Outcomes: a Patient Experience

It’s a point we all reach in our lives.

Enough is enough.

Often, it’s said aloud, just in case we need to convince ourselves.
Stacy Cheyne, pre-authorization specialist at the Orthopedic Clinic of Appleton, uttered those very words a few months ago.

Working from home due to COVID, she was having a reoccurrence of something that’s been affecting her for years.”

If I sit or move in a certain way, my knee pops out of place,” said Cheyne.

Only recently it was happening more often.

Taking Action

Cheyne scheduled an appointment with Dr. Ken Schaufelberger of the Orthopedic & Sports Institute. As she explained to the or­thopedic surgeon, there wasn’t consistent, constant pain, but once she made one of the moves that resulted in the “popping,” she could count on pain for days afterwards.

According to Schaufelberger’s diagnosis, the “popping” Cheyne felt was actually her meniscus getting trapped, and when she’d straighten her leg, it would snap back into place. Following an MRI, it looked like the re­moval of the damaged part of her lateral me­niscus (known as partial lateral meniscectomy) might be the solution.

As someone whose employer offered NOVO Health’s Bundled Payment for Health Services as part of their benefits package, Cheyne be­gan her NOVO patient journey as directed: she got in touch with Care Navigation.

“I called to make sure it was a bundled sur­gery, which it was,” said Cheyne. “That made it an affordable option for me, and as an added bonus I got a $750 incentive.”

Following her surgery, Schaufelberger greeted Cheyne with some unexpected news: the removal turned into a repair.

“Dr. Schaufelberger went in and saw how much of the meniscus would need to be re­moved, which eventually might lead to need­ing a total knee replacement,” said Cheyne. “He decided to fix it to save my quality of life later on.”

Upward Trajectory

Ten weeks out, Cheyne is now focused on something other than knee pain and restric­tions: The Incline.

The Manitou Incline is a hiking trail in Colo­rado that gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than a mile, and Cheyne is gunning for it. She’s hoping her daughter will try it with her in the summer of 2021.

“It’s a huge goal for me to get motivated, to get in shape, to get feeling better,” said Cheyne. “We’re going to accomplish it together.”

Asked to reflect on her patient experience, Cheyne describes it as “amazing.” Her only re­gret: perhaps she waited too long to act.

“When the issues were cropping up more and more, I knew I needed to overcome this and not let it affect my life,” said Cheyne. “Life is too short; you need to be able to live it to the fullest.”

Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson

Scott Hutchinson is a writer and content creator for NOVO Health.

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