ORTHOPAEDICS

Ortho News

Martha Rosland learned some unexpected things during her 11-month visit to the United States.
For example, the 18-year-old from Norway discovered that when Americans count on their fingers, they start with their index finger.
“In Norway, we start counting on our thumb,” she exclaimed. “It’s weird that such a small thing is different.”
She also learned something about Quincy she wanted to share.
“Quincy has amazing doctors,” Martha stated. “I am speechless about the good care I received here.”
Martha attended Quincy High School during the 2014-15 academic year as part of a Rotary Club international exchange program.  She is an athlete and during the second game of the Lady Blue Devil’s soccer season, Martha learned an unscheduled lesson about the American healthcare system.
“I was going to make a tackle,” she recalled. “I put my foot down, my leg twisted and I fell down.”  
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan showed that Martha tore the menisci on the inside of her left knee joint.  The meniscus is cartilage on each side of the knee, acting as a shock absorber between the shin bone and thigh bone. The meniscus also helps the knee to easily bend and straighten.
“The meniscus distributes the load carried by the knee and aids in stability of the knee joint.  “It is an important structure for load distribution,” said Tamara Pylawka, MD, orthopedic surgery, SIU Orthopedics at Blessing Hospital. Dr. Pylawka became Martha’s doctor. “Meniscus tears are common in young athletes.”
More than 44-hundred miles away from home, Martha needed knee surgery.  While that fact did not surprise her, the response of some of her classmates did. “They would ask me, ‘Where are you going for surgery?  To Columbia (Missouri)?” she recalled. “I told them here, in Quincy,” Martha continued. “My doctor is really good. I have confidence in her. I felt she would do a good job, and she did. I am really glad I chose Quincy.”
In addition to her confidence in Dr. Pylawka, Martha had other support:  Margie and Jim Williams were her host family at the time of the injury. Margie is a mother, nurse and member of the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing faculty.

“In Norway, we start counting on our thumb,” she exclaimed. “It’s weird that such a small thing is different.”
She also learned something about Quincy she wanted to share.
“Quincy has amazing doctors,” Martha stated. “I am speechless about the good care I received here.”

“They took really good care of me.  Margie knew exactly what to do,” said Martha.  “I had so many good people around me, including my Rotary counselor, Joyce Waterkotte. Although I did wish my Mom was here so I could hold her hand.”Martha’s mother, Ruth, was feeling the same way. “She was the one most scared for me,” Martha recalled. Dr. Pylawka helped ease Ruth Rosland’s concerns long distance.
“We talked to her before surgery to make sure she understood, and after surgery to make sure she was okay with the rest of our plan of care,” the doctor said. “She was amazing, just wonderful,” Martha said of Dr. Pylawka. The doctor secured Martha’s torn menisci with six sutures through minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. “I expect her to get back to all of her activities, including skiing when she gets home,” said Dr. Pylawka with a smile.

Healthcare is free in Norway.  But Martha said she found the best value in the United States and Quincy.
“This went really fast, the whole process,” she said. “When I hurt my other knee in Norway, I had to wait three weeks just to get an MRI. Here, I got in right away.”

Martha returned to her home near Bergen, Norway, on the country’s southwestern coast, on July 14, 2015. She hoped her experience would show Quincy area residents what they have in their own backyard.
“You do not have to go somewhere else if you are sick,” she said. “Quincy is a good place to have surgery.”
Martha’s knowledge of medicine involves more than her knees. Her grandfather is a heart surgeon in Norway, and she, too, has dreams of becoming a doctor.