OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Emily

January 02, 2019

Meet Emily – a student of Lehigh Carbon Community College with a deep interest and appreciation for anatomy and physiology. Some might say that Emily’s interest in anatomy and physiology stemmed from an accident she had at just two years of age where she broke her 5th phalanx, otherwise known as the pinky finger.

emily-and-providers-(1).jpgUnfortunately, this break never healed correctly, and she was left with a deformed pinky that was severely out of alignment. Emily’s parents were told by her pediatrician at the time that despite the deformity, if her pinky finger didn’t give her any problems, there was no need to have an unnecessary surgery. As Emily got older, she become more aware of the fact that her hand looked different from those around her.

“I always knew my pinky was different,” said Emily. “As I grew older, I became very self-conscious of my hand, especially, after people would ask me questions or make remarks about its appearance.”

Eventually, the deformity of her hand became too much of an inconvenience and something that Emily was no longer willing to tolerate. She found that her finger would easily get caught on things while trying to complete everyday tasks. As a very active young woman, she desperately wanted to be able to fully enjoy the activities she loves most without having to worry about her finger.

In June of 2018, Emily was officially ready to make a change and learn more about her options so she scheduled an appointment with Lawrence Weiss, MD, hand surgeon at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists.

Upon meeting Emily for the first time, Dr. Weiss began formulating a treatment plan that would best suit her needs. “Since she had this deformity and functional limitation of her hand for such a long time, Emily was open to considering any and all treatment options,” said Lawrence Weiss, OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, hand surgeon.

Dr. Weiss knew immediately that any correction to the deformity of her finger and relief of her pain would require surgery. He made it clear to Emily from the start that this type of surgery would certainly not come without risks for increased stiffness and pain. For Emily, the risk was worth the reward. It was important to her to do everything she could to try and correct the deformity and pain she had lived with since her accident at a young age. She knew after meeting Dr. Weiss and his physician assistant, Kelsey Powell, PA-C, that she was in the right hands.

“Dr. Weiss was so compassionate, patient, and informative in regard to all my questions and concerns about the procedure,” stated Emily. “Kelsey, his PA-C, was also excellent and really made me feel at ease.” Shortly after her first appointment, Emily was scheduled for surgery with Dr. Weiss.

“Given Emily’s slight stature, her bones were quite tiny,” stated Dr. Weiss. “This required a bit of finesse to properly reorient her finger after the bone was cut and further pin stabilization used to hold the corrected alignment.”

Despite the challenges of the surgery, Dr. Weiss and Emily were both pleased with the outcome, and the recovery process had begun.

“There were some moments and days of discomfort, but I see it as a temporary discomfort for a permanent change,” said Emily. “Dr. Weiss did such a fantastic job on my finger and it looks so much better. He is such a skilled and intelligent physician that I highly recommend him to family and friends who are seeking orthopaedic care. It was a true honor receiving care from both Dr. Weiss and Kelsey.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Weiss or one of the hand surgeons from OAA’s Hand Center, call OAA today at 610-973-6200.