Our Patients Say it Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Four Surgeries in Four Years - John Hoffman


Aug, 2019

Physicians: Daniel Sohn, MD

Four surgeries in four years – this was the reality for 75-year-old, Benton Harbor resident, John Hoffman. After spending countless hours walking across concrete floors in the warehouse where he worked, his knees slowly began to give out.

“I was in pain for a long time and tried to live with it as long as I could,” said John. “Eventually it became unbearable and I knew I had to do something to fix the problem.”

John had heard good things from his friends and family about orthopedic surgeon, Daniel Sohn, MD, and turned to him to help take away the pain. After evaluating John’s condition, Dr. Sohn performed an arthroscopy on his left knee, which was in worse condition at the time. The surgical technique uses a tiny camera — called an arthroscope — inserted into the knee which allows the surgeon to view the joint and correct the issue using small instruments.

The procedure provided a temporary fix, but eventually the intense pain returned. This time around John underwent a total knee replacement to resurface the damaged knee and create an artificial joint.

“The surgery on my left knee was very successful and after undergoing rehabilitation I felt great and had gained back most of my mobility,” said John.

However, a year later, the familiar nagging pain was back in his right knee. Once again, John turned to Dr. Sohn.

“I knew I would need to have surgery again,” said John. “Dr. Sohn was very open about what was happening during each step of the process and had excellent bedside manner.”

The second surgery went just as well and John was relieved to have two new knees. It wasn’t until a couple years later that the pain returned – this time in his shoulders.

“The pain got so bad I couldn’t raise my arms above my shoulders,” said John. “I didn’t have much use of my hands any longer and had to stop doing many of the activities I loved such as woodworking and cooking for my family.”

The first course of treatment recommended for John’s shoulders was Cortisone shots which are injected into the joint to help relieve pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, the shots aren’t a permanent fix, and as the pain continued to worsen, John ultimately knew surgery was his best option.

“Dr. Sohn tried his best to avoid another surgery, but the pain was just too intense and was stopping me from living my life,” said John. “He discussed all of my options and in the end I trusted his decision.”

Two years and two total shoulder replacements later and John is back to living life pain free. Following each surgery John worked with Lakeland Rehabilitation to gain back his strength and mobility and transition into life back home. He’s picked up woodworking again and looks forward to cooking Sunday brunch for his family after church each weekend.

“I still have some pain but I’m finally able to use my arms again,” said John. “I would recommend Dr. Sohn to anyone.”

The specially-trained orthopedic surgeons at Spectrum Health Lakeland are here to help relieve your pain, restore your mobility and independence, and get you back to work and other normal activities. To find an orthopedic surgeon near you, call 888.313.9167 or click here.


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