Patient’s voices

Writing of Hermann Warth, Iglinger Str. 31, D-86899 Landsberg/Lech

Hermann Warth

In November 2009 and again in January 2010 my hips were operated in the hospital in Münsingen. By applying the Micro Hip method the used bones were removed and replaced by hip total prosthesis.
 
Since then I have been again in a position to move freely. I do not feel anymore any pain and I am even able to accomplish also hard work. I carry a crate of beer without any problem or I work with a chain saw in the wood without suffering from pain. As regards my hips I feel like freshly born.
 
Dr. Michel and his team did an excellent, first class like job. The same holds good for the care in the orthopaedic and physiotherapeutic ward. Everywhere the personal was friendly, helpful and competent. In particular, I was very much pleased that Dr Michel made an additional stop nearly every evening apart from his usual ward round in the morning and asked about my state of health.
 
One highlight was the aqua therapy. Together with another patient with likewise implanted hips I crawled in the water.
 
We started talking about the orthopaedic ward. My colleague said: “You agree that’s a perfect address for hip surgery.” I keep only a good memory of my stay in the hospital in Münsingen: small but nice.

Urs Burri (DOB 1959)

Urs Burri

Urs Burri

My tale of woe started when I was about 3 to 4 years old. When I was walking around I always felt a growing ache in my legs. I have been diagnosed with flatfeet by a doctor in Aarau who then prescribed various forms of insoles for the subsequent years. At the age of ten I pointed to the fact of the different length of my legs and I realised when I lay down that the ankles of the two feet did not fit on top of each other. Shortly after this finding I got x-rayed and they diagnosed a hip luxation and a difference of the length of both legs of 1.5cm.
 
In January 1970/71 an orthopaedic specialist in Langenthal operated my hips. In August he implanted various clamps in my left knee and one year later he removed them again. This intervention should counterbalance the growth and the different length of the legs (at that time 1.5 to 2 cm). However, all these undertakings remained unsuccessful.
 
For the following 40 years I continuously suffered from the increasing pain after skiing, walking, driving etc. Even the insoles did not bring any positive result.
 
In 2000 I went to an orthopaedic specialist in Oftringen to clarify the effectiveness of the implant of an artificial hip joint (total prosthesis = TP). In the meantime one of my legs was already 2 to 2.5 cm shorter. However, referring to my young age, the doctor requested me to remain patient.
 
In 2008 when I was hardly anymore in a position to walk around and I awoke practically every night as a consequence of the permanent increase of pain I went again to the doctor in Aarau. Once more he only prescribed painkillers and asked me not to loose my patience. One year later I visited again the same doctor who then sent me to a therapist. For a short time the therapeutic measures brought some relief. After approximately half a year the pain started unfortunately again.
 
Meantime I became frustrated and I was fed up with the therapy, the repetitive medical checks, and the manifold and always identical explanations. I felt a certain resignation about my health situation and pushed aside the whole problematic. In spring 2010 I happened to watch television when I saw Dr Michel operating a TP. His professional explanations and his young patient encouraged me not to capitulate.
 
In August 2010 I got a first appointment with Dr Vollmar. For the first time I had the impression to be taken seriously. He explained in a comprehendible and comprehensive manner the problematic aspects of my case with many visual aids. I knew then instinctively that this was the right place for me. In October I had a second appointment with Dr Vollmar and Dr Michel. The question whether the timing was right or not was never a issue. The critical situation of the joint was self-explanatory.
 
On 14 December 2010 the surgical intervention was made in the hospital in Münsingen and lasted roughly 2 hours. The hip joint so much longed for was eventually implanted and the different length of both legs could be reduced from 3 cm to approx. 4 mm.
 
Dr Dubler and his team made spinal anaesthesias. I can only warmly recommend this method to everybody. During the whole operation I was permanently and in an utmost instructive and professional manner informed by the team about the steps being undertaken. I stayed for about one week in the hospital in Münsingen. The care was excellent, I felt at ease and all questions were answered in a competent and reliable way. Two days later I nearly regained my independence and thanks to my therapist Mrs Glauser I was again able to climb and descend the stairs with the crutches. After one week I left the hospital and spent ten days in the rehabilitation centre in Gunten.
 
Today, 15 weeks after the surgical intervention I feel totally well and can walk around for two hours with walking sticks without any pain. For the time being I attend physiotherapy twice a week and swim, bike and do aqua jogging.
 
My greatest thanks go to the operation and care team – or in other words to the whole OZM. I always felt safe and was comfortable.

Heinz Roffler, Grüsch

Heinz Roffler

Heinz Roffler

When I suffered pain in the groin for the first time in 2000 I immediately thought that it would probably stem from my activities as an ice hockey player, a sport that I practised quite intensively.

At the first moment I thought of a strain. But when the pain grew continuously and became more and more aggressive I went to a doctor who started examining my situation. However, none of his diagnoses led to the assumption of arthrosis of the hip joints.
More and more I realised that I was hindered from making certain movements and after some time I was no more able to mount on my bike in the usual manner.  
 
Clearly, this was an utmost difficult situation for me being an enthusiast of nature and sports. As a result of this regretful development I was forced to abandon my ice hockey activities and to give up my most loved hobby.

When I made my bookings for bike vacation in The Tyrol in 2009 I was ready for action and keen on many thrilling excursions. Unfortunately, the pain became more and more insufferable and I could not image the cause of it.

After my return back home I immediately called my doctor and asked him to make all necessary checks in order to find out the reason of my pain.
In November 2009 I got x-rayed in the hospital in Schiers and the diagnostic findings were disastrous. Both hip joints were affected by arthrosis and I was told that they had to be replaced by artificial hips.
 
