a cadaver graft — instead of her own tendon or hamstring — would work best for her individual situation.

“One of the greatest things about Dr. Schneider is he knew my sport and was able to ask me what my strengths were as an athlete,” Melissa said. “I’m a big kicker, and he explained everything to me in terms I could understand in regard to my sport.” Melissa’s surgery was at OrthoColorado Hospital, Denver’s first orthopedic specialty hospital, where all the staff have specialized training in orthopedics. “I was really scared going into it because I’d never had surgery before and didn’t know what to expect,” she said.

“The facilities at OrthoColorado were great. The nurses were joking with us and made me feel so comfortable that I completely forgot I was having surgery.” Melissa competed in a figure show five weeks later and returned to full MMA training just six months after surgery. “I’m completely 100 percent recovered,” she said. “I’m just thrilled with what Dr. Schneider and OrthoColorado were able to do for me.”

joint repair at panorama ortho

Glenna Welge

Patient of Dr. Peace - Total knee replacement

Each year, Glenna Welge looks forward to riding her horse in the National Western Stock Show. It was a hard day when her stiff and painful knee kept her not only from riding but also from completing common daily tasks. “I hurt all the time. The pain and swelling tormented me even when I was trying to sleep,” Glenna said. “It got to the point where I was just done wasting time with it.” When Glenna left Panorama after her initial visit with Dr. William Peace, she knew he was the surgeon for her. “Dr. Peace was excellent with me,” Glenna remembers. “He didn’t just listen; he truly heard what I said about my symptoms and the pain. He was genuinely concerned about me.”

After Glenna decided to get her knee replaced, she was overcome with fear at the prospect of the surgery. “Dr. Peace was so patient with me,” she said. “He addressed every question, concern and fear I had, no matter how many times I asked him to go over it. His understanding of my insecurities with the surgery made me even more confident in his knowledge and abilities.” When the surgery was over, Glenna couldn’t  believe how smoothly it had gone and how well her new knee worked. “Dr. Peace is absolutely my hero; he did a beautiful job,” Glenna said. “Even from the day after the surgery, the movement of the leg was just so natural. I didn’t have to learn to walk again — it just flowed.”

Now, more than a year after her surgery, Glenna is back to doing what she loves, including riding her horse, biking, gardening and walking her dog. “I went from struggling to cross the living room to being able to do everything I want to do, without restrictions and without any pain,” Glenna said. “I cannot express enough how grateful I am for Dr. Peace and the excellent care I received at Panorama. Life is good!”

foot and ankle specialist

Chris Best

Patient of Dr. Conklin - Total ankle replacement

Chris Best is like many Coloradans — her dogs have always been like her children. When her ankle pain started keeping her from the long walks she and her husband take with their dogs, something had to be done. “I just couldn’t do it anymore; it was too painful,” Chris remembers. “The pain affected every aspect of my life. It hurt when I sat and when I stood up. It never stopped hurting.” Chris wanted a solution that would allow her to continue doing what she loves, including walking, gardening and tutoring students. “Even though I was 68, I was in great shape, active and vibrant,” Chris said. “Three different orthopedic specialists saw me as over the hill, though, and they just wanted to fuse my ankle. That didn’t work for me because it would have been too limiting. “I feel very blessed that I found Dr. Conklin. He was sympathetic and really listened and took in what I was saying.”

Panorama’s Dr. Mark Conklin performed a total ankle replacement for Chris, allowing her to keep mobility in her ankle while eliminating her crippling pain. “I think the world of Dr. Conklin,” said Chris. “I told him I just can’t have this pain anymore, and he fixed it. I call him the wizard. If you’re going to have your ankle done, you need someone who does a lot of ankles. He does a lot of them and he does good work.”

Chris is now back to doing what she loves, including walking five miles a day with her dogs. “If surgery can be a gift, my ankle replacement surgery was a true gift,” Chris said. “I have no pain in my new ankle. It made a huge difference on my outlook on life because I don’t feel like I always have to compromise on everything. I am ever so grateful. I have my life back.”

trauma surgeon

Matt Boyd

Patient of Dr. Lodha - Wrist reconstruction

Matt Boyd had just taken up motorcycling when a fractured wrist stopped him in his tracks. While participating in a training course, he had an accident Superman style, right over the top of his bike’s handlebars. He fractured a bone at the base of his thumb, displaced others and tore several ligaments in his right hand.

