Knee pain

Providing Care in Senegal

Jacob Tadje is a hard working pre-medical student at the University of Utah with big dreams and a heart of gold. He hopes to become an orthopaedic surgeon like his dad, Dr. Tadje. Last, month, he was sponsored by Tadje Orthopaedics to participate in a humanitarian trip to Senegal. This trip was organized By the University of Utah’s Dr. Richard Ingebretsen, MD, PHD.

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Dr. Ingebretsen and 7 students spent 5 days in Senegal, and traveled to 4 different villages. The trip was eye-opening. The villages they visited are essentially clusters of huts throughout the savannah. The villages are mostly self-sustaining, and have around 200 people living in each. For many villagers, this was the first time they had spoken to a health professional. Jacob and his team members interviewed each villager to assess needs. They took vitals and treated what they could. They found many people who suffer from joint pain, malnutrition, dehydration, and head fungus. Malnutrition and dehydration are hard to solve long term because of the lack of protein and clean water sources. They were able to teach the people ways to better manage the joint pain, head fungus, and other more minor infirmities.

They found some villagers with more serious ailments, like TB, malaria, and skin cancer. They are planning to analyze the data they gathered and find ways to treat these more serious needs in future trips.

Jacob’s most rewarding experience was helping a 15-year-old boy with a hearing impairment. He was unable to hear anything farther than approximately 15 meters. Jacob looked at his ears and realized he has some major blockages. After Jacob spent some time irrigating and cleaning out the blockages, the boy’s hearing was completely restored and he was overjoyed.

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Going to Senegal was rewarding for Jacob and his team members. Jacob left with more gratitude for his way of life, especially access to clean water, a comfortable home, and modern healthcare.




Written By: Rebecca Howard

The Sweat, the Passion, and the Dirt

The Sweat, the Passion, and the Dirt

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Wyatt Lyonsmith has been riding dirt bikes since he was 4 years old. When he was about 8 years old, he saw his first motocross race and was instantly hooked!  By the next event, he was no longer an observer, but a racer. Since then, he has raced at all of the the major amateur national events, as well as many local ones. He’s ranked at the top of the amateur class and plans to race professionally within the year.

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Any day of the week, there’s nothing Wyatt would rather be doing than riding his dirt bike. He enjoys it so much, he chose to complete his last two years of high school online so he could live at a training facility in South Carolina. While there, he was able to train and work out daily with other serious motocross athletes. Since graduating, he’s had the opportunity to travel around and race on many different tracks.

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Like most other motocross racers, Wyatt has had a few broken bones. He’s gotten through the races safely, but several of his practices have been a bit unlucky! He broke his femur at age 10 and then his wrist and ankle more recently. Dr. Tadje has been pleased for the opportunity to support Wyatt in his racing pursuits for the last 9 years. The whole office is excited to follow Wyatt’s career and cheer him on as he makes the transition to becoming a professional racer.

Written By: Rebecca Howard

Humanitarian Trip to Cambodia

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In 2017, Dr. Tadje took a humanitarian trip with his son Andrew, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They were able to provide much needed assistance to a place called CICFO (Cambodia International Children Friendship Outreach). CICFO is a home where about 30 children live in a family environment, so they can attend school. The children are accepted through an application process and are able to live in this home until they are finished with their education. An organization called CICFO-USA raises funds to support the needs of the CICFO family. The CICFO children travel occasionally to visit their birth families, but CICFO is their true home. The children live as a family, sharing meals, chores, love, and support. CICFO is an upgrade for the children who are used to living in absolute poverty. However, even at CICFO, the children sleep in unbearable heat, packed together on the ground, owning nothing but the clothes on their backs. Dr. Tadje and his son wanted to help.

They spent a week staying with the CICFO family. They worked with Kea Botevy, the head of the home, to tackle projects that would improve the children’s living conditions. Dr. Tadje and his son bought some mattresses for the kids to sleep on and installed fans to help with the intense heat and humidity. The Tadjes were able to create a safer living space by covering exposed wires. They read with the kids and played ball with them. Dr. Tadje was impressed with these amazing, impoverished children. In spite of their circumstances, they are happy and optimistic about life. They are content. They look out for one another and work together to provide a safe and peaceful space to exist and grow. Dr. Tadje was grateful for the opportunity he had to help and learn from the CICFO family.

Written by: Rebecca Howard

Tracy's Thailand Trip 2018

Our Nurse Tracy Travels to Thailand

 

In January, my husband and I traveled to Thailand as a part of the Trauma and Emergency Management Program. This program provides training, support and essential medical supplies to mobile, community-based “backpack” medics. The “backpack” medics hike through difficult terrain to deliver lifesaving emergency care to people in remote, landmine-contaminated areas of eastern Myanmar (Burma).

On the plane from San Francisco, California to Bejing, China.

On the plane from San Francisco, California to Bejing, China.

