Patient Stories

Meniscus Problems

Dr. Eberhart had taken care of meniscus problems in my knees three different times, but then the pain got to the point where I decided to have both knees replaced. I wanted to do this while I was still young enough to take full advantage of the results. My knees were so painful that not only was sleeping a problem, but my ability to do my job was being impacted. I work in retail and I’m on my feet all day, so this was getting to be an issue I had to deal with. The results have been fabulous! The pain factor is totally gone, and it’s like having my original knees back again. Dr. Eberhart makes me feel at ease. He’s always asking me questions and never seems in a hurry. Some doctors just breeze through appointments, but Dr. Eberhart has always taken the time to make sure I’m comfortable and understand everything. For me, he goes a step beyond being a good doctor to someone who goes out of his way to make that personal connection. You feel like you’re talking to someone who really cares about you as a friend.


2 Carpal Tunnel Surgeries

I’ve known Dr. Eberhart for over 30 years. He is exceedingly well trained and has a well-deserved reputation for his skills in diagnosing an orthopedic problem and then correcting it, either surgically or non-surgically. He’s also an accomplished athlete who understands the issues for people who want to stay active and enjoy their favorite sports. I had two carpal tunnel surgeries when the pain got to the point of waking me up at night. I was able to play golf again within two months. Dr. Eberhart also did a knee arthroscopy procedure to clean out bone chips that were giving me problems – again, with fine results. He’s a terrific guy and a highly skilled doctor. I appreciate his conservative approach and his intellectual honesty.


Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Dr. Eberhart performed carpal tunnel surgery on both of my hands, using a minimally invasive, endoscopic technique instead of open surgery. He only needed to make two tiny incisions through which he inserted a camera to guide him. The result was very precise surgery with a fast recovery time and no long scar that had to heal. The surgeries were about three weeks apart, and Dr. Eberhart was very willing to work around my schedule in order to minimize the impact on my life. In fact, he first explored some non-surgical treatment options including cortisone injections to buy me some time. He brought balance to the entire process. I had to fit my treatment into a busy work schedule, a new baby, and triathlon training, so I really appreciated the fact that Dr. Eberhart took the time to put a good plan in place that also did not make me wait too long and risk permanent damage. The work I do at the hospital involves very fine motor skills. For example, surgical knot tying requires constant wrist motion and repetitive movement. The median nerve damage in my hands was so severe that it would keep me awake at night. It was searing pain combined with burning numbness that would flair up at work and at home. Since the surgeries, I’ve had no symptoms, no tingling, no numbness, and no pain. I can do my activities with no restrictions, including swimming where wrist motion is critical. In the local medical community, Dr. Eberhart is known as the authority in hand surgery. I appreciate his skill as a surgeon, and I’m grateful for his willingness to create an individualized treatment plan that worked so well for me.


Highly-Skilled, Experienced Hand Surgeon

I met Dr. Eberhart when he rebuilt my knee about 20 years ago, and I’ve been referring patients to him for years. I’m a GP and feel very comfortable referring to shoulder knee, and hand problems that I see in my practice. I also have Dupuytren’s Contracture in both hands (a thickening of the fibrous tissue layer underneath the skin of the palm and fingers) that was impacting my quality of life: I couldn’t clap, hold my wife’s hand, or put on a pair of gloves. And the mosquito always got away! It was also interfering with my work as a doctor. Dupuytren’s Contracture is a progressive disease with a strong genetic component, and mine had started some 30 years ago. I considered surgery but surgery is a one-time thing, and then you are dealing with scar tissue. Surgery also requires a significant amount of healing and time out of work. I was delighted to take advantage of Xiaflex injections – a non-surgical treatment with relatively few side effects – that are now offered locally by Dr. Eberhart. The injection breaks the fascial band that has thickened and shrunk and frees the joint. You are not dealing with scar tissue, stitches, or sutures. Also, the physical therapy involved in follow-up treatment is minimal compared to surgery. However, this treatment requires very special management on the part of the orthopedic surgeon, and I had great confidence in Dr. Eberhart as a highly-skilled, experienced hand surgeon. He’s also very down to earth, an athlete, and someone who completely understands my lifestyle goals. I can now play golf, hold a snow shovel, and button my own shirt.


