Wherein I Laud My Surgeon
By Ken K. Gourdin
An Internet search turned up this, about a young patient named Viktoria from Armenia, upon whom Dr. Peter M. Stevens, Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Utah School of Medicine and—fortunately for me—my orthopedic surgeon, performed an operation that sounds suspiciously similar to one of the operations he performed on me (this and all other links last accessed September 28, 2019): https://www.deseret.com/1989/9/30/18826089/u-s-soviet-link-aiding-armenian-br-9-year-old-girl-undergoes-reconstructive-surgery-at-s-l-hospital. Another search turned up this, about one of Dr. Stevens’ innovations used for treating another condition:
In response to the second article linked above (which, actually, is the one I found first), I posted the following comment:
I was looking for him related to another matter, but I happened (happily!) upon this. I have been Dr. Stevens’ patient since 1983. Although my condition is not as complex nor as difficult to treat as the one discussed in this article, I can attest that not only is Dr. Stevens a technically-skilled surgeon, he’s also an outstanding physician and, from where I sit, a terrific human being.
My parents and I came to him after another surgical procedure had already failed twice, and after each failure was followed by six weeks with my lower body completely immobilized in plaster, whereupon that was followed by months of painful, grueling, ultimately fruitless physical therapy; and after several other surgeons had recommended a modification of the twice-failed procedure followed by a postoperative course favored by my previous surgeon.
Dr. Stevens was a brash, then-young, maverick surgeon who dared to defy the weight of competent medical authority and to try a different procedure. He said there was a chance (though not a guarantee) that I would be allowed to recuperate in a wheelchair instead of a body cast. He operated on me thrice more, with the best of all possible results.