 

Our Journey began on January 24th, 2018. We flew from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Francisco, California then to Beijing, China. After a 24-hour layover in China, we finally flew to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) to begin training. The initial trauma training was supposed to take place in Burma, however due to political instability in the region, the training was moved to Mae Sot, Thailand. Since my husband and I were already in Burma, we decided to stay and explore the city.

The training took place in Western Thailand, in a district called Mae Sot (see border of Thailand and Myanmar).

The training took place in Western Thailand, in a district called Mae Sot (see border of Thailand and Myanmar).

 

While in Burma, we stayed at the Hotel Kan Yeik Thar, located in Inya Lake. Hotel Kan Yeik is approximately 15 minutes from the Yangon International Airport. From there, we toured the city on foot and via Uber/taxi. We visited the Yangon Zoo, Inya Lake, and the Shwedagon Pagoda.

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This beautiful landmark (shown below) is a stupa or dome shaped structure. The stupa houses Buddhist relics and gives the people of Myanmar a place to worship. We toured the pagoda with an English-speaking tour guide, took photos and loved learning about its history.

 

We left Yangon on Sunday, January 28th. We flew to Mae Sot, Thailand to meet the rest of the TEMP team. There were 7 team members which included 4 trauma/ER doctors, and an RN. The training began on Monday, January 29th. While in Mae Sot we stayed at the J2 hotel. The J2 was our home for 7 days while we attended the training.

 

The length of the training was 6 days. It took place in a classroom located next to a now abandoned hospital. The “compound”, as they called it, was now used to house the students while they attended training. Each member of our team was assigned specific subjects that were used to teach the medics. Some of the subjects included: Anatomy & Physiology, Limb Injury/Amputation, starting IV’s and pregnancy and childbirth. Bryan and I were given fracture/dislocation, splinting and bleeding management. We also assisted with a “jungle operating room” which included the pig lab. On this day we studied and taught anatomy using pigs from a local farmer.

We started each day with an activity or “ice breaker”. Since the students did not speak English, it was a good way for all of us to get to know each other without having to use the translators. One morning Bryan and I decided to teach them the Macarena!

 

Some of our responsibilities during training included making and building models for the medics to use in class. We used sugar cane and paper towels for the fasciotomies and nebulizer tubing, as well as gloves for tracheotomies. For the abscess lab, we used sponges and strawberry yogurt.

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Although the training took up a lot of our time, we spent most of our evenings trying out the local cuisine with the rest of the team. Family style is how they do things in Thailand, and boy, did we eat!

 

We met so many wonderful people and learned so much while on our trip. But after almost 2 weeks we were ready to go home and share our experiences with friends and family.

 

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We hope to someday return to Thailand!

Thailand Trip 2018- Trauma and Emergency Management Program

Tina's Long Road to Recovery

Tina's Long Road to Recovery

By: Rebecca Howard

Tina Fitzgerald used to be a medtech. But in 2013, one of her patients accidentally parked an electric wheelchair on top of her right foot. It took 6 people to finally remove the chair. Her foot had been completely crushed. Her active, outdoorsy lifestyle came to a screeching halt. She found a doctor who performed and failed 2 foot surgeries. She was left unable to work, with daily pain and a foot that hardly functioned.

 

Fast-forward to Christmas day, 2016. Tina and her husband were heading into a friend’s house to celebrate, when Tina slipped on some black ice. She fell hard on her left hip and hit her head on the side of the house. She woke up a few moments later in terrible, nauseating pain. But it was Christmas and she was embarrassed about the fall, so she decided to just keep the pain to herself.

 

Days went by and the pain didn’t improve. She thought maybe it was her bulging disk acting up. She took ibuprofen, but nothing helped. No matter what she did, it felt like she was being stabbed in the groin. She couldn’t walk up stairs, she couldn’t get into a car, she couldn’t dress herself, she couldn’t push her handicapped dog in his stroller. Going anywhere was excruciating. It even hurt to lie down. She was used to limitations because of her foot, but this was beyond anything she had experienced. 6 months went by and she kept hoping for relief, but the pain was actually getting worse. She needed answers. Now.  

 

She went into her spine doctor, who gave her a spine injection, but it didn’t help. One day, she thought maybe a bath would bring some relief. But when she couldn’t get out by herself, she told her husband she had to go see a pain manager right away. The doctor did an X-ray of her back and ordered an MRI. The MRI came back normal, but Tina and her husband knew with absolute surety that something was wrong. They kept trying to find someone to help, but no one would listen.

 

One day when she stood on her tip toes to put a coffee mug on the top shelf, she felt a distinct and painful separation in her hip. Her foot felt like it was 100 lbs. That was the last straw. She went to ER, but they wouldn’t do another MRI since her last one had been normal. Tina and her husband were beyond frustrated. They were desperate for answers and a reprieve from the constant pain. Her spine doctor agreed to order another MRI, this one for her leg instead of her back. They weren’t even home before they received a phone call that she had a fracture in the neck of her femur.

