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Actively aging: Orthopedic care keeps couple moving

Mike and his wife won't let retirement slow them down. Together, they've had eight orthopedic surgeries at Cache Valley Hospital.

December 11, 2020
Mike Bankhead smiles while wearing a black t-shirt.

“Use it or lose it.”

The common phrase means keep using the physical body so that it keeps functioning properly; but sometimes people live active lifestyles and still lose the ability to move freely.

For Mike and Lyn Bankhead, life without orthopedic services would be debilitating. During the eight years they’ve lived in Logan, they’ve undergone eight different surgeries at Cache Valley Hospital — with about 90 percent being orthopedic-related. From firsthand experience, they understand the direct correlation between living an active life and having high quality of life.

“We’d be crippled and immobile without this,” Mike said. “Before my first knee surgery, I’d walk a block just to avoid two stairs. That’s significant.”

Lyn agreed. “Before my knee surgeries, I didn’t play racquetball for 15 years. Now, I’m playing again — and I play pretty hard.”

“It’s true. She beat me yesterday,” Mike chimed in.

Four new knees and renewed quality of life

Upon moving to Logan to accept a role as music department head for Utah State University, Mike received a recommendation to meet with orthopedic surgeons at Alpine Orthopedics Specialists — and then Lyn did too. Little did they know, this introduction would transform their quality of life.

Although each has suffered from different ailments over the years, they’ve also experienced similar ones. In fact, they’ve tallied up four total knee replacement surgeries at Cache Valley Hospital. Those experiences, and the renewed quality of life granted by them, have cultivated a deep respect for Cache Valley Hospital and equally profound relationships with the people who deliver care there.

“We’ve had the same doc, the same quality of care and the same experience every time — they’re really terrific people,” Mike said. “Cache Valley Hospital isn’t a factory. It’s a group of professionals who really take their healthcare responsibilities seriously, while maintaining an enjoyment for what they’re doing. We’ve developed great friendships with the physicians and administrative staff there.”

Hip, hip hooray: Off the sidelines and into action

Staying off the sidelines and in the game of life is a top priority for Mike and Lyn. They grew up skiing and love the intensive workout they receive from racquetball.

“We have lived very active lives and continue to do so,” Mike said. “If you have the right people taking care of you and have the right surgeries when needed, you can continue to be as active as you want.”

Mike and Lyn view Dr. Keith Nelson, orthopedic surgeon at Alpine Orthopedics Specialists, as one of the best physician to care for their bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. He’s performed the lion’s share of their surgeries at Cache Valley Hospital, including Mike’s most recent total hip replacement.

“Dr. Nelson understands when you say, ‘I don’t want to just be able to hobble around; I want to get back in the court and play,’” Mike said.

Lifelong loyal fans

Due to their consistently positive experiences and results at Cache Valley Hospital, Mike and Lyn speak with the enthusiasm and passion of lifelong, loyal fans when it comes the quality of healthcare available locally.

“Why would you ever go to Ogden or Salt Lake when we get better healthcare from better healthcare professionals right here? It makes no sense,” Mike said.

In addition to talking the talk of loyal fans, they walk the walk too. They go to the extreme to ensure care at Cache Valley Hospital. For example, one night, Lyn woke up with severe abdominal pain. She quietly rolled out of bed, as to not disturb her sleeping husband, since he had an important 6-hour long musical rehearsal the next day. When she called 911, the operator told her they’d dispatch an ambulance to take her to a hospital — but the hospital wouldn’t be Cache Valley Hospital.

“I only wanted to go to Cache Valley Hospital! I wanted to be cared for in a hospital we trust and by doctors we know and trust,” Lyn remembered.

So, Lyn denied the ambulance and instead drove herself to the Emergency Room at Cache Valley Hospital. She even pulled over halfway there, unsure if she could make it due to the intensity of pain.

Thankfully, Lyn arrived at the hospital safely and quickly, and a few hours later she underwent an emergency appendectomy. Of course, she called her husband in the morning to let him know the plan before the successful surgery.

“It was incredible. The hospital team treated me so well, and the next day I was able to attend Mike’s rehearsal and concert,” Lyn said.

Give them a hand: Carpel tunnel and repaired thumb joint

In addition to total knee replacement surgeries, total hip replacement surgery, plantar fasciitis surgical repair and an emergency appendectomy, both Lyn and Mike have needed orthopedic hand surgery. Lyn underwent procedures to repair carpal tunnel syndrome on both hands and Mike had a capsule joint on his thumb repaired with a tendon transfer.

In both cases, they sought care from the specialized physicians at Alpine Orthopedics Specialists and underwent the surgeries at Cachey Valley Hospital. Once more, the surgeries proved wonderfully successful. Mike and Lyn gained relief from previous pain and comfort from confidence in their hospital staff and physicians.

“It’s the quality of care, the quality of facility and convenience of location,” Lyn said.

Mike agreed. “They’re exceptional healthcare professionals – the doctors are up to date and the nurses actually care about you. There isn’t a better place on the planet to get care,” he said.

December 11, 2020
Cache Valley Hospital

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