“After the accident, everything I used to do without even thinking became a challenge,” Matt said. “I couldn’t write; it was painfully slow to type. It was even hard to get dressed in the morning. I spent the whole summer not being able to ride my new motorcycle or play softball or golf. ” Matt, 32, is newly married. His wife was with him at the time of the accident and later for his surgery with Panorama’s Dr. Sameer Lodha.

“Dr. Lodha was very thorough, and he did a great job of explaining everything — not only to me, but also to my wife. We really appreciated that,” Matt said. “He was always open and friendly, and he made a very personal connection with us. It was clear he cared about the way I felt and getting me back to what I wanted to do. I feel lucky to have him as my doctor.” Dr. Lodha used screws, and pins to secure the fractured bones in Matt’s wrist together and bone anchors to repair the tendons and ligaments back to the bone. After completing the healing process, Matt is now participating in physical therapy and on his way back to life – soon to be back to his bike.”

Healing in a cast for eight weeks, Matt is now in physical therapy and on the way to getting back on his bike. “The people I know in the medical industry who have seen my X-rays and how well I am able to use my wrist now can’t believe it,” Matt said. “I have good flexibility back and no pain. My wrist feels really strong.”

denver sports medicine

Lonnie Porter - Regis University men's basketball coach

Patient of Dr. Seemann - Pending shoulder surgery, knee replacement and finger reconstruction

Regis University Men’s Basketball Coach Lonnie Porter has pretty much done it all when it comes to sports … and also sports injuries. He has been to Panorama for everything from foot surgery to double knee replacements to finger reconstruction, and shoulder surgery is next on the list. “I was in great shape until I got to 60, and that’s when things started to change,” Lonnie said. “With all of the sports that I played, there was a lot of wear and tear. The biggest thing was the pain.”

Lonnie has coached the Regis basketball team for 38 years, and he’s never missed a game in his career — even dating back to his time as one of the top basketball players at Adams State College. But Lonnie also didn’t want to miss out on what he calls “life moments” with his two young grandchildren. It was initially knee pain that brought him to see Panorama’s Dr. Mitchell Seemann. “I have the utmost respect for Dr. Seemann,” Lonnie said. “His presence exudes confidence and compassion. He is the kind of doctor you want — a doctor who is going to take good care of you and be there for you before, during and after a surgery.”

Following his numerous orthopedic procedures, 70-year-old Lonnie is still athletic and active. Despite his many injuries, he said he is now pain free because of Panorama. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my care,” he said. “Everyone at Panorama is courteous and friendly, and I have just enjoyed my experiences there. You are more than just a patient; they treat you with respect. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do all of the athletic stuff that I do, and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my grand-kids, playing anything and everything they want to play. I love being able to spend that kind of time with them.”

best orthopedic surgeons Denver

Cara Campos

Patient of Dr. Patel - Trauma, Complex pelvic reconstruction

Cara Campos isn’t your typical carefree college student. At the age of 20, she is a survivor. Cara was in a fatal car accident on her way to a wedding. The car she was riding in was t-boned by a semi, and she was on the side of impact. She suffered brain hemorrhaging, a shattered pelvis, fractured ribs and clavicle, a broken nose and bruised lungs.

“The first thing I remember after the accident was waking up, feeling truly blessed by the Lord to still be here,” Cara said. She was treated for several weeks at St. Anthony Hospital, where Dr. Nimesh Patel reconstructed her pelvis. “I feel very fortunate to have had Dr. Patel,” she said. “He wasn’t just concerned with making me better; he was also concerned about my future, about my ability to have children one day. He was very caring. I would choose him in a heartbeat if I were ever in this kind of situation again.” Cara has now completed her physical therapy and is getting ready to return to college, where she is preparing herself for pharmacy school. “I have always been fascinated by the way medicine works, and now I am even more inspired to graduate and become a pharmacist,” she said. “I want to make a difference with my life.”

Now that she is recovering, Cara has a greater appreciation for the everyday things that she can do, like showering and using the restroom without help or standing in the kitchen to make meal. She also started jogging, the first step in a new goal — to run a marathon.

denver pain management

Ron Alvarado

Patient of Dr. Horner - Non-operative pain treatment

Luckily for 48-year-old Ron Alvarado, surgery didn’t have to be the answer following a car crash that totaled his brand new Camaro and caused him crippling migraines. “I’m scared to death of surgery,” Ron said. “But after the accident, life was horrible. I was having bad headaches every day, and migraines at least three times a week that kept me in bed all day. The worst part is that I have always been a good dad and husband, but with the headaches I just wasn’t myself — they made me mean and grouchy.” After months without improvement, Ron saw Panorama’s Dr. Michael Horner, who focuses on helping patients overcome pain and limitations without surgery. “Dr. Horner has had a huge impact for me,” Ron said. “He is an awesome doctor and when you work with him, he just makes you feel so comfortable. He is a down-to-earth person and he takes the time to really work with you.”

