Carpal Tunnel Patient Returns to the Classroom Pain-free
When it comes to being a second grade teacher, working with your hands is part of the job. But for Leticia Ocaña, everyday activities began causing her pain, numbness and tingling.
“My hand would begin to feel numb as I wrote on the board. I couldn’t hold things for long periods of time without experiencing pain,” Ocaña remembers.
This past spring, a doctor diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s a condition where pressure on the median nerve in the wrist can cause numbness, tingling, weakness and other problems in the hand. He suggested wearing a brace, but Ocaña didn’t find much relief. She went searching for a more permanent solution. That’s when she found Korsh Jafarnia, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute-Memorial City and associate professor of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
The Care of Our Son
I just wanted to let you know that I was extremely impressed by the quality of care my son, Taison, received at Ironman Sports. We received a referral from a friend for Dr. Jafarnia. He and his staff were competent, friendly, professional and just amazing. Your staff gave us lots of time and treated my son with tenderness and professionalism. They also did a wonderful job of keeping me informed and educated on my son's condition, recuperation, and care. Dr. Jafarnia was aware and sensitive to our insurance situation and helped me to make informed decisions about my son's care. He also apologized profusely one morning when we were kept waiting (only for 20-30 minutes). We only wish we had found him and Ironman Sports sooner!
We originally went to see a Texas Children's Orthopedist but I did not feel that the physician was competent. We were kept waiting for over an hour and our bill from Texas Children's was over three times the amount that we were billed at Ironman Sports.
I truly appreciate the warm and professional atmosphere that you have cultivated at Ironman Sports. Your staff is amazing and we will definitely refer Ironman Sports to friends & family who are in need of orthopedic care.
Keri Clarbull, 48
(Finger amputation – result of necrotizing fasciitis / flesh-eating bacteria.)
“If Dr. Jafarnia had not intervened, they said that I would have been dead just days after the injury.”
It was Memorial Day weekend 2014. We went shopping and I bought a jar of strawberry rhubarb pie filling. We returned home and while unloading the car, it fell out and shattered all over the driveway. I picked up all of the glass pieces and ended up cutting myself. It was pretty deep. I thought I may need a stitch or two, but I put a “hello kitty” band aid on it and went on with my day. I thought it would be fine.
Read Keri's story.
Born to Buck
Cody Goodwin, 41
Rodeo cowboy, bareback riding
Injury: Tendonitis with a dislocating tendon, wrist fracture
Procedure: Wrist fracture repair, ECU (extensor carpi ulnaris) Stabilization
"I had a wrist fracture and tendonitis with a dislocating tendon. I was 40 years old at the time, but they treated me like I was in line for the championship title!"
I started riding at 15. I'm now 41 and still working towards the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) and pushing the envelope.
My injury was, in part, an accumulation of previous injuries. Bareback riding is like getting into a car wreck every time you ride. When my wrist finally broke, I was referred to Dr. Jafarnia by the sports medicine team. He treated me for a wrist fracture and tendonitis with a dislocating tendon.
I was 40 years old at the time, but they treated me like I was in line for the championship title!
He and his staff were awesome. Dr. Jafarnia performed an arthroscopic procedure (minimally invasive) and repaired a fracture and also stabilized a tendon that was dislocating.
The surgery happened pretty quickly and as the pain subsided the staff let me know what kinds of activities I needed to do to build back strength. I had a splint for six to nine weeks and pushed the envelope as hard as I could, until he would say slow down. My wrist is now above 100 percent.
He did a great job!
Fortunately, I haven't had any other problems and continue to work towards the NFR. My goal is to be a participant one day. There are still quite a lot of rodeos left this year.
After my injury, I had a slow start in the Texas Circuit but was still able to achieve the goals I had for that year. Bareback is a rough event. You have to be in pretty darn good shape, so I jog four miles every other day and lift every other day – just to develop lean muscle mass. I take real good care of my body, which is why I can at my age compete with 20 and 25-year-olds.
Generally, the average age for a rough stock rider is 18 to 30. At 41, you're pretty close to 100 in dog years! I'm not trying to say I'm special, but I just really enjoy the sport and comradery with other cowboys. Bareback riders love their job – born to buck. It's really fun.
I feel great today and don't even think about my injury. Dr. Jafarnia and his team aren't satisfied until you're back 100 percent. They really want you to achieve your goals and they take them as seriously as you do.
Ijeoma Ugwunze's Patient Story
Injury: Fourth metacarpal (hand) fracture
Procedure: Open reduction, internal fixation (ORIF)
Rice Owl Track and Field hopeful Ijeoma Ugwunze was seeded to be top three in the USA Track and Field (USATF) Indoor Championship 2015 (discus and shot put) and looking forward to helping her team continue on the road to the Track and Field Championships, when a training exercise resulted in a multi-part fourth metacarpal fracture on her left (non dominant) hand.