Firstly, I did not know how to deal with this totally unexpected situation. After having regained my composure I got in touch with and talked to various doctors. However, the discussions did not at all satisfy me. I got the feeling that instead of a comprehensive medical diagnosis of my status the doctors were primarily interested in operating my joint ships.


A piece of luck

At Easter 2010 on the occasion of the traditional “Eiertütschen” I met my colleague Johannes Nett. I explained my problems to him and he surprised me by referring to the operation of his two joint hips in 2009. Johannes urged me to get a second medical opinion as to my case and to have a check-up in the OZM. 

I got an appointment for July 2010 and it goes without saying that I was more than curious to hear a further medical opinion.  
I could fix a date with Dr. J. Vollmer and my expectations were more than met. He spent a lot of time checking me, showed great patience, carefully listened to my worries. For the very first time I got the impression not to be alone with my fear and that my case and my worries were handled seriously. After the discussion with Dr. J. Vollmer it was clear for me to undergo surgery in the hospital Münsingen.

I was warmly welcomed when I checked in the hospital and I was treated in a professional manner.
The successful surgery of the left hip joint made by Dr. M. Michel and Dr. J. Vollmer took place on 1 December 2010 and the one of the right hip joint on 8 December 2010.

What I firstly thought would not be possible finally became true. I was able to make the first steps on my own with crutches in the presence of the therapist.
Three months have elapsed since the surgery. I do not feel anymore any pain and my flexibility had been fully restored.

Dear Dr. Michel, dear Dr. Vollmer
I would like to thank both of you cordially for the job you have done so perfectly. Likewise I am also grateful for your personal care and the kind assistance your competent and friendly team. A special thank goes to the Station B of the hospital in Münsingen where I felt at ease and at home.

Anita Kaempf (DOB 1962), Sunshine Coast / Australia

Anita Kaempf

Anita Kaempf

Since I was about 20years old, I have always been actively and enthusiastically into sports. Apart from being a keen runner I also enjoyed lots of other sports, such as tennis, mountain biking, skiing, cross country skiing, hiking and when I moved to Australia I added swimming, surf-life-saving training (I was a volunteer surf life saver for 3 years), boxing training in a ‘proper’ boxing gym and the odd triathlon to my favourite sports and activities.
 
In September 2000  I had my first hip surgery after discomfort and pain for more than 2years, which initially only restricted me in some specific movements but over time limited my activities in sports and in daily life.
Diagnosis:   labrum tear / off-set defect, defect/bony build ups at acetabulum,  left hip
 Part-resection of labrum, off-set correction (acetabulum) by Dr. O. Hersche (Sonnenhof Clinic) in an open surgery. 18cm scar, 2x 3.5mm screws, 6 weeks hardly any weight load on the leg, 9 weeks on crutches, physiotherapy after week 6, and almost 12months before I  was able to get back to running and being pain free.  However, the patience (usually not exactly a strength of mine) has certainly paid off and I m still pretty much pain free today.
 
In 2001 my husband and I emigrated to Australia, where we are still living today.
 
In 2009 similar symptoms, discomfort and pains started to bother me in my right hip/groin area. After 8+ months of hoping it would correct itself, I arranged to have MRI images. The reports from two different MRI doctors were inconclusive and I decided to take them to Switzerland on my next visit to discuss it with my doctor, who I knew from the first surgery.
 
After this, everything fell pretty much perfectly into place >>   Referral to OZM through Dr. Ch. Saager (Aarberg), appointment with Markus Michel two days later, a very competent, informative discussion and information about possible procedures, surgery techniques and a surgery date only a few days later. I had an immediate rapport with Dr. Michel and felt that I would be in good hands at OZM.
 
Diagnose:     Labrum tears / Fermoracetabular Impingement (mixed type)

I checked into Muensingen Hospital 4 days later as a ‘day patient’ and was impressed with the flexibility, helpfulness and efficiency of the staff at both OZM and the Hospital, considering I was an ‘international/foreign’ patient.
 
Dr. Markus Michel performed the surgery end of June 2010. The same evening, admittedly still a bit groggy, I was allowed to ‘check out’. As I wasn’t insured in Switzerland and because my return flight was only a few weeks after the surgery, I didn’t/couldn’t take advantage of some services, for example the routine check after 6weeks or physiotherapy. However, I received all the necessary information and advice and whenever I was uncertain about anything, regarding pain management, therapy, strain on or movement of joint, I was free to ask and received feedback immediately.
 
I started with light swimming and water running session 2 weeks after surgery. Eight weeks after my operation I started with light exercises in my local Australian gym, primarily using a cross trainer to avoid strain and impact on the joint. I deliberately did not commence running and hoped that I would be able to after 4 or 5 months.
 
About 4 months after the operation (Oct 2010), I started to experience significant pain and discomfort in my back and numerous visits to Chiro’s, Osteo’s and Masseurs didn’t bring relief. Their collective diagnoses concluded that the pain was due to months and months of overcompensating/favouring one side of my body and certain muscle groups over the other. This would have been going on for years, considering my ‘history’ and would have subconsciously led to incorrect posture and overcompensation. I have had MRI’s and CT scans and now at least know of some ‘defects’ and issues, which I will hopefully be able to get under control with some physiotherapy and ongoing exercise to strengthen and support my lower back and core muscles in the future.
 
I am swimming frequently now, have started riding the road bike and only just recently completed my first ‘modest’ run. I felt like a ‘hippo’,  very slow and very sluggish... but, hey, every ‘come back’ is hard. Even more so if it is after 6 months of complete abstinence of running.
 
The ‘mission Spontaneous Surgery in Switzerland’ has proven successful and a great choice for me. I am very grateful and appreciative for all the good advice, help, understanding and support from Dr. Ch. Saager, Aarberg, Dr. Markus Michel, the administrative staff of OZM and Muensingen Hospital.
 
