One year and two hip replacements later (one on each side), Steve Sharps, 62, of Holderness says, “I never expected to be where I am today. This fall I went hunting at our camp up in Pittsburgh, climbed Crystal Mountain twice, and went canoeing. I feel great.”
Not so this time last year following a fall off a wood pile. Having worked in the woods since he was five years old, and doing business as Sharps Lumber since 1977 logging and selling lumber, the only time he had been in the hospital was when he broke his leg following a logging accident.
Having had a good experience at Speare Memorial Hospital before, he went to see Dr. Victor Gennaro, orthopedic surgeon, at Plymouth Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic. X-rays revealed Steve had arthritis in both hips, and Dr. Gennaro informed him he needed to replace his left hip immediately and the right hip sooner rather than later.
“I was a bit gun shy about having surgery,” Steve reflects from the comfort of his living room in the house he and his son built. It is both showroom and tribute to his livelihood. But after the fall Steve says, “It hurt to do everything.” He let a few weeks go by and realized he just needed to get it done and had the first surgery on December 14, 2010.
“Dr. Gennaro told me like it is, explained what he was going to do and got it done. He checked on me each day, and if I had questions was willing to take my calls after I went home.” After a two night stay at Speare, Steve was released and used crutches for about a week, a cane for two more weeks, and was walking without any assistive devices 17 days after surgery.
“I even went snowmobiling last February between surgeries,” he brags. In March he had his other hip replaced. “It all seems like a long time ago,” Steve notes. “Now I can do anything. I feel like me again.”
When Candee Adams, of Moultonborough, headed off to her nine-year-old son’s football game one Saturday morning, she never imaged she would soon be at Speare—where she works as an occupational therapist—with a badly fractured leg.
Life, as they say, changed in an instant when Candee happened to lose her footing. She remembers, “My husband looked at my leg and said you know your knee and ankle aren’t lining up.” Pain and swelling quickly followed.
Candee was soon enveloped in the Speare Experience. “I can’t say enough about the staff, both those I already knew and those I didn’t,” Candee says. “From the moment I arrived, the x-ray technicians and nurses were so careful about my pain, my privacy and dignity. Dr. Giovan and his Physician Assistant Amanda Hall, from Plymouth Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic, were there so quickly—they were incredible. And, after I was admitted, the nursing staff was so attentive and on top of everything.”
Today Candee is back. Back in yoga, back in spinning class, and back at work in Speare’s Occupational Therapy Department. Back, thanks to intensive rehabilitation and what she calls her Giovan-Hall masterpiece, referring to the 12-inch titanium rod Dr. Giovan used to repair her leg.
“I’ve been where my patients are,” Candee says. “I’m now able to empathize with them better, whether it’s coping with night pain, struggling to manage daily tasks, or just anxious to get ‘back to normal.’ Because of my experience as a patient, I am a better therapist.”
Steve Danosi of Laconia spent an afternoon clearing shrubs on his property. A couple of hours later he noticed cramping in his right thigh, but only gave the discomfort a passing thought. A month later, however, he was walking bent over and had lost muscle tone in his leg.
Being the director of emergency medicine at Speare Memorial Hospital, he sought out his colleague Dr. Victor Gennaro of Plymouth Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Turns out he had a herniated disk that was crushing a nerve on his right side, hence the pain in his upper right thigh. Because of the pressure on Steve’s nerve Dr. Gennaro recommended surgery, noting the typical regime of steroid shots and physical therapy would not help.
After discussing it with Dr. Gennaro, Steve did seek a second opinion from a neurosurgeon and received the same diagnosis and recommended surgical approach. He scheduled his surgery with Dr. Gennaro.
“It made no sense to go elsewhere when what I needed was offered here at Speare,” notes Steve. “I have great confidence in the Dr. Gennaro and the surgical staff, and as a patient, everything worked seamlessly. The nursing care was superb and the food was outstanding.”
