Patient Stories

Patient Stories

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Video: Dr. Ben Lewis

Our patients tell our story the best. Here are some of their inspiring stories.

Dr. Ben Lewis

When surgery becomes necessary, you can trust the region’s most experienced orthopaedics team. Just ask Dr. Lewis, who can now get back to worrying about his patient’s aches and pains and not his own.

Dr. Lewis shares his experience as a patient undergoing joint replacement surgery at Carilion Clinic. Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics is recognized by The Joint Commission for its exceptional joint replacement program.

Let us help you rebuild from an unexpected injury or ongoing health condition.



Video: Valeta Pittman

After years of use, Valeta Pittman, Roanoke, Va., started to limp and feel pain in her hip. Realizing she didn't want it to get worse, Valeta underwent anterior approach hip replacement surgery.

This less invasive approach to hip replacement meant Valeta could be back on her feet in no time and back doing the things she loves, like golfing. Now Valeta can tee off without pain and is glad Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics helped rebuild her life.


Enjoying Life After Hip Replacement


For Susan Marchon, a new hip has recharged her life. In June, Marchon underwent anterior hip replacement surgery on her deteriorated right hip. With her pain significantly reduced, she is able to keep up with the demands of daily life.

“It was the best thing I ever did,” says Marchon, the executive director of the New River Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program. “It’s been a miracle. I feel like I have my life back.”

Susan Marchon

Marchon, who also had back surgery in 2011, had read about the anterior approach and knew she wanted to take that route.

Joseph Moskal, M.D., section chief of orthopaedics at Carilion Clinic, performed the procedure.

When she got home, Marchon discovered that everyday tasks were often the hardest. Wanting to help others, she created a brochure packed with advice on everything from how to put on compression stockings and going to the bathroom to organizing your home before surgery.

“These are the things I needed to be as independent as I possibly could during my recovery,” she says.

Marchon is grateful for the care she received and often recommends Dr. Moskal to others. “I’m a Dr. Moskal groupie,” she jokes. “If anyone I know has hip issues, I refer them to him.”

Surgeons trained in the anterior approach technique:

Elena Leshyn

Elena Leshyn

For many years, Elena Leshyn has suffered with osteo-arthritis, which has played havoc with her joints. An active spirit, the pain in her left hip increasingly kept her from the activities she loved. In the summer of 2014 Elena could not stand the pain any longer. “I couldn’t walk without a cane and I was having other pain in my groin and knees, as well,” said the Spanish translator.

A computer enthusiast, Elena did her homework about the anterior (front) approach to hip replacement, which shortens recuperation time. “After an office appointment with Dr. Moskal (Joseph Moskal, M.D.) in Roanoke, I went to a local seminar. My issue was I wanted my surgery near home. He told me about Dr. Harris (Ryan Harris, D.O.), who was joining the staff at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center.” This was the answer…the anterior hip replacement at her nearby Carilion hospital. “Dr. Harris was highly recommended by his mentor, Dr. Moskal.”

In October of 2014, Elena had the surgery followed by physical therapy, which is key, she noted. She had hoped she’d be better by Christmas, but to her delight, she was already better by Thanksgiving. “Dr. Harris had said I would be well by then, and he was right!”

I am back to doing the activities I love like morning and evening walks, classical music concerts, entertaining overnight Musica Viva guests, cooking for friends and computer correspondence.

Elena Leshyn, Blacksburg

Dorothy Craig

Video: Dorothy Craig

For three years the pain in Dorothy Craig's knee had been getting progressively worse. At 85 years old, Dorothy and her doctor knew that more falls could lead to much more serious injuries, so her physician sent her to Dr. John Mann with Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics. Dorothy successfully underwent knee surgery in October 2014 and walked that very same day. She is already back to her gardening and living independently.






Homer Vaughn

Video: Homer Vaughn

Before having his left hip, left and right shoulder, wrist/elbow surgeries at Carilion Clinic, Homer Vaughn was unable to participate the outdoor activities he enjoyed so much. After completing his surgeries in 2014, Homer is now able to actively take part in fishing, hunting, and playing with his grandchildren.