It’s great to be able and move (almost) pain free again. I would have no hesitation in using OZM at anytime in the future again. My experience and memories are only the best.

Elsbeth Steger, Ittigen, Building Draughtswoman / Housewife

Elsbeth Steger

Elsbeth Steger, Hiking with my grandson Robin

In January 2007 my doctor diagnosed the pain I was feeling around my groin as a possible case of osteoarthritis of the hip joint. X-ray examinations confirmed the diagnosis. I was a 62 year old housewife leading a full and active life so the prospect of having an artificial hip joint didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. I took pain-killers to get me through the day and I gradually began to take sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep, but constantly taking medication couldn’t be the long-term solution to my problem. So I was very pleased in late summer 2007 when I was referred to an orthopaedist. On my first meeting with Dr. M. Michel he impressed me as a very professional man and someone I could trust. So setting the date of the operation was already part of the recovery process, at least in my mind. When I was admitted to hospital on Sunday 28 October 2007 it was rather like taking up position on the starting blocks with the finishing line in sight. The operation took place on the following day and was successful. I was well taken care of, was in the best of hands and just a week later was back in my own home. Shortly afterwards I could stop taking the pain-relievers, and was moving around again easily before Christmas. At the end of March 2008 my husband and I went on a two week skiing holiday. There was a breath of spring in the air and I could enjoy skiing without any sign of complaints. By the end of May I was having my first major hike of five hours in an overseas national park, and in July 2008 we were out exploring the countryside in the Aletsch region with one of my grandchildren.
 
Being able to exercise once more without any sign of pain is a source of tremendous satisfaction for me, and my everyday life has taken on a new dimension of quality. I am very happy and grateful that specialist medical skills and the latest technology have wrought such a positive change in my life.

Philipp Vögeli, born: 1971

Philipp Vögeli, Gigathlon 2007

Philipp Vögeli, Gigathlon 2007

Not surprisingly “little aches and pains” were an accepted part of my life as a dedicated amateur sportsman. In January 2006, however, a constant pain in my knee that appeared after some 15 minutes of jogging put an end to my hobby. The pain remained constant no matter how slight the stress on the joint and wouldn’t even go away when I stopped jogging for a week. As I was aiming to take part in a major athletic event in July, I arranged to see a doctor at the OZM.

I was immediately sent for MRI and after an X-ray examination and a few tests on my knee, it was diagnosed with a meniscal tear.

On 7 February Markus Michel made an arthroscopy operation on my left knee. I could watch a monitor and have all the excitement of seeing the operation progress. On that same evening I left the hospital on crutches and returned home to my own bed, with a great stock of exercises to do given to me by the resident physiotherapists at Münsingen hospital.

As I really did keep very still for four days and always used the crutches in the house, I soon found I was making rapid progress in terms of my mobility. At the same time the course of physiotherapy started with the exercises I had to do, some of which I found quite surprising!

On 16 February – just 9 days after my operation – I was back again on one of those stationary exercise bikes in the fitness centre where I pedalled away for an hour. After another two visits to the doctor, I got rid of the “stitches” and had permission for my first 30 minute jogging session which I did on 13 March, just five weeks after the operation. And in July 2006 I was able to successfully compete as an individual competitor in the Swiss Gigathlon – a 24 hour five discipline challenge!

Felicitas Lehner, Kindergarten Teacher

Felicitas Lehner

Felicitas Lehner

On 1 August 07 I ruptured the Achilles tendon on my right foot when we were playing races in the garden. I was admitted as an emergency to Bern-Ziegler hospital which has used non-operative methods since 2003. The on-duty physician seemed convincing when he said that the risks involved were significantly less than those associated with an operation and anaesthetic. Without making a MRI, they put me in a plaster cast and gave me special Künzli orthopaedic shoes. I was written off sick for 3 months and was totally unfit for my work as a kindergarten teacher.
 
In the beginning, relatively speaking, I was in a great deal of pain and life was very difficult – I simply couldn’t cope without having people to help me. I made regular visits to the physiotherapist and in November I returned to work, at first part-time and then full-time starting in December.
 
Then in the middle of January 08 something truly unexpected and shocking happened – my Achilles tendon ruptured again during a physiotherapy session! The doctors didn’t know what to say, but after doing a MRI it was obvious that I would have to undergo an operation. They said I was an exceptional case with complications. Dr. M. Michel from OZM was among our circle of friends so I turned to him. After a consultation I was given an early date for my operation in the hospital where I received excellent medical care from the very friendly and conscientious staff.
 
The operation was a success and the postoperative care was similar to that I received after my first rupture. Dr. M. Michel was an extremely responsible physician who left nothing to chance, and wrote me off sick until the end of June. After an intensive course of physiotherapy I am now attending a course of medical training therapy to redevelop my muscles. I have now re-entered full-time work, am fully able-bodied and am slowly taking up sport once more (biking, swimming, jogging).
 
It has been a very frustrating year for me so I am now more than pleased to be able to stand on my own two feet once again and lead a fully active independent life. I am extremely grateful to Dr. M. Michel for making all this possible!

Patrick Bacher, born 1971, Senior Controller and Triathlete

Patrick Bacher

It was in January 2007 that I first experienced pain in the area of my left hip that proved a serious handicap for me in various areas of my daily life, but especially during my training as a runner. The pain never abated or went away so I listened to my training colleagues’ advice and made an appointment with Dr. Markus Michel at the OZM Münsingen. For the first moment it was naturally a great shock to learn that the cartilage damage he diagnosed on the left hip with its tear of the labrum would need an operation. But Dr. Michel went to great pains to explain the situation to me in full length and full detail and I regained my confidence that I would be fully able to pursue my sporting activities in future as well.
 