“Two days before surgery I couldn’t walk upright—I was worse than the hunchback of Notre Dame,” Steve continues. “A week after surgery I was back to work and walking upright. I would never hesitate to use, or have my family use, Speare. Working in the Emergency Department, patients ask me about the doctors I refer them to. It is a matter of pride to share my own ‘Speare experience’ with patients. It is where I’m comfortable.”
Biking with the Thursday Night Hybrid Ride is always a good time, but Donald "Don" Stoppe jokes, "Sometimes it can be too much fun." Thankfully Dr. Gennaro rides with the group. "We all feel a little safer knowing he's only a few seconds behind," says Stoppe. During one of these hybrid rides, while biking down a gravel road going about 25 miles per hour, the front tire of Stoppe's bike came off and he crashed. Luckily, Dr. Gennaro was there to help. Because of his experiences biking with Dr. Gennaro, when Stoppe recently sustained a knee injury unrelated to the bike, his first choice for surgery was Dr. Gennaro. Says Stoppe of his friend, "What's great about Dr. Gennaro is that he cares first and foremost about the patient. People seem to think they need to travel to the big city to see a top notch surgeon, but what they don't realize is that we have top notch doctors living (and biking) alongside us right here in our community."
Fifteen feet up in the air, Kevin Lincoln was attempting to cut a few tree branches when he slipped and fell from the ladder he was standing on, rupturing his Achilles Tendon. After being taken to the emergency room, he was referred to Dr. Giovan. Lincoln was able to make an office visit with Dr. Giovan that same day to examine his ruptured tendon and to review his options for surgery. "He presented me with my options, and we were able to make a quick decision so that I could be back on my feet as soon as possible," says Lincoln. The surgery took place a week later, but soon after he began to worry that the incision site might not be healing correctly. "Rather than having me wait to schedule an appointment and come into the office, Dr. Giovan stopped in during my physical therapy session to look at my knee. As a patient I was grateful that he had taken that extra step," says Lincoln. Even now when Lincoln bumps into Dr. Giovan, he still checks up on him, "Plymouth Orthopedics is a professional, knowledgeable, and friendly environment, but even more than that, they take the time to build a relationship with you. They know who you are, and they remember you."
While preparing wreaths during the busy holiday season, Peggy Smith, the owner of The Flowersmiths in Plymouth, began experiencing numbness in her fingers. Smith had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for years, but the repeated twisting motion of her wrist necessary to assemble the wreaths resulted in a return of her symptoms. Numerous treatments, including wrist braces and deep tissue massage therapy, all worked for a while, but eventually the numbness persisted and Smith knew she needed to do something more. She chose Dr. Gennaro because of their good reputation, and because she wanted the convenience of having her surgery done locally. Additionally, she knew Dr. Gennaro used a newer technology to perform the procedure, meaning that her surgery would be non-invasive, resulting in a quicker recovery. Four years ago in January Smith had surgery on both wrists. By February she had recovered 100 percent, and was able to get back to work in time to prepare for Valentines Day. "I just can't say enough about how I was treated. There were no complications with the surgery, the recovery was quick, and I have no scars," boasts Smith, "It was wonderful working with Speare. I had confidence in Dr. Gennaro, and everything went perfectly."
The persistent pain in Robin Peters' shoulder had her worried: she had heard horror stories about shoulder surgeries and was concerned about losing time at work. Knowing she had to do something, Peters' physical therapist recommended Dr. Giovan. "I had gone to the hospital Website to look at his credentials," recalls Peters. "That fact that he had done an elbow, shoulder and sports medicine fellowship made me feel more confident about the surgery. I knew I would be in capable hands." Peters said the state-of-the-art produce to repair her rotator cuff was much easier than she expected, and she was back to work in less than a week. Peters says, "I did everything Dr. Giovan told me to do and have already recommended him to others. He took time to answer all my questions. Our community is lucky to have such a skilled surgeon join our our hospital staff."