 

Tina’s husband had been seeing Dr. Tadje for some issues with his shoulder, and really liked him. He called to find out if Dr. Tadje treated femur fractures. They found out he does! Happy day! They talked to Teia, the office manager, and told her their situation. She consulted Dr. Tadje, and he agreed to perform surgery for Tina the next morning. Finally, someone who would listen and agree to help! At that point, she had been coping with her fractured hip for 9 months.

 

Tina met Dr. Tadje the next morning before the surgery. Because of the 2 failed foot surgeries in her past, she was terrified of a bad outcome. Dr. Tadje reassured her that he had spent time the night before researching the best method to treat her fracture. She was within inches of needing a full hip replacement, but since she had a small portion of bone still intact on one side, he would be able to attach some screws so her natural bone could heal. And best of all, he was able to find a way to make her hip immediately weight bearing. She had been expecting to be confined to a wheelchair for 6 months, so this was very good news.

 

When she woke up after the surgery, she was surprised and excited to find that the pain was gone! No more stabbing. After one night in the hospital and some training from a physical therapist, she was up and moving with her walker. It was a miracle! A complete turnaround within a day! Now, a few months later, her limitations from this injury are non-existent, and her quality of life is markedly better. She only wishes she would have known about her “rockstar,” Dr. Tadje, for her foot surgeries. Dr. Tadje has given Tina her life back, and she’s excited to live it to the fullest.  

Meet the Koubas

Fast Rides, Tough Breaks

By: Rebecca Howard

The Kouba family is the kind of family that’s always on the move. Jennifer and Charlie Kouba
introduced their boys, Austin and Bailey, to motocross at a young age, and they were instantly
enchanted. They ate, slept, and breathed motocross. They spent their time either riding or
thinking about their next ride. But those who know motocross, know it carries a high risk for
injuries. Austin and Bailey have both had a good share of wounds through the years.
Consequently, Dr. Tadje has been a valuable part of their lives over the last decade.


At 13 years old, Austin was speeding around a corner in an intense race at Owyhee Motorcycle
Club when his front wheel lost traction. His whole body propelled into the handlebars with so
much force, his femur fractured. From the stands, Jennifer and Charlie could tell something bad had happened when they saw Austin lying on the ground. They watched the paramedics rush in to assess the situation. Upon seeing Austin’s bone protruding through his motorcycle pants, the paramedics instantly called an ambulance to transport him to the hospital. In the ER, Jennifer and Charlie were overwhelmed with stress and worry as they awaited treatment. When Dr. Tadje walked in to consult with them, they describe feeling instant comfort. Dr. Tadje explained that Austin’s femur had an open fracture, and at age 13, there are 2 possible treatments for this type of injury. Inserting a rigid rod would allow Austin to walk on his leg within a few days, but there would be risk of compromising the growth plate. Inserting a flexible rod would put Austin in a wheelchair for 6 weeks, but it would preserve the growth plate. The Koubas were relieved to find out Dr. Tadje is a father, and asked him what he would do if Austin were his child. Dr. Tadje recommended the flexible rod. Even though the process was longer, Austin’s femur healed beautifully. Dr. Tadje and Austin had an instant bond. It’s a good thing, since they would be seeing a lot of each other throughout the years!


The next time the Koubas needed Dr. Tadje’s help, Bailey was the one in the spotlight. At 12
years old, Bailey was in an off road desert race. As he raced down a sand wash with dozens of
other bikes, he hit some extra rough terrain and flew off his bike. A motorcycle ran over his arm
as it raced past, fracturing his radius. They instantly knew who to call. Dr. Tadje performed the
necessary surgery and Bailey was able to move and shift within the week.


A few years later, Austin was racing at OMC again when his front wheel lost traction and his
shoulder hit the ground hard. Fractured Collarbone. The Koubas wondered if maybe Dr. Tadje
would preach or apply pressure to give up the sport. But they were grateful when all they got
from Dr. Tadje was understanding and support. Austin asked Dr. Tadje to do whatever he could
to get him back on his bike as quickly as possible. Letting it heal on its own would take months, but surgery reduced the time to weeks. So, of course surgery was the answer!


Something similar happened to Bailey shortly after, while arena racing in Utah. He came up
short on a jump and… fractured collarbone. The Koubas brought him back to Boise where Dr.
Tadje fit him in for a quick surgery so the family could take off for a vacation.


Since then, the Koubas have reached out to Dr. Tadje for help on several other occasions. Dr.
Tadje has continued to be close to the family, most recently supporting them as Austin healed
from an open fracture of his forearm.


Now at 20 and 22 years old, Austin and Bailey don’t have as much time for their favorite sport
as they used to. While most of their time is spent working and going to school, they still find
plenty of time for camping, mountain biking, trail riding, racing, and off roading as a family.
Their active lifestyle has shaped them into the people they have become, and they are grateful
for the experiences they have had and for the tremendous care and support have received from Dr. Tadje. They are grateful for his knowledge and personal touch, and that in a very real way, he has made their active lifestyle a possibility. Who knows what the future will bring, but they’ll definitely know where to turn if something goes south.

(Orange Plaid: Bailey, Green: Austin)