In August 2007 I was admitted to Münsingen hospital where Dr. Michel gave me an arthroscopy. I then spent 3 days in hospital to rest the hip joint, but even during this time I was able to get up and move about on crutches. Aided by a physiotherapist, my convalescence was without complications just like my operation, and I could slowly and step by step increase the weight placed on the joint. It took about 6 months after the operation until I could stress the joint without feeling any pain at all and those 6 months were a period where I really needed a certain amount of patience and self-discipline, but on the other hand I can now once more fully stress my hips both in daily life and in sport. On the whole, the healing process was extremely rapid and I also found it was astonishingly free of complications. My warmest thanks to Dr. Michel and the OZM Team!
 
Exactly 11 months after the operation in July 2008 I was able to fulfil one of my life’s dreams and complete my first Ironman tournament in Zurich (3.8 km swimming, 180 km biking, 42.2 km running) in under 12 hours!

Christine Arregger, Proprietor, legal & medical partner GmbH

Christine Arregger

The pain in my groin appeared sometime in autumn 2002 – suddenly it was there from nowhere, a dull pain at first that grew more and more acute, especially after long endurance runs or other arduous types of exercise. A first consultation with what is known as a “sports physician” resulted in me being forbidden to go jogging for 6 months! I dutifully followed doctor’s orders, and instead of running around the place, turned to abuse the cross-trainer and the stationary exercise bike. A corresponding reduction in the pain I felt occurred, which only served to strengthen my resolution to return to serious running once the ban on jogging expired. This all went well, even superbly well. I got surprisingly good placings in a variety of road races and I also participated in the week-long Gigathlon 2003. Then, all of a sudden, there it was again – this dull pain which I could even feel when I went to the loo at night. What was I to do? The first prognosis I had from a radiologist was not exactly all sweetness and light; he threatened me with the prospect of a hip implant and a total ban on sports ...
 
In a roundabout manner involving some fortuitous recommendations and a bit of luck, I had my first appointment at OZM in August 2003. And it was Dr. Michel who, at long last, could finally tell me where the root cause of my problem lay – not at all in my athletic activities as a whole host of know-it-alls and clever clogs had previously insisted, but rather in an inborn hip dysplasia which had caused a lesion of the labrum (also referred to as an “impingement”), and it was apparently the calcium deposits produced by the lesion which had led to contraction of the joint which produced the pain. Two weeks after the hip arthroscopy Dr. Michel had proposed, I could take up my cross training once more and what unmitigated joy when I was soon allowed to lengthen the initial 10 minute stress intervals! Oh happy life!
 
Nearly one year later - and with a few more athletic achievements to my credit – sad to say the other hip began to make itself felt. Like his colleague Dr. Michel before him, Dr. Witschger did a splendid job of work and his arthroscopy of the other side soon had me well on my way to a comparatively rapid recovery. Now blessed with a double arthroscopy I took up my rehabilitation training and went on my happy go lucky way through life.
 
Or so I thought until one year later – in 2005 – when I had finally regained my peak athletic condition, the first hip joint that had been operated on began to force its unwelcomed attentions on me. I couldn’t believe it was happening again ... despite reservations on the doctor’s side about my future career in athletics I wanted another arthroscopy operation. The risk I took (which in any case always comes with any kind of operation) was worthwhile after all. For the past three years I haven’t had a single complaint. On the other hand, I’ve had to adjust my training to my new circumstances – cut down on track training, switch from road running to fell running and take up cross-training as an alternative method. And I stick to this religiously, well, almost always. After a rather disappointing 2nd Jungfrau (mountain) Marathon in autumn 2007 I took a last minute decision and registered for the first Lucerne Marathon. My first flat surface marathon – 2nd place in 3 hours and 2 minutes! My ambition is as keen as ever but my gratitude that I can once more enjoy all the pleasure sport brings keeps me on a steady keel and puts the lure of “success” in a proper perspective.
 
My advice to everybody is – don’t get downhearted about the first diagnosis and don’t let yourself be talked into an unnecessarily invasive operation. Get a second opinion from the OZM and then decide which course you’re going to take!

Alex Geissbühler, Attorney at Law, Partner in KPMG

Alex Geissbühler

As a former top track runner (800m and 1500m with European and World Championships to his credit) regular running is a very important part of my life even though I’ve now reached the ripe old age of 44.
 
In April 2005 during a Volkslauf or public fun run I hurt the meniscus in my right knee. I tried out a whole variety of different ointments but they brought no relief, and I finally had to face the fact that the injury was much worse than I imagined - so in June 2005 I made an appointment with Dr. Markus Michel at the OZM Münsingen.
 
Soon after the first consultation I was given an appointment for a MRI examination and an early date for the operation which had proven necessary. I found the operation, which took place in early July 2005, to be a very pleasant experience; the care I received from both doctors and nursing staff was extremely competent and professional and also had that essential note of calmness and composure which didn’t fail to make its mark on me as a patient.
 
The course of aftercare treatment and therapy started with no delay and, thanks to this, as early as autumn 2005 I was once more able to take part in public fun runs. And I can now train again without any sign of complaints (apart from the usual ones associated with a man of my age!) and have even won medals in various categories at race events (including the Basler Stadtlauf, Altstadt-GP Bern etc.).
 
In short, I might have lost my meniscus, but I’ve regained my quality of life! Many, many thanks to the OZM Team!

Stefan Rubi, „Valsermaa“

Stefan Rubi, Inferno

Stefan Rubi, Wienmarathon

Der „Valsermaa“, das bin i, i mim Bruef, wen i mine Chunde ds Valserwasser hei bringe.
Stefan Rubi heissen i, miner Hobbys sie schiifahre, pilze und springe.

