If there is one thing our doctors know, it’s that many of our patients have different thresholds for pain tolerance. Some can withstand a great deal of pain and still move on with their day, while that same pain may seemingly debilitate others. One patient in-particular, Rolland Correll, is no stranger to high pain tolerance and has endured pain in his life that goes far beyond any orthopaedic condition he suffers from.
Rolland is a 94 year old World War II veteran who was held as a prisoner of war (POW) by the Germans in September of 1944. He, along with the other men in his company, was captured, starved, and forced to work om horrific conditions. At his worst, when Rolland's body couldn't take anymore, he went into a coma. To the surprise of his barracks buddies, Rolland had awoken from his coma five days later. He was jaundiced and weak beyond belief but was forced by Germans to continue working.
After seven months of being held in POW, Rolland and his barrack buddies were finally rescued on April 29th, 1945. He was free man again. An article written by The Morning Call several years ago describes his experience during WWII in detail.
Despite living in such treacherous, conditions for an extended time, Rolland came home and made a wonderful life for himself. He got married, had 2 children, and worked for many years as an electrician to provide for his family.
Towards the end of his career as an electrician, while Rolland was in his late 50s, he was forced to retire due to cardiac issues that left him dizzy and unstable. For an active man like Rolland, sitting around was not going to cut it. Luckily, he was able to find a doctor that could address his cardiac issues, which allowed him to continue his active lifestyle for many years.
Today, at 94 years old, Rolland still prides himself on being independent. His memory is sharp, but he, unfortunately, could not say the same about his hands. “I would be in the middle of a sound sleep and wake up yelling in pain that was radiating from my hand up my arm,” said Rolland. “There were times I thought I was having a stroke.” This pain continued for Rolland and eventually started to affect his everyday life. “I even had a hard time holding a cup of coffee,” he shared. The pain and loss of functionality became quite debilitating to his independent lifestyle.
This is when Rolland’s son Geoffrey realized his father needed more help than a typical pain reliever could provide. “One of my friends referred us to Dr. Talsania,” said Geoffrey Correll. “She is a musician and raved about the treatment she received from him.”
Dr. Talsania was the first fellowship-trained hand surgeon in the Lehigh Valley. He joined OAA Orthopaedic Specialists in 1997 and devotes the management of his practice to the treatment of the hands and upper extremities.
When Dr. Talsania met Rolland and learned more about his background, he felt privileged to provide him with the medical treatment he deserved after all he had gone through for our country. “Providing quality care to all of my patients is such an honor for me,” said Dr. Talsania. “But when you meet a patient like Rolland, it strikes a different cord. He has been through so much in his life and endured things that many of us can’t even imagine. I wanted nothing more than to relieve him from his pain and help him regain normal function of his hands and wrists.”
It turned out that Rolland was suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome in both of his arms. This explained why all five fingers on each of his hands were numb, tingly and causing him pain at night.
As Rolland failed to improve with splinting and injections, Dr. Talsania knew that surgery would be his best treatment option. Rolland agreed and shortly set up an appointment for surgery to address the issue in his dominant right arm. Rolland flew through the procedure with flying colors!
“We’re so impressed with Dr. Talsania,” said Geoffrey Correll, “The incision he made was so tiny and healed in a way that you can barely even find it on my father’s hand. We couldn’t be more grateful to him.” Since having surgery on his dominant arm, Rolland confidently states, “I feel like nothing was ever wrong with my hand.” Rolland recently underwent his second surgery to his left arm and is doing extremely well with the resolution of his pain and numbness, allowing him to sleep through the night again.
At OAA we pride ourselves in providing treatment that helps to maximize our patients’ ability to function so that they can continue to live an active and independent lifestyle. To Schedule, an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians, call 610-973-6200 or fill out the “Request an Appointment” form on our website.