"My trainer looked at it and knew right away that it was a fracture. I went to see Dr. Jafarnia and was a bit scared at first that it was way worse than I thought. But he was really friendly and reassured me that everything was going to be okay.
I had my surgery on a Tuesday, where he put in a large plate and screws, and got on a plane on Wednesday morning for the USATF Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Al. I had to compete the next day. Dr. Jafarnia told the trainer that it wasn't a good idea. I probably shouldn't have competed so soon, but I really wanted to and ended up finishing 7, which wasn't too bad considering I had pretty big surgical bandages over my entire hand.
About three weeks later, I saw Dr. Jafarnia and he removed everything and recommended a cast from my knuckle to elbow for three weeks then a brace for three weeks - and we talked about getting it moving again.
Even with the cast, though I couldn't grip things, I found creative ways to lift things with my left arm and keep moving what I could. When all was removed I began working my wrist with weights. I still couldn't hold more than five or 10 pounds, but I just kept moving it.
My trainer gave me a week to make a fist on my own or he would force it. I made a fist!
I'm now about 90% back and working on my own to strengthen my hand. I can even snap now! I'm getting ready to compete in the USATF Outdoor Championship in El Paso.
I think because the recovery period was so short it didn't have a big impact on me - almost like it never really happened. When I was in the cast and couldn't do some events, I did feel aware of being able bodied and now have a stronger appreciation for that. It feels good having all of your body parts working!
You Gave a Boy His Dream
We all are very greatful for you giving our son back his dream. Last summer, we came to you with a broken wrist, right thumb, and then left thumb. If you remember, these injuries all happened one after another and seemed to have a dark cloud over Tristan's archery dreams.
After months of training and relearning to shoot, Tristan qualified at the US Trials in May to represent Team USA at the World Field Championships. We returned last week from shooting archery with the World's best archers and Olympians in Zagreb, Croatia. The experience was amazing. Numerous times at the tournament Tristan said he would not be here if it was not for you. THANK YOU!!!!
You gave a boy his dream. He shot along side Olympic archers who were at Sochi and now eyes are set on Rio. We are forever indebted to you and your entire staff.
I am including some pictures of the World Championships plus some other pictures of activities Tristan has been able to accomplish because of your skills from archery, football, roping, and hunting .
Thanks for your talents as a surgeon and encouragement,
Rice Volleyball Star Back on the Court after Freak Accident
Rice Volleyball Star Talks About Her Journey Back to the Court Following Hand Fracture
Read Full Story
Recently, I brought my mother in for better healthcare than what she was receiving at home. She has been ill for two years and no one was able to find a way to help her. She was seeing numerous doctors, had a biopsy, etc. and still was not getting better and losing almost all function of her hands. I knew the only thing to do was to bring her to Houston where we would get her the best medical care. My initial thought was the Medical Center in Houston but in my search for finding “the best” I was pleasantly surprised to find that the best were also at Methodist Willowbrook.
She has been seeing Dr. Jafarnia, Dr. Seaberg and Gail Hannahs in the Sports Medicine location of Willowbrook.
Dr. Jafarnia has saved my mom. He recognized right away what the problem was and the team went to work. In six weeks she is off pain medicine, has about 90% use of her hands and shoulders back and is like a new woman. With a little more therapy she will be 100%. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
Thank you for having such a great team at the Sports Medicine center in Willowbrook and helping my mom. They are outstanding!
Daniel & Rebecca Stockert-Grimm
Just a quick note to let you know how much we appricate all of your help and for getting Daniel patched up and ready to ride! You, your office, and your staff (especially Amanda) are all incredible and made breaking a few bones as pleasant as it gets. We've managed to swim, fish and play as hard as ever this summer thanks to your innovative splint too. Hope your summer is just as exciting with your own family!
Daniel & Rebecca Stockert-Grimm
Matthew - Take Two
We want to thank Dr. Jafarnia for his care of Matthew - from his first forearm fracture in pee wee football to his wrist fracture sustained in his first game of High School football... and every concern in between. Matthew had a fantastic year despite the rough start. We appreciate not only your expertise but your understanding of the passion that even these young athletes have for their sport.
Chris Brooks - Achieving his Olympic Dreams
Chris, a member of the US Men’s Junior National Team, experiences a potentially career ending, limb threatening injury - severely breaking both forearm bones when his grip catches on the high bar following a double back flip over the bar. He came to Dr. Jafarnia to repair the break and address complications from the injury.
“Dr. Jafarnia and the whole physical therapy crew are a crucial part of the possibility of my dream coming true. I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for them.”
