Ask Dr. Kiley Ziegler what makes orthopedics special, and he’ll tell you: “There’s an old saying, ‘A lot of physicians save lives.’ But in orthopedics we say, ‘A lot of physicians save lifestyles.’”
Artist and retiree Becca Kimzey agrees. “The way I see art is my response to the world around me. What I see is beauty to me,” she said. “Art is beauty. And I like to do things that are beautiful.”
For years, Becca’s ability to create art was limited by a painful childhood shoulder injury that never properly healed. Adding to her frustration was a misdiagnosis that further delayed her healing.
When doctors told her the pain was all in her head, Becca resolved to take responsibility for her own health. “I am the one who says whether this is all in my head or not,” she said. “I think that I know my own body. And so, I am the only one who can speak for it.”
Undaunted, Becca connected with Dr. Matt Nugent, orthopedic surgeon with Asante, who correctly diagnosed her condition. In the spring of 2021, Dr. Nugent performed arthroscopic surgery to repair Becca’s rotator cuff and biceps tendon.
As her shoulder and arm healed, the pain from a previously diagnosed carpal tunnel injury flared, so Dr. Nugent referred Becca to Dr. Ziegler, a hand specialist. “One of the advantages of our group is that we have multiple specialties,” said Dr. Nugent. “We have four fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, so we can get you to the one you need. Our goal isn’t always an operation. It could be a cortisone shot or physical therapy. Surgery is our last resort.”
In Becca’s case, she had exhausted her nonsurgical options and was frustrated with the pain and its effect on her quality of life. Both surgeries were a success. Becca is progressing well and, best of all, is back to painting and sharing her art.
Which was exactly the goal of the two doctors. “My whole purpose is getting people moving again, getting them back to the life they love,” said Dr. Ziegler.
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