Bim Schiifahre han i de am erschte Jänner ds Chritzband grisse, nach erschter Diagnose im Spital Interlake. I ha mi sofort mit dem Michel Markus i Verbindig gsetzt, wel z Interlake hei si mier abgrate fir ne Ops.
 
Ds Orthopädische Zentrum z Münsige han i im Herbscht 05 wäg ner Hufartoskopie lehre kenne u scho denn gueti Erfahrigi gmacht!
 
D’Ops u die aschliessendi Therapie im Spital z Münsige hei positiv zum Heiligsprozäss bitrage! Dank der guete Betrüig vom Michel Markus u Personal han i im Mai umhi agfange schaffe u im Juni erfolgrich am Aletschhalbmarathon teilgno!
Mis mier gesteckta Ziel, am Jungfraumarathon teilznäh han i am 6. September 2008 inere Zit vo 4.31.16 ohni Schmärze diri zoge!
 
Ganz äs härzlis Merci – dem Markus u sine Liit im OZM

Hanna M. from Germany

My long journey through night until my hip impingement was finally recognised

It was in April 2007 when I was aged 15 that I first began to notice a pain in my hips when out walking. So after about two weeks I went to my doctor who immediately referred me to an orthopaedist. I had my appointment with the orthopaedist in early May 2007, and he advised me to take up sport. The follow-up appointment was 3 weeks later. But it was an endurance run of 35 minutes that finally sealed my fate! I felt great while I was out running but afterwards the pain was so intense that I could only go a very short distance. At my insistence the first MRI was done by my doctor at the end of June 2007: to our total dismay a large mass was clearly visible. The orthopaedist sent us to the major orthopaedic clinic in Bad Abbach as an emergency case. But in spite of this mass I was sent back home – and only given another appointment for four weeks later. In the meantime the oncology department in Regensburg made another MRI which fortunately showed that the mass had retracted. The orthopaedist sent me back to Bad Abbach (third appointment in early September 2007).

But all the doctors there could say - just like all the other doctors in Germany - was that nobody had ever seen a case like mine before. All they could do was diagnose pain in my groin. And physiotherapy only made everything worse! In October 2007 came the third MRI, followed by the fourth in January 2008.
 
Finally a radiologist accused me of dissembling – of being a malingerer! Apparently there was simply no explanation for the acute pain in my groin. I couldn’t sit down anymore and the pain kept me awake at night. Going to school was out of the question. I only had the strength to sit through one or two lessons and started to have problems with the school authorities because I had to excuse myself each and every day. At our wits end we consulted four different orthopaedists – one of them was 300 km away. Not one of them knew anything about the snapping feeling in the groin and the acute pain it was causing. Nurofen, paracetamol and other pain-relievers were no use at all. I went to a rheumatologist (a very compassionate doctor who later apologised for not having recognised the cause)...
 
In Germany our school year was from September 2007 to July 2008. I only attended school in September 2007 (with great pain) and for a few other days. In spite of having a note to excuse me from school each day and in spite of the school director’s advice to keep on taking pain-killers, it wasn’t at all easy. Specially in terms of the mental stress it caused. It seemed to me that – with two notable exceptions – none of my teachers believed me.
 
Strangely enough it was my gynaecologist who finally put us on the right track. He rang my mother and told her that the pain in my groin could be caused by a hip impingement. He sent us to an orthopaedist who ordered an arthro-MRI. Unfortunately it was a poor quality MRI. He evaluated the pictures with a colleague of his and found that I had a simply marvellous hip joint. And that was case closed for the orthopaedist, even though at home I usually had to lie down flat instead of sitting up and couldn’t walk even a short distance without acute pain.
 
My mother found a woman on the Internet suffering from a similar kind of complaint who recommended us to see Dr. Michel. She sent my MRIs to Dr. Michel in Switzerland. The radiologist said that I had a splendid hip joint but Dr. Michel recognised a tear in the labrum even though the images had a very poor quality resolution.
 
On 29 April 2008 I had an arthroscopy operation in Switzerland. On 1 May 2008 we were already flying back home. I needed crutches for a month afterwards. During the operation they found that I had a chronic infection and multiple tears in the labrum. If my operation had been earlier, the healing process wouldn’t have taken so long. By mid July 2008 I still couldn’t bend down at right angles in the kind of movement you need to sit down. But then 4 weeks later (in August 2008) I finally succeeded in making the 90 degree movement and was at long last able to sit down again and tie my own shoelaces. Even so, Dr. Michel in Switzerland had prescribed me a course of anti-inflammatory pain-relievers. I first noticed their effect after I had been taking them for about 4 weeks. He also advised me to get a cross-trainer to build up my muscles, because my leg started to tremble whenever I was climbing stairs or pressing on the clutch in the car. But at the moment – 4 months after the operation – I’m doing fine. I only get occasional twinges of pain and I’m still taking one of the anti-inflammatory pain-relievers each day. But I’m now on the right road!

Gerhard Zumstein, Leissigen au lac

"I feel like having the other three joints done straight away!"

Chronic pain grinds you down and that’s the worst thing that can happen to you! It doesn’t just rob you of any feeling of pleasure you can take in physical activity, it also changes and darkens your whole outlook. Who can read or take any kind of interest in other people or concentrate when part of their body is wracked by constant pain?
 
The operation performed by Dr. Markus Michel has now released me from this pain. I have now fully integrated my artificial hip joint into my life (i.e. most of the time I simply forget about it), I am totally free of pain, am fully mobile once more and can come and go and sleep just as I please. Thanks to these new opportunities now granted to me, this last phase of my life has opened up totally new dimensions that would never have been possible without micro-hip technology. To see how true this is I have only to consider my grandfather (who had no operation) or my father (who was operated on both hips about 20 years ago) ... we’re simply poles apart!!!