Best Care For Me Right Here In Portsmouth

I’ve been a patient of Dr. Eberhart’s since I moved here from Augusta in 2007. I had degenerative knee issues dating back to my high school football days and was considering a knee replacement. Dr. Eberhart won me over right away with his conservative approach. He did not rush to pick up the knife but instead explored other options after asking about my activities and quality of life issues. I appreciated this, and the fact that he is so engaging, communicative, and such a good listener. Eventually, when I did need surgery on that knee, Dr. Eberhart believed that a right half-knee replacement could be as effective as a full knee. He was correct – my recovery and the subsequent results were marvelous. He carefully explained the options and was a total realist, never overpromising and letting me know about any possible limitations. We both love to bike, so I felt that I was working with someone who really understood my goals. After that, I had a problem with my right index finger that Dr. Eberhart corrected with great success, again delaying the option of surgery for over a month and giving me time to really think things over and understand the pros and cons. After careful deliberation, we decided a corrective operation was in order.
Then my other knee started acting up. His criterion is: if you have to ice your knee before you can go to sleep at night, it’s time to intervene. So this past January, I had a total left knee replacement, and I was back to work a week later. After 8 weeks, I was hiking with micro-spikes at Sugarloaf Mountain. Prior to my surgeries, my knees would give out. My goal was to regain structural stability, and I have not had any problems since. Dr. Eberhart and his staff are true professionals. Other doctors often talk over you and really do not listen – I’ve never had that experience at Sports Medicine Atlantic Orthopaedics. It’s so refreshing to be treated so well; I didn’t see the need to go to Boston for “better” care as many of my friends have tried to talk me into – I found the best care for me right here in Portsmouth!




Speedy and Relatively Painless Recovery

I’ve been Dr. Crawford’s patient for many years, and I followed him to Portsmouth after he left Anna Jaques Hospital. A year ago, he performed a partial knee replacement and the recovery was speedy and relatively painless. Three years ago he repaired my torn rotator cuff. Both my shoulder and knee are now pain-free and fully functional. Although I’m retired from the full-time restaurant business, I’m on my feet 12-15 hours every day – taking care of my alpacas, two dogs, and my busy ice cream stand. One day, one of the alpacas stepped on me, crushing my toe – an alarming injury for anyone with diabetes. A staph infection followed and two other doctors urged amputation, but Dr. Crawford assured me that “The toe won’t go.” He managed the infection and saved the toe without surgery – just good doctoring. I trust Dr. Crawford to be thoughtful, patient and act in my best interest. With him, surgery is not always the answer, so when he recommends it, I trust his judgment and know that the results will be good.


Remarkable Doctor and Human Being

When you’ve been in the funeral home business for 37 years, you find out who the good doctors are. I respect Dr. Crawford not only for his careful, thoughtful approach as a doctor – but also for who he is and what he stands for. And thanks to my knee replacement, I now know what a normal knee feels like! I injured my right knee in a wrestling tournament many years ago, and over the years it became more and more painful. I was very apprehensive of surgery of any kind and Dr. Crawford never pushed me, saying, “You’ll know when it’s time.” And I did. In addition to the knee replacement, he also did substantial arthroscopic work on my shoulder. With both surgeries, Dr. Crawford spent plenty of time with me, made sure I understood all of my options, and accurately set my expectations about the recovery and rehab time. A remarkable thing about Dr. Crawford is his ability to accurately diagnose with his hands – an art that many doctors today never develop because they depend on electronic imaging technology. When Crawford is volunteering in Kenya in the orthopedic teaching program he founded, he teaches doctors to use their hands and clinical observation, because they don’t have the diagnostic equipment that we have here. He’s a remarkable doctor and human being.


Torn ACL

Even though I live in Newburyport, I did not know Dr. Crawford until I started asking around about someone who could help me with my knee issues. Dr. Crawford came highly recommended by several people and I could immediately understand why he has such a great reputation. He is not someone who jumps to surgery. He is very professional, but also very down to earth. So I felt completely comfortable with his recommendations and course of treatment. My knee was in bad shape from an old softball injury, and I kept re-injuring it over the years. Finally, I was diagnosed with a torn ACL, and was experiencing dull pain and swelling behind the knee. I’ve been playing Ultimate Frisbee for over 30 years, and the thought of not being able to continue was depressing. Dr. Crawford discussed three options with me: build up the surrounding muscle and stabilize the knee through Physical Therapy, replace the ligament with a tendon from my thigh, or replace the ligament with a cadaver ligament. I chose this last option and was amazed by how fast my recovery was. I had day surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and was in Physical Therapy two days later. It’s been six months since my surgery and I’m doing really well. I’m looking forward to playing Ultimate Frisbee at Seabrook Beach this summer. I’m ready to go!


Degenerative Arthritis, 2 Joint Replacements and Injections

When I was younger, I played a lot of baseball as a catcher. All that squatting down eventually took its toll on my knees. I went from my knees bothering me to my knees being really painful. That pain got steadily worse. I was having problems just climbing the stairs. Dr. Crawford told me I had degenerative arthritis in both knees. He tried a conservative approach first, including cortisone shots and knee braces. I lost 130 pounds to take the pressure off my knees. That definitely helped but by last fall, I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and it was affecting my ability to do my job. This past January, I had both knees replaced, stayed in rehab for 10 days, and I’ve been stretching and exercising on my own since. I just feel so much better. I have no pain at all. I would do it all over again. That’s how good I feel.


Attentive

Saw Dr. Welch for knee pain. Was attentive and not in a hurry to do surgery, which I so appreciated!!!


Atlantic Orthpaedics & Sports Medicine