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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. 

May 25, 2022 Reporting from Niles, MI
Spectrum Health Lakeland delivers good medicine - Orlando Valera
May 25, 2022
Orthopedic surgeons are specially trained to help patients manage certain conditions, relieve pain, restore mobility and independence, or return to work and other daily activities. To find an orthopedic surgeon near you, contact us.&nb

Spectrum Health Lakeland delivers good medicine - Orlando Valera

SpectrumHealth Lakeland

Spectrum Health Lakeland delivers good medicine - Orlando Valera

May, 2022

Physicians: Jeffrey Postma, DODavid Collins, MD

Orthopedic surgeons are specially trained to help patients manage certain conditions, relieve pain, restore mobility and independence, or return to work and other daily activities. To find an orthopedic surgeon near you, contact us

Benton Harbor resident, Orlando Valera, first noticed pain in both of his knees around three years ago. As the sole provider for his family, he pushed through each day in hopes that the pain would go away. When it continued to worsen, he decided to visit his primary care provider, David Collins, MD.

After explaining his typical daily activities and the type of pain he was experiencing, Orlando’s doctor suggested several pain control methods such as medication and cortico-steroid injections.

“These both helped initially,” said Orlando. “But unfortunately, over time they became less effective. I started missing more days at work. I knew I needed a more permanent solution.”

Orlando’s doctor referred him to Spectrum Health Lakeland orthopedic surgeon, Jeffrey Postma, DO, in Coloma. When he arrived for his appointment, he was pleased to meet registered medical assistant, Luz Perez, who greeted Orlando in Spanish and offered to help translate for him during his appointments.

“I had high hopes that Dr. Postma would help me,” said Orlando. “I was, however, nervous that he would recommend surgery.”

Dr. Postma took X-rays and discovered that Orlando would need to have both knees replaced for the pain to stop.

“I appreciated Dr. Postma’s honesty about surgery being the best option,” said Orlando. “I had 100% confidence in him.”

When Orlando received a price estimate for the surgery, he was concerned about how he would be able to afford it without insurance. The average cost of a single total knee replacement is around $40,000. Not giving up hope, Orlando reached out to a financial counselor to see what payment options were available.

“I didn’t know Lakeland even offered this service,” said Orlando. “The financial counselor helped me find a way to afford both surgeries. I’m grateful because without the assistance, I probably would have lived with the pain for the rest of my life.”

Orlando had surgery on his left knee in June 2021 at Spectrum Health Lakeland Watervliet Hospital. Two months later, he had surgery on his right knee. He was discharged home the next day after both surgeries.

“All the nurses at the hospital treated me with respect and made sure I was comfortable,” said Orlando. “Dr. Postma also checked on me frequently.”

For the first three weeks post-surgery, Orlando did in-home physical therapy to regain his strength and mobility. Shortly after, he began physical therapy at Spectrum Health Lakeland Rehabilitation in Coloma

“Even after I completed my physical therapy, I took all the exercises I learned and continued to do them at home,” said Orlando. “My physical therapist reassured me that I could call to schedule an appointment if I was ever feeling any pain after the exercises.”

Orlando looks forward to getting back to work, going fishing, and taking long nature walks with his wife.

“I plan to tell everyone about my positive experience with Dr. Postma and how the financial counseling department helped me,” said Orlando. “Don’t let the fear of surgery costs prevent you from fixing your pain.” 

Watch more of Orlando's story in the video below:

Spectrum Health Lakeland offers free services to assist with your billing needs. Get started today with an in-person meeting, virtual appointment, or phone consultation. For more information, or to schedule a free appointment, call 844.408.4103, option 1, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Counselors can also be reached at or by submitting a request online.


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