What Our Patients Say
Joanne Hale, Broken Foot
The outstanding treatment, which I have recently received from the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute, University of California, San Francisco, has made a big difference in my life. Dr. Theodore Miclau and Dr. Richard Coughlin were so responsive and helpful when I contacted them. I had broken my foot on my 70th birthday, was in pain and unable to do many of the most basic daily tasks. My inability to walk had already started to cause loss of leg muscle mass, seriously affected my balance and the rest of my body. After contacting the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute, I knew I was in excellent hands. They were able to arrange appointments, X-rays and treatment quickly and effectively. All the staff at the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute were especially helpful, respectful, and friendly. I could immediately feel that I had arrived at the “right place”. They were very patient with my numerous questions and helped me arrange immediate Physical Therapy treatments which have helped immensely. By removing my cast and allowing me to walk without a “boot” has definitely promoted my faster healing and better balance. All this has given me back my life while I continue to heal. I can now drive a car and be less dependent on others. I cannot say enough about the excellent care and treatment which I have received from the UCSF Orthopaedic Trauma Institute and highly recommend them to others. My heartfelt thanks to all at this institute for all that they have done for me! I shall be forever grateful.
Ethan Doyle, Ankle Fracture
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been cared for by the team at OTI, specifically Dr. Coughlin and Brenda Stengele during my recovery from a severe ski accident. Almost 6 years ago I suffered a pilon fracture of my lower tibia (a.k.a shattered ankle), a broken fibula, broken knee joint and cracked knee-cap. After getting peeled off the side of the ski mountain and delivered down to San Francisco I was told by one well known San Francisco doctor that I was basically never going to be active again and would barely be able to walk. That was my last visit to his office and I booked my first visit to see Dr. Coughlin. After about 6 months of Dr. Coughlin’s close care and guidance I was back on my feet, off crutches and trying to regain my active lifestyle. The team at OTI was not focused on booking revenue from an expensive surgery, their focus was purely on patient care and getting me back up and running in the most effective manner. Fast forward 6 years, I just completed my first Olympic distance triathlon handily beating my optimistic time goal, something I never would have thought possible based on my first doctor’s visit. I also continue to ski, play ice hockey, squash, cycle, windsurf and hike. I attribute much of this recovery to Dr. Coughlin’s experienced decision making, genuine care for the outcome of my injury, and a willingness to think creatively about how best to achieve a positive outcome. I am forever grateful.
Stephanie Cruz, Tibial Plateau Fracture
Around two years ago as I was riding my bike to work, I got doored by an idiot driver. I ended up with a fractured tibial plateau. Disclosure: if you google, get ready to cringe. Suffice it to say, I was howling in pain. I was rushed to the General where I was seen in the ER and promptly moved to the operating room. The staff at OTI were my caregivers and they were immensely kind, patient, and communicative. I was seen by some of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the city-some would argue the Bay Area. OTI staff are knowledgeable, accessible, and best of all friendly. I ended up with a plate and seven screws to stabilize not only my plateau but my free-flowing ACL. I was off my leg for three months, which just goes to show you how serious the fracture was. I’m walking normally, don’t have any disabilities from the fracture, and now smirk when I recount the tale of my awesome knee scar. Top marks all around!
Michael MacHarg, Polytrauma
Put simply, the docs at UCSF/OTI put me back together. Beautifully. Back in 2006 I took an ill-advised fall from a third story window. The landing broke 32 bones – including shattered elbows, back, neck, ankle and pelvis. The docs at OTI worked miracles to reconstruct my arms, realign my pelvis, and ensure that the neck/back injuries were stabilized. It is due to their remarkable work (might I say craftsmanship?) that I suffered no long term disability from the fall – in fact, my tennis game has improved and I’m even running faster than before (probably more due to motivation than the titanium that reinforces a few body parts). These docs are at the top of their game – empathetic, expert, and enthusiastic about the practice of medicine. I’m forever indebted to their team.
Jon Rochmis, Broken Left Arm
Both bones in my left forearm were shattered, the result of a double-compound fracture after a taxi hit me on my bicycle on Market Street. Dr. Miclau was my miracle surgeon. In six hours of surgery, he put my arm back together with two metal plates and 23 screws. The hardware was stainless steel, a thoughtful measure allowing me to skate through security, unlike, say, titanium.
Naturally, I was greatly concerned about the future: Would my arm work? Would it be numb? Would it be disfigured? Dr. Miclau has great bedside manner. He addressed all of my fears calmly and in a straightforward, honest manner. Time would tell, he said. Two years later, here is what time says: My arm works great. I can do just about everything I could before (it’s a little bit weaker, but I gave up
Olympian weight-lifting hopes years ago. And to repeat: just a little bit weaker). I have two cool scars to remind me of what could have been disastrous. Fortunately, Dr. Miclau and his team were there for
Judy and Allison Williams, Mother/Daughter Scoliosis
“I look and feel much better. I can tell my hips are even now and when I try on shorts they fit better…Obviously, it wasn’t much fun, but I’d rather correct it now while I am young. I’d rather not have to go through life with a crooked back.” (Allison, Daughter)
“My advice to anyone with scoliosis is don’t procrastinate. Once a surgeon has determined that your curve is not going to get better, go for surgery.” (Judy, Mother)
Diane Kelley, Scoliosis
“I had five small grandsons, and because of the pain in my back, it became very difficult to pick them up and play with them…Kaye and I also liked to travel in our motor home, but as my back got worse, with every little bump in the road I would feel this horrible pain…The upshot of it is that I [now] have no pain. It’s really a miracle! Now I can sit for a long time and play with the kids, all without any pain.”
Peggy Schubert, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease
“Most importantly, the painting honors Dr. Coughlin, whose knowledge, surgical skill and foresight have given me the miracle of functional feet and mobility.” (referring to a painting she created to honor the people who helped her during the extensive process of surgeries and rehabilitation that spanned two years)