Patient Story - Donna Arbuckle

Lee’s Summit resident Donna Arbuckle and her husband, Gary, routinely walk their chocolate cocker spaniel, Maisy, past Lee’s Summit Medical Center. The acute-care hospital is a short two-block jaunt from their home, and Arbuckle likes the fact that top-notch medical resources are readily accessible in her neighborhood. Last December, right before Christmas, Arbuckle experienced firsthand the patient-first care that is the hospital’s trademark.

“I don’t know how it happened, but the rotator cuff in my right shoulder tore,” says Arbuckle, who was an athlete in her younger years. “In addition, I had a partially torn bicep tendon, which was even more painful.”

Arbuckle knows two nurses who work at Lee’s Summit Orthopedics, part of Midwest Physicians, with Nathan Melton, DO, and decided to make an appointment for a consultation. She was delighted with not only the compassionate care she discovered, but also a discernable “this is family” atmosphere in the office. As the mother of three grown children, Arbuckle says a nurturing attitude is important when it comes to her healthcare providers.

“I may sound like your mother,” laughs Arbuckle, “but Dr. Melton and his staff were friendly and concerned and talked to me in a manner I could understand. And I could tell they were vested in my recovery.”

Dr. Melton, who is affiliated with Lee’s Summit Medical Center, scheduled Arbuckle for December 15, 2011, arthroscopic shoulder surgery at the hospital. He repaired both the torn rotator cuff and the ruptured bicep tendon, and prescribed a rigorous physical therapy regiment for Arbuckle that began a few days before Christmas.

“Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is one that offers remarkable outcomes and is the approach I use with many of my patients with torn rotator cuffs,” says Dr. Melton. “The incision is small and the recovery time is often quicker in comparison to traditional rotator cuff surgery.”

By the beginning of March, Arbuckle could lift her right arm above her head—a welcome relief for the active grandmother, business owner and family dog walker. “I’m online a lot, I like to work around the house and of course, what woman doesn’t like to be able to do her own hair and makeup,” says Arbuckle, relieved that she’s regained the strength in arm to resume everyday activities.

Arbuckle has suggested Dr. Melton to several of her friends who require orthopedic surgery—recommendations she doesn’t take lightly. “A physician has to earn my trust and confidence,” she says. “Dr. Melton and his staff certainly have my vote.”

Today, when Arbuckle and her husband take Maisy for a spin around the block, she can lift her right arm for a quick wave at the neighbor, Lee’s Summit Medical Center.

“And there’s no pain when I do that, thanks to Dr. Melton,” grins Arbuckle.