Donald Criss' Story

Donald Criss motorcycleDonald Criss, of Palmyra, is an avid motorcyclist, so when he started having trouble gripping the handle bars on his bike, he knew it was time to have it checked out.

"I had been to Dr. Aziz for two previous partial knee replacements," said Donald. "So, I knew I wanted him to look at my hand."

Donald stated that his left hand started bothering him to the point he couldn't hold a glass and pain would shoot up through his thumb whenever he would try to hold something. In addition, he was having trouble riding his bike, "I couldn't pull the clutch in without a lot of pain."

"Donald came to me with complaints of pain in his left thumb," said St.Vincent Salem Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon, Waqar Aziz, MD. "After examination and testing, we found he was suffering from Basal Thumb Arthritis. He also had pain in his right hand, but it wasn't as severe as the left, so we decided to start with the left hand and hold off on the right hand for the time being."

According to Dr. Aziz, Donald's case was fairly straight-forward. During the outpatient procedure, Donald's own tissue was used to reconstruct the basal joint and some of the arthritic bone was removed to alleviate the rubbing together of the arthritic area.

Donald Criss poolThe same surgery was performed again a few months later on his right hand. "I wanted to wait until the fall to have my right hand done so that I could ride my motorcycle during the summer," said Donald.

After both surgeries, Donald met with St.Vincent Salem occupational therapist, Beth Fleenor. She worked with him for a few sessions, teaching him exercises to help regain the use of his thumbs.

According to Donald, "They got me back on my feet really quick after all my surgeries! Everyone was great. I am back working on my cars, riding my motorcycle. Before the surgery, I could hardly hold a pen in my hand to sign my name. You don't realize how much you depend on your hands until you get to the point that you can't use them."

According to Dr. Aziz, "New advances over the last couple of years have made recovery times quicker and outcomes better for surgeries such as Donald's. We have incorporated these techniques in our practice at St.Vincent Salem and have had very impressive outcomes for our patients."

Dr. Aziz now offers a comprehensive hand clinic one day a week in his Salem office. The clinic focuses on the treatment of injuries such as Harriett's and other common hand, wrist and elbow issues. The clinic also includes a dedicated occupational hand therapist who is available for consultation during clinic hours.

Dr. Aziz has had extensive training in hand and micro-surgical techniques. He completed six years of hand, elbow and shoulder training at the world-renowned Kleinert Kutz Hand Center and the University of Vienna Medical Academy.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Aziz, call 812-883-8525.