When it comes to treatment for problems with her hands, wrist or shoulder, Barbara Hughes wouldn’t think of going to anyone except Jonathan Tueting, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Rush Copley’s Hand and Upper Extremity Center. To see him, the 78-year-old retired attorney drives two-and-a-half hours from Madison, Wisconsin.
“He’s so good,” she says, “and he’s the nicest surgeon I’ve ever had. He’s very kind.”
‘I would follow him anywhere’
Barbara became Tueting’s patient more than eight years ago when he was an orthopedic resident at the University of Wisconsin. She has needed multiple surgeries, due to arthritis, and Tueting performed several of them while he was practicing in Wisconsin. She continued seeing him for her hand and wrist procedures even after he joined Castle Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Aurora, Illinois, in 2018.
“I would follow him anywhere if I needed any upper extremity surgery,” she says.
And she has. She has traveled to Aurora for a shoulder replacement, two thumb surgeries to replace joints, an index finger surgery to remove bony lumps in the joint, and a procedure to reduce pressure on a tendon in the wrist.
A few of these surgeries were outpatient, and she had someone drive her to Aurora and home again the same day. However, the shoulder replacement was an early morning surgery that required an overnight stay in the hospital. For that, she arrived the night before surgery and stayed in a hotel.
Following surgery, Barbara does physical and occupational therapy in Madison, but she always travels to Aurora for her follow-up visits.
Kind and responsive
She praises Tueting for consistently fitting her into his schedule, typically seeing her in the early afternoon so she is back in Madison before rush hour.
“Dr. Tueting and his staff have always been the best, the kindest and the most responsive of all the orthopedic surgery teams I’ve ever experienced,” Barbara says, “and in my case, there have been many due to my arthritis. That makes me a really good judge of surgeons.”
Barbara also attributes her good results to her physical and occupational therapists — and her commitment to faithfully follow her prescribed exercise regimen. “I follow their instructions to the letter,” she says. “That’s how I get good results.”
Thanks to Tueting and her successful procedures, Barbara is able to cook, write, type and use her hands for many activities that others take for granted. Recently, she was even able to use her hands and wrists to pull herself up and down the stairs while healing from a foot surgery.
She has total confidence in Tueting’s abilities.
“I go into a surgery with Dr. Tueting without any worries or losing any sleep, knowing that everything will come out for the best,” she says. “They fix me up every time.”