René Fedier, hobby-fireman, engine-driver, living in the Canton Tessin

René Fedier

René Fedier

One evening I watched the television program “consultation-hour” because I was suffering pain in my right knee to an increasing degree.  
In autumn 2007 I was practically not able anymore to move. Therefore, I decided to visit Dr. Michel’s surgery to have him make a diagnosis of the current situation.
 
His findings: an immediate operation was overdue.

Dr. Michel made the surgical intervention in December 2007 which turned out to be successful. I did not feel my pain anymore. This allowed me to enjoy furthermore my hobby as a fireman and an engine-driver on our railway locomotive “Muni”.
 
Frankly speaking, the team of the OZM (Centre for Orthopaedics in Münsingen) performed a great job and, indeed, I am still thankful that Dr. Michel made his decision rapidly based on his longstanding professional experience.
 
I send my cordial thanks to all. René Fedier

www.muni-dampflok.ch

Damian Perrin, mountain bike elite team

Damian Perrin

A couple of years ago my sports carrier had been interrupted from one minute to another by a sudden fall with my snowboard. My upper arm was broken. The subsequent operation at the Hospital in Visp did not turn out to be satisfactory at all. The attempt to fix the two smashed bones with wires failed so that the orthopaedic surgeons at the Hospital in Visp were compelled to insert a solid nail through the whole upper arm bone with a view to stabilizing the fracture.
 
After this emergency operation I could rather quickly use again my arm although heavily swollen in a regular manner. However, the nail caused a considerable irritation in the shoulder joint.
 
Therefore, I decided to get in touch with the orthopaedic surgeon of the OZM (Dr. M. Michel) in order to get his opinion. He recommended removing the metal at an early stage at the OZM. By doing so it was obvious that I would have to wait for another 6 weeks before I could resume my sport activities i.e., mountain bike racing. I firmly hoped that the bones would again grow together properly.
 
The surgical intervention took its normal course and it seemed that the bones were stable. The fact that I would possibly have to refrain from participating in mountain bike racing for quite a long time entirely encouraged me to make the best of my situation. As soon as the pain permitted so I started stubbornly training on my home trainer. I noticed each little progress and trained harder and more consequently than ever before. My only aim was to take part again in bike races as early as possible.
 
Today, I am working as a physiotherapist and take part in mountain bike marathon races all over in Switzerland and in its neighbouring countries. I owe this to a large extent to the professional efforts of the OZM. If the nail had remained in my arm any longer my shoulder joint would in all likelihood already be destroyed by strong osteoarthrosis and I could consequently forget any active carrier as a sportsman.
 
I send my cordial thanks to the OZM team. Damian Perrin

Urs Pfeiffer, hairdresser and mountaineer

Urs Pfeiffer

Urs Pfeiffer

(Thoroughly experience your life instead of living painfully)

For 12 years my hip arthrosis was my steady but utmost painful companion.

It was a hell of a life.

All of a sudden when I was 32 years old I started feeling strong aches and pains in my hips coming out of the blue.
 
They forced me to sit down in always shorter intervals hindering my full professional activity. In particular, I felt acute pain in the inferior part of my left thigh bone.
 
The pain intensified and became insupportable. Without swallowing pills I was no more able to perform my activities in a professional way. To think of serious sport was entirely useless which for me as mobility addicted sportman, was sort of a severe punishment. Biking, hiking, climbing was out of question. When opening my left hip in a first operation in 2002, a surgeon tried to improve the interaction between the femoral head and the acetabulum by scraping off a part of the head of femur. Unfortunately, the surgical intervention was not successful. The result of it was a big scar and – much worse - the pain doubled. It seemed to me that my life has gone. Even in my sleep there was no way of recovery. I took no more part in life and did not feel like doing anything anymore.
 
One day Markus Michel was a client in my hairdresser shop and had his hair cut.  He was struck by the way I moved forward. He had me make a few steps forward and backward. His diagnostic findings were quickly made. “You suffer from hip arthrosis.” After this fateful day it would still have to last one and a half year until my new micro-hip joint was implanted. Frankly speaking, I most feared this second surgical intervention. When I decided to undergo surgery I hoped at least that my situation would improve significantly. And what would happen in case of a failure? My experience with the first misled surgical intervention left me discouraged to take any further risk for an additional surgical operation. Therefore, we decided in favour of the traditionally conservative method, namely the physiotherapy. Unfortunately, this treatment did not succeed at all. For this reason, I finally decided to undergo the second surgical intervention with the clear initial goal to climb the Mönch Northeast side within 8 months after the operation!

Markus Michel, himself an enthusiastic mountain climber, fully supported me. In 2004, I was one of the very first people who profited from being treated with the micro-hip-technology. In the course of the surgical intervention a new hip joint was implanted. The operation itself was much more conservative and only left me with hardly visible small scars. From that time on I heed the doctor’s advice. An ingenious training program including to a great extent swimming and biking helped considerably to revive my physical status and, as a matter of fact, I was able again to climb mountains 8 months after the surgical intervention. What an utmost exciting feeling to find myself again on the top of the Mönch.
 
Thanks to Markus Michel and the micro hip technology I got back my life. Today, I have resumed my work and I am happy about the regained physical strength which allows me to swim, to bike, to climb, to mountaineer, to ski and to ski hiking as well as to exercise many other forms of sportive activities. I am more than grateful for a deep sleep without being awaken continuously from pain and for being able to climb the stairs up and down without difficulties.
 
It is my greatest pleasure to cordially thank Markus Michel and his team of the OZM for their most appreciated efforts which enabled them to restore my physical status.

Daniel Zobrist, Matten

Daniel Zobrist

„Hope dies last“
Having in mind this motto I went last Saturday to the start of the Jungfrau Marathon. After two cortisone-based treatments in your clinic, unlimited stretching, massaging and therapeutics I knew to have done everything possible in order to complete painlessly the approximately 42 kilometres.