For Ron’s treatment, Dr. Horner utilized a highly specialized process called electromyography (EMG) to identify the proper muscle in Ron’s neck where his headaches and migraines were being generated. Dr. Horner then administered a series of Botox injections to relieve Ron’s pain and address his symptoms. “It was quick and easy, and I got good results,” Ron said. “I was living on pain pills to get through the day before, but I haven’t needed a single pill since my treatment. It’s amazing.”

Instead of spending his days stuck in bed, Ron is back to a full work schedule and is able to work out at the gym every day. Most importantly, he is once again the husband and dad he wants to be. “I smile again, that is the biggest difference,” Ron said. “I would tell anyone who suffers from headaches or migraines that they don’t have to live like that. Dr. Horner knew exactly how to help me.”

denver spine surgeons

James Ross

Patient of Dr. Loutzenhiser - Complex revision spine surgery

James Ross grew up playing and working hard. A high school and college athlete, he also spent many years playing softball and other sports. But competitive athletics, followed by demanding work in construction, took a toll on his spine. “For me, it wasn’t an issue of pain as much as it was the deadening of nerves,” said James, age 71. “At its worst, I could barely walk and would have to plan my trips from the bedroom to the bathroom. To get into the shower, I literally had to sit on the toilet and lift each leg over the bathtub ledge.”

When problems persisted even after two spinal surgeries elsewhere, James turned to Panorama’s Dr. Lonnie Loutzenhiser, who took a comprehensive look at the problem. “I very much appreciated Dr. Loutzenhiser’s approach — he didn’t just look at part of the problem, but at my whole spinal column,” James said. “He didn’t want me to end up needing more surgery later any more than I wanted to come back for more.”

Dr. Loutzenhiser performed a complex surgery to relieve the pressure on James’ spinal cord that was causing damage to the nerves in his legs. The surgery included a laminectomy to decompress the nerves, removal of a bone spur and insertion of a bridge and new hardware from James’ pelvis up through his lower back. “I have only the highest praise for Dr. Loutzenhiser and his staff — they stopped the nerve damage,” James said. “With my surgical history and the extent of my spinal problems, I presented an immense challenge that they not only met, but rose far above.”

James is still recovering but has gone from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. “I get up early and every day is full. I can entertain grand-kids, keep up my garden and do projects like sanding and staining my deck,” he said. “We all want the highest quality of life possible, and that’s what this surgery was about for me — it permits me to do all the things I do.”

Corrective surgery patient Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller

Patient of Dr. Murken - Foot and ankle surgery

For college student Amanda Miller, being able to walk without pain and without her ankle constantly slipping out of place is a miracle. “I was getting so frustrated that all of the therapists and doctors I went to couldn’t help one little bit,” Amanda said. “Dr. Murken at Panorama was the first doctor to ever tell me, ‘I can fix this problem.’”

As an infant, Amanda suffered from a stroke that caused her left ankle and foot to be incorrectly positioned. When she walked, her foot would land unevenly, with most of the pressure on the outside of her foot. “I was always twisting my ankle on cracks in the sidewalk or on the grass,” Amanda remembers. “I could never move my toes before, and I could barely balance on my left leg.”

Amanda received corrective surgery at Panorama after Dr. Roger Murken explained that he could help reposition her foot to make it easier for her to walk and balance. “I call it a surgery of a lifetime because I couldn’t do half of the things before that I am able to do now,” Amanda says.

Now she can move her toes and lift up her foot more. She can walk longer without her foot hurting and doesn’t worry about walking on rocks and twisting her ankle. She even goes hiking. Amanda said she’s glad her primary care physician told her about Dr. Murken. “He was friendlier than most doctors, and he knew when to be serious and when to joke and make you laugh,” Amanda said. “He made me feel comfortable about everything he was doing. I am more than happy with his work. “This surgery was a miracle for me.”

Hip replacement patient Bob Ochse

Bob Ochse

Patient of Dr. Patel - Hip replacement surgery

After Bob Ochse had hip replacement surgery with Dr. Nimesh Patel, he felt so good he decided to retire.

