Nancy Guerriere - Spine Injury

Hackettstown, NJ

My name is Nancy Guerriere and I submitted my story in 2010. In the five years since I submitted my first story, I have come back to HSS many (maybe too many!) times.  It’s hard to deal with aging and to know the right thing to do, but HSS has never disappointed.

We have met Dr. Mayman – my husband needed a hip  replacement but was wary of surgery. Dr. Mayman was very understanding, offering him other options, which he took advantage of but didn’t help.  When surgery became the answer, Dr. Mayman detailed everything for us thoroughly, put my husband’s mind at ease. He had the surgery in 2011 and did wonderful!  He needed only 3 weeks of outpatient physical therapy and was back to normal. He says now he doesn’t even know he had the hip replaced. So when I had a botched knee arthroscopy and was in pain, swollen and difficulty walking, I went to Dr. Mayman.  Before jumping into surgery, he removed fluid off the knee and did a cortisone injection. It helped for a short while but when the knee starting swelling again, I had a knee replacement in 2012. In 2013 I had the other knee done (it had been arthritic for years but got so much worse with the other knee acting up).  Both knees were tough recoveries but well worth it. It is wonderful to walk without limping or pain. Dr. Mayman is talented, knowledgeable and reassuring. His staff is also top notch – keeping in touch with me wile I was at home. Again I was totally impressed with the HSS staff, from RNs, PAs, lab techs, dietary; everyone was so thorough and on top of everything.  I had more interaction with Physical Therapy this time and really appreciated their patience and caring!

Then I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Athanasian.  I was told I needed surgery on my right thumb; I had no cartilage in the basal joint.  It was very painful and I’m right handed. When I was told this, I immediately turned to HSS.  For two reasons: one, I trusted that I would be told the truth whether surgery was needed or not and two, if I needed surgery I wanted someone who knew exactly what they were doing.  Dr. Athanasian was intelligent, kind, full of information and very skilled. The recuperation was long –6 mos.- but I have my thumb back! Didn’t even need physical therapy. But my thumb is at 100% and I am so grateful!

I also met Dr. Meng when I needed my medical clearance for the knee surgeries.  I liked her immediately – again, very knowledgeable, very kind, explains everything completely, understanding and very calm and cautious.  I wound up being a patient of hers when I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and I am so confident of my care and very glad to have found her.

I continue to see Dr. Richman for chronic pain issues and he is my lifeline at times.  He is always looking for new & different ways to help me and I feel very secure knowing I am getting such good care. His staff is amazing also – very helpful, kind and helpful. My pain is neuropathic in my neck and shoulders. I also now have a herniated disc in my L2/L3 and facet joint arthritis in L4/L5. He did a radio frequency procedure for the facet joint and that worked beautifully. For now, the herniated disc is a wait & see, but I feel confident that whatever comes down the road, I will be in good hands.

I should add that I live in western New Jersey.  In order to keep my appointments I take a two hour train ride and then two subways uptown.  Sometimes I spend more time traveling than seeing the doctor, but I feel it is a good time investment and don’t mind at all.  And since I became a grandma for the first time in September, I need my joints and body to function properly to keep up with her!