With great personal willpower and the side effect of a Voltaren pill I struggled uphill to the top of the mountain. To arrive at the destination and cross the final line of the run was probably the biggest sportive event which I ever experienced. I could not repress a tear of joy. All the pain I endured in the past and the three long weeks of incertitude were forgotten rapidly afterwards.

Although I know of course that the cortisone shot for the treatment of my (injured) runner’s knee will not lead to a healing, I am nevertheless very glad that you helped me so that I could take part in the Marathon this year. I spent uncountable training hours for this event and many other plans had to wait and were temporarily put aside.

Now I will undergo an ordinary physiotherapy, use my knee cautiously and do therapy whenever the current status allows it so that I can put on my running shoes as soon as possible.

I should like to thank you very cordially for the appointment which I could make at very short notice and the expert advice and highly professional treatment of Mrs. Dr. Quidde and Dr. Michel.

I wish you all the best and furthermore satisfied patients. You perform your job in an outstanding manner!

Daniel Zobrist

Rolf Marti, Sargans

Rolf Marti

Changing three times my knee prosthesis within three years

My daughter S. Ryser-Marti advised me of the address of the Orthopaedic Centre Münsingen (OZM) of Dr Markus Michel. I took me an utmost long time until I decided to get in touch with the team of the hospital. It was in July 2009 when I went to Münsingen/Bern and visited the OZM for the very first time. I got an excellent doctor’s advice and immediately felt that everybody took my “case” seriously and carefully listened to my worries, by the way a situation that unfortunately cannot be found everywhere today. A date for the operation could be fixed for September and the surgical intervention took place in the hospital Sonnenhof Bern. Dr Michel and his team made an outstanding job. Till this day I am still more than glad and at the same time grateful that the operation (the 3rd one by the way) could be accomplished without complication. After the second change of my knee prosthesis the flexion reached 10 grades. Today I am happy to bend out my knee again 70 grades.

The team rendered excellent services and I can only recommend the OZM for its professional performance. I am also highly pleased with the successful healing process. I resumed my job seven weeks after the surgical procedure had been done. In this context I would also like to mention that my stay in the hospital Sonnenhof Bern was a very comfortable one. Let me thank the whole team very cordially once again for everything they have done so perfectly including for the kind assistance of the switchboard operators and the staff working in the doctor’s practice. Such nice doctors and staff are seldom found nowadays.

Fabio Martinuzzi

Martinuzzi Fabio

I have forgotten the story of my knee pain over the years, that is to say I do not remember anymore the precise moment when this painful process started.

Due to the strong pain in my knees they gradually lost their functionality – I was no more able to knee, to hunker down. I tried very hard to climb and go down the stairs.  I made every effort to ride my bicycle. And running was only possible on short distance.

So far I was not at all persuaded whether a surgical intervention could considerably improve my situation. I heard a lot of negative experience made by other people. Despite this rather unsecure situation I was eager to enhance my chances for a better life and spared no effort to find a doctor in whom I could fully trust.

I regularly watched the TV programme “Health Consultation” on channel TSI (for the Italian speaking part of Switzerland) on Monday evening. One evening Dr. Markus C. Michel participated in the programme and spoke about his fascinating activity as orthopedic doctor. He explained in a simple and easily understandable way his working methods.

Heavily affected with my chronic knee pain I took the opportunity to get in touch with Dr. Michel hoping that he would be capable to diagnose professionally my status and explain the cause of my medical condition.

It took some time and even more patience until I could meet Dr. Michel for a first check in his clinic. This was on 13 December 2007.

I expected to encounter a professional, helpful and charming person with an uncomplicated character.  It was much more.  The meeting with Dr. Michel exceeded all my previous expectations by far.

I already got a precise diagnosis during the first consultation including helpful explanations with regard to the exact surgical procedure. And the operation date for the replacement of my left knee joint was set for 6 February 2008. Almost a year later I also got my new right knee joint replaced.

Dr. Michel made both surgeries in the clinic in Münsingen. During my short stays at the clinic I was sensitively looked after by the orthopedic and physiotherapeutic team in an utmost professional and simultaneously personal-oriented manner.  

Undoubtedly, by replacing both knee joints my life quality has sensibly changed for the better. This eventually enabled me to become again physically active a situation which was unthinkable before. I could never have imagined regaining my quality of life by this intervention

I would like to thank very cordially Dr. Michel, his efficient team and the skilled people working at station B of the clinic in Münsingen for their excellent job they performed. I am indeed more than grateful for all the professional support and kind assistance which was provided by them.

I send my kind regards to all of you, bearing in mind that I am deeply grateful for the recovery of my health and the regained quality of life.

Martinuzzi Fabio

Johannes Nett, Grüsch

Johannes Nett

Johannes Nett

The diagnosis “arthrosis on both hips” is undoubtedly shocking information which needs time to be mentally digested.
And this particularly when from the earliest childhood you are used to spend a lot of your time in the mountains, when you are a born child of nature and be keen on getting exercise. Additionally, when you are somebody who has liked doing sport during his whole life, having been fascinated by this activity and have the firm intention to keep exercising also in the years to come.
Important: Not in all cases does pain alone justify the visit to a doctor or the decision for a surgical intervention. As to me it was primarily the continuous level of the stiffening mobility, the gradual degree of restriction in my movements a situation that made me feel more and more uncomfortable. And finally the wrong weight bearing representing a danger of a possible subsequent damage was increasingly observable.
When I visited for the first time a medical specialist in Chur it became quite rapidly obvious – by the way an utmost alarming and frustrating discovery – that also head physicians do unfortunately not strive for the same high quality standard thinking in their activities. They do not have a comparable seriousness, the professional capability and in particular they are not well grounded in the similarly high degree of social competence and respect in relation to their patients.
Therefore: Not always is the easiest solution also the best one. Sometimes it is also worthwhile to make a detour and visit the OZM. Health is too important so as to leave it to unskilled medical experts. This all the more when reasons of convenience, wrongly understood thoughtfulness or disinformation are decisive. The most important criterion for an operation has to be, in particular for athletes, to find a perfectly qualified medical care, an excellent treatment and the only deciding final result of a successful surgical intervention.