“Dr. Patel definitely changed my life,” Bob said. “Not living in pain gives you a whole new outlook on what each day can be. It gave me an energized look at what retirement could be – playing golf, doing things with my kids and grand-kids. It feels like he gave me part of my life back.”

Before his surgery, even the simplest of activities — like tying the laces on his shoes, getting dressed and climbing stairs — were difficult and painful. “I had to learn a different way to put my left shoe on because I couldn’t cross my legs so I had to stretch my leg out on a chair,” he said. “I was unable to walk the golf course so I rode in golf carts. My hip would be uncomfortable for days after any physical activity.” Working was also painful. Bob’s job selling medical equipment required him to spend hours in the car each day. “Just trying to find a comfortable spot sitting in the car was a challenge and so was sleeping if I got in the wrong position,” he remembers. On top of that, Bob said he didn’t get enough exercise so his weight continued to go up, which made his hip worse.

“After three or four years, I decided that it was time to get my hip done,” he said. “Now I’m sorry that I waited so long to do it.” Bob’s career brought him into contact with many different doctors and hospitals, but he chose Panorama for his surgery. “Everyone was extremely professional, from the people in the front office to the physicians,” he said. “Although I wasn’t the only patient there, I kind of felt like I was because of the way they treated me.”

Brian Lambert on bicycle

Brian Lambert

Patient of Dr. Loutzenhiser - Minimally invasive spine surgery

Brian Lambert has always lived life to the fullest, which is why it was a struggle when back pain forced him to limit his activities. “I consider myself a weekend warrior. I love to bike, hike, snowboard and ski,” Brian said. “I was at 110 percent, and going down to zero was a real struggle for me — not just physically, but also for my mental state.

“It was debilitating.” At the age of 43, Brian aggravated a previous back injury in the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. “From then on I was in a fair amount of pain, and it kept getting steadily worse,” he remembers. “I tried anything and everything to get away from the pain.”

After talking it over with his physician, Dr. Loutzenhiser at Panorama Orthopedics, Brian decided to first pursue conservative treatments. About a year later, the two discussed minimally invasive spinal fusion, which utilizes microscopic instruments to reduce muscle and tissue disruption.

“Dr. Loutzenhiser was very forward about the fact that surgery should be a last resort,” Brian remembers. “I did get a second opinion, but I didn’t get the same comfort level as I had with Dr. Loutzenhiser. He was really good with understanding who I was, what I wanted to do and why this surgery was the right thing for me.” Even though Brian wishes he hadn’t needed the surgery, he’s happy with his decision.

“That minimally invasive surgery is amazing. It’s pretty incredible how small my scars are and how quickly they healed,” he said. “Even though the surgery was no fun, I’m very glad I did it.“Before it was a major burden on my wife that I couldn’t do things. Now, I’m part of the family again: I can take out the trash, I can take my dogs for a walk, I’m even running a little and biking again. I’m not constantly angry or frustrated, and I have a better outlook on life.”

Elderly woman on bicycle

Lynne Van Westrenen

Patient of Dr Foran - Hip replacement surgery

When Lynne van Westrenen’s arthritis became so painful that she needed hip replacement surgery, she admits that she was frightened. She was 70-years-old and hadn’t had surgery since she had her appendix removed more than 60 years earlier. “Being referred for possible hip replacement was daunting for me,” she said. “Needless to say, I approached my initial consultation with Dr. Foran with a great deal of trepidation.”

Dr. Jared Foran with Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery.“It did not take me long to realize I was in very good hands with Dr. Foran,” Lynne said. “He listened carefully, answering my many questions with patience and respect. I did not feel like I was having the surgery ‘done to me,’ but rather that this process was a partnership.”

Lynne was surprised to find how calm she was going into her hip replacement surgery, and credits Dr. Foran for making her feel comfortable with the process. “The day of the surgery, I was anxious and he put me at ease with his demeanor and understanding,” she recalled.

The same was true for the recovery period after surgery. “He explained what I could expect and when, once again answering all of my questions and easing my concerns with straightforward, honest responses,” she said. “His knowledge, certainty and thoroughness were clear throughout the entire process.”

Lynne has always lived life to its fullest, doing everything from yoga to snowshoeing and river rafting. Her surgery was successful and she is once again living an active lifestyle. “My quality of life is better,” Lynne laughed. “I have no pain, even forgetting at times that I have had the surgery. I am infinitely grateful for the care I received from Dr. Foran.”