Lee Messer is an active young boy on the move. He is often found at his neighborhood park exploring the trails, rollerblading or skateboarding. On a walk with his grandparents one day, he came across a rope swing and decided he’d give it a try as well.
But he lost his grip and fell - breaking his arm severely. A quick trip to the emergency room at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, the staff helped to calm him despite his painful injury - and Methodist Hand Specialist Dr. Korsh Jafarnia began assessing the extent of the break.
Lee’s complex break required multiple surgeries and a two-week hospital stay. But with the help of Dr. Jafarnia and his specialized occupational therapy team his bones made remarkable healing progress and he was released happy and healthy.
"They took my pins out, and my doctor said it wouldn't hurt. And it didn't!" said Lee, who is already back at the park, rollerblading.
We want to thank Dr. Korsh Jafarnia for his outstanding care of our son's first fracture....and returning him to the sport he loves!
Matthew was devastated when he broke his arm in football practice - thinking above all what that would mean to the rest of his season.
A junior Klein Bronco at the time (11), he was convinced his arm would never again be strong enough to play as he had....and junior high ball was just around the corner.
Dr. Jafarnia assured him that he would indeed be back 100 percent, citing athletes with similar breaks and reviewing with Matthew his x-rays in detail.
This past spring he removed the plates and screws he had placed to repair his "both bone forearm fracture" and sent them home as a souvenir.
Matthew suited up as a Senior Bronco and had an excellent season. He recently finished his first year on the junior high school Kleb Bearcats - celebrating a division win!
His arm has never been stronger, as repeatedly tested by his older brother(!), and his self confidence never higher. Thank you again, Gary and Cristy Hayes
I am a former patient of Dr. Jafarnia and highly recommend him as a surgeon and as a caring doctor. His professional profile and reassuring nature establishes ultimate confidence with his patients. I was more than pleased with the reconstructive hand surgery that he performed and was able to get complete use of my right hand. He is truly a great surgeon.
Baseball player talks about his tendon injury and the treatment that got him back in the game
We came to see Dr. Jafarnia after my daughter fell onto a large cactus. A portion of the thorn broke off in her pinky finger. Actually, we didn’t know it was lodged in her finger at first. In the ER nothing showed up on the X-ray, but there was a large lump that was very painful. There were no broken bones, but we knew something wasn’t right.
Dr. Jafarnia had treated my son’s finger and was recommended in the ER, so we went to see him. He extracted the thorn in an outpatient procedure - making two tiny incisions on the outside of her knuckle and pulling it through. She was back to normal and playing almost immediately.
The level of care and attention he gave my children was exceptional. I don’t think people realize that he does pediatric orthopedics, but he is outstanding. We feel great about his care with children. And at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, they treated my daughter like a queen - shoving popsicles in her face and showering her with attention. This was such a different experience than one we had at a large children’s hospital not long ago. They made us feel really special.
I hope not to need them again down the road......but my kids are very active and I have a funny feeling we will! We’ll definitely go back to them.
Rev. Rene Truan
I lacerated my left small finger while doing some volunteer work at church. I hooked it on a jagged fence and severely injured it - breaking a bone and severing arteries and nerves. I went to the ER and they irrigated it and sewed it up, but it needed special attention.
Dr. Jafarnia came highly recommended, so I went to see him. He was very warm and likable. He makes you feel very comfortable and jokes a lot - distracting you from the horrors of your injury.
He performed an outpatient procedure to repair all of the damage to my hand. Only a very skilled and knowledgeable doctor could have done what he did. I have complete use of my hand and am back doing everything I did before.
He has put together a great team - everything flowed very well. And that facility is just state of the art. Gail, the hand therapist, was fantastic. She is very skilled and helped me from the time my sutures were removed until I completed the range of motion she wanted to see. I called her “Nurse Ratched!” She gave me tools to work with at home as well. The care was excellent.
I see them now only on an “as needed” basis. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Dr. Jafarnia actually treated me and my 12-year-old son. We both broke our wrist.... at different times! And a boulder crushed my 15-year-old daughter’s hand. But, his colleague, Dr. Rand, saw her!
All of our stories are stupid. Stuff just happened.
When we first saw him for my son about a year ago, he treated his break without surgery. My son had a cast and then a brace. He’s back 100 percent now playing LaCross and Basketball. He just loves Dr. Jafarnia, because he’s funny and jokes around.
Then I broke my wrist in September. I was already scheduled for a different reconstruction procedure to address another issue and he was great about working around that. My break was a little worse than my son’s, but he treated it without surgery and put it in a brace that would accommodate the 12-hour reconstruction procedure I needed to undergo. Everything is great now.
Dr. Jafarnia and his staff are always so fantastic. You can tell that they’ve worked together for a long time and really care about what they do and their patients.
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