Despite severe osteoarthritis, patient stays active with help from West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic

Dr. Kelly Pucek and patient Vicki Johnson

Vicki Johnson, associate vice president for academics at Freed-Hardeman University, is very familiar with West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic and its staff.

She’s battling osteoarthritis in just about every joint from everyday wear and tear, she said. She also has had a series of major surgeries. And through them all, Dr. Kelly Pucek has been there to help her navigate her options and make the best decisions about her joints.

“I have a tremendous amount of confidence in him,” Johnson said. “He’s a very caring doctor. He will listen to you and answer your questions.”

In 2005, Johnson had both knees replaced, which greatly reduced her pain after she recovered from the procedure.

“The knee replacement is the best thing I’ve done,” Johnson said.

In 2009, she had surgery to repair a tendon in her foot. And in 2012, she went in for shoulder surgery.

Johnson said an MRI of her shoulder showed bone spurs, but during the procedure to remove them, Dr. Pucek discovered and repaired a shredded tendon in her bicep and a partial rotator-cuff tear. “The pain is much more bearable than it was before the surgery.”

She said that, in addition to annual visits for knee X-rays, Dr. Pucek is keeping an eye on her shoulder to monitor its progress. She may need another procedure. She also may need hip surgery, she said.

Although she’s been through multiple surgeries, and she may have to endure more, Johnson said Dr. Pucek doesn’t rush into doing surgery. Instead, he looks for other ways to manage her pain until it’s too much to bear and surgery becomes the best option.

“He is an excellent doctor, and the nurses are very kind,” Johnson said. She added that her experience has been great at West Tennessee Bone & Joint, and she has referred two or three of her friends to the clinic as a result.