OZM
This was exactly the excellent experience I made with the people from the OZM. Fortunately, I experienced a completely different world in the hospital. I also felt a totally different way of thinking in relation to behaviour, understanding, real values, quality and patients. In every respect it was for me a unique opportunity to get in touch spontaneously with Dr. Markus Michel. It was like a stroke of luck and simultaneously an utmost precious gift. Dr. Michel spent all his time listening and examining very carefully and precisely in a way which one needs when he seeks medical advice in such a difficult and burdensome moment of life. He checked and analysed my case with highly professional and humane capability, made the diagnostic evaluation seriously and at the same time empathically as well as understandingly. On top of it he explained to me in a comprehensive way the possible risk of damage. For the first time in my life I could see a hip implant, got detailed information as regards the material of the product and, likewise important the experience made with it as to its tolerability, abrasion resistance and product life. This was for me the decisive moment when I started fully trusting in Dr. Michel, when I completely lost my fear, when I made my final decision without reservation and with a great inner relief. I was highly impressed by the OZM team. Everything proceeded as planned. I found top motivated and highly competent doctors, x-ray specialists and flexible, reliable and helpful people from the organisational and administrative branch. The OZM also cares for you once the surgical intervention has been done by providing a perfectly organised and qualified after-treatment. You will never be left alone. Dr. Michel operated successfully my left hip joint in the hospital of Münsingen on May 20, 2009, and my right hip joint on September 8, 2009. My expectations were high, yes, very high indeed. But they were exceeded by far!

MicroHip
This sensational operating method relieved particularly athletes ridden by fears and worries’ concerning activity-related subsequent damages because of the medical top performance in relation to the protection and conservation of muscles, sinews and tissue. A small-sized transection, a most minimal loss of blood as well as a short stay in hospital of only 5 to 6 days! The incredibly rapid rehabilitation and healing process astonished not only my circle of friends but also provoked greatest admiration amongst the qualified physiotherapists working in the Medical Centre Bad Ragaz. In this context, however, I need to emphasize that I strictly respected the instruction and advice of the OZM. As a result of a supervised, target-oriented and moderate training for a more effective stabilization, power and mobility my musculature could be restored in an extremely rapid period. Most amazing and motivating, however, was for me the fact that the MicroHip implant did neither cause the slightest permanent damage nor that it has any negative effect on my muscles and sinews. On top of it the fine motor skills were in no way affected. My mobility has again achieved a level I would never have expected before. I am able again to ride my bicycle in a normal way without any help, I am in a position to pedal high frequencies, I can walk and snowshoeing in wintertime as if nothing had ever occurred before! Today, I live again a life with my two hip joints without pain and troubles.

Dear Dr. Michel,
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and your team for the outstanding and excellent quality of work which you together with your impressive super team did and still do. You know me well and are undoubtedly aware what this means for me and my life. Very big thanks go likewise to the hospital of Münsingen, to the unforgettable team at station B, the physiotherapists with Mrs Engel at the head who proofed permanently their professional competence and their exemplary and outstanding assistance and care.  

Ar/2010-02-19

Ernst Gerber, Spiez

Ernst Gerber

Ernst Gerber

It was end of July 2005 when I voluntarily retired at the age of sixty. At the beginning everything went well. I intensively pursued my hobbies: mountain climbing and rock climbing in Switzerland and Austria. All these activities developed extraordinarily. Probably the most beautiful and most favored fixed rope route, named Allmenalp is located not far away from my domicile. Up to now, I have climbed this K-route more than thirty times. On 12 August 2009, in the course of a walking tour with friends to Gemmi something unimaginably happened just out of the blue. At a sudden, I felt such a great pain in my right hip that I was barely able to continue walking on the remaining ascent to the Stockhorn Train. Only a week later I visited my family doctor who immediately sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. Early September my right inguinal hernia then was operated (apparently they found a rupture) and, at my own request the surgeon operated simultaneously my umbilical hernia which I have suffered from for more than twenty years already. However, the pain remained and the only remedy for me was swallowing pills. In November 2009 a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was made and ten days later I already was in the Bernese University Hospital “Insel”. An operation followed on the spinal canal. As a result of it, the pain in the right lower leg lessened abruptly. However, in the right hip the pain did not change and kept growing almost unbearably.

I happened to watch a very encouraging television program on “Tele Bärn”. The following day I called the OZM clinic in Münsingen. Already ten days later I could visit the hospital where they made the first check. From the very beginning I fully trusted the doctors of the clinic and on 23 April 2010, the team of Dr. Vollmar and Dr. Jovanovic implanted a new hip joint. After a short period of rehabilitation and owing to the excellent care of my life partner I was in a position to daily reduce the doses of medicaments and shortly afterwards I could totally give up all the medical doses. Precisely 75 days after the successful operation my life partner Andrea and me climbed up in common the Allmenalp.
I take this opportunity to thank again and again very heartily the whole OZM team for all the work they have performed in such a professional way. At the same time I would like to reassure people who are adversely affected with hip pain and consequently are suffering from arthritis. Life after the operation feels like life of a youngster. Biking, walking, swimming, climbing and skiing are possible without any problem. By the way, the type of ski which enabled Mike Schmid to become an Olympia winner is already stored in the basement to be used in the coming season 2010/11.