GDO Patient Story – Jennifer S.

At Greater Dallas Orthopaedics, the ultimate measure of success is patient satisfaction. We are honored when past patients reach out and are willing to share their stories and how GDO impacted their lives.

In this patient story, we hear from Jennifer S. She’s a patient of Dr. Gilbert’s whose story spans almost four years. Through that long journey, she credits Dr. Gilbert’s transparency and sense of humor, as well as GDO’s warmth, with keeping her calm and alleviating stress as her treatment never seemed to quite reach its conclusion. However, we’re happy to report Jennifer has had clean, healthy MRIs for a long while now!

Learn more about her story below.

Around June of 2015, shortly after my youngest child arrived, I found a hard spot behind my knee on my right leg. I thought it was likely a strained tendon, and with how busy life was at that moment, I just put it on the back burner.

A few months later, while grocery shopping, I lost my balance and fractured my foot. I visited a local orthopedic doctor, and while my foot was being examined, I asked about the hard spot behind my knee. Immediately, I could see his face get more serious, and he told me I needed an MRI. He was concerned it was a mass.

I had to wait a few days to receive results, but when they arrived, they confirmed it was a mass. However, they couldn’t tell me precisely what kind of mass it was. I was referred to Dr. Gilbert at Greater Dallas Orthopaedics.

My first meeting with Dr. Gilbert was the first time I felt calm during this period of uncertainty. He was the most compassionate doctor I’d ever met with, and the staff of GDO was just the sweetest. Within a couple of days of my first consultation, Dr. Gilbert scheduled a biopsy.

My brain was in a fog while I waited for results. Was it cancer? Was it not? And then we got the news – it was a desmoid tumor, an aggressive fibromatosis with a high reoccurrence rate. 

This was a tough diagnosis for me to wrap my head around, But Dr. Gilbert made this complex diagnosis seem simple and came up with a plan involving surgery followed by radiation.

Surgery day arrived, and it was followed by 2 months of radiation. I had to put both my kids in daycare as my radiation schedule was 5 days a week. During this time, Dr. Gilbert and the GDO team were there for me, keeping me at ease.

Dr. Gilbert and I hoped for the best when radiation was completed, and my first MRI was clear! I was so relieved after this long and stressful journey. Dr. Gilbert advised an MRI every six months, and I soon had a year of clear tests! We continued with twice-a-year MRIs for another year, and eventually, something new popped up.

My background is in science, so I asked Dr. Gilbert to paint a very clear picture for me. I wanted to know as much as possible, and Dr. Gilbert gave me all of the transparency I needed. I appreciated this so much.

We kept an eye on things, and two MRIs later, it started to grow. Two full years after my initial surgery, Dr. Gilbert was creating a new treatment plan for me. There was a key difference between this growth and the first tumor – it was smaller but wrapped around a main artery in my knee.

Dr. Gilbert told me that the location of this tumor meant chemo. Specifically, nine rounds of chemo followed by surgery. Through the chemo, the tumor didn’t shrink, but it did stabilize. 

I was under a lot of stress leading up to the surgery, but as always, the GDO team put me at ease. Dr. Gilbert performed the surgery, and unfortunately, it was impossible to avoid an important nerve in my leg. Coming out of the surgery, I wasn’t able to lift my foot, but after six months of physical therapy, I’ve regained most of my function! 

However, during physical therapy, my story took another turn. The PT realized that the spot behind my knee never fully healed and actually began to leak fluid. Something had burst during that therapy session, and a fluid pocket had developed.

Once again, I was in Dr. Gilbert’s office discussing a treatment plan. As always, he brought humor, compassion, and transparency into the exam room. He wanted to address the issue right away, as my leg began to swell up tremendously. An ultrasound revealed a deep vein thrombosis blood clot.

Dr. Gilbert eased my nerves, got me on blood thinners, and scheduled my final surgery. He successfully cleaned everything out, and I healed up completely this time around. In just a few months, my blood clot had totally healed! Six months later, my physical therapy was completed, and today, I’m nearly 100%! All of this is thanks to Dr. Gilbert and the GDO team.

During this long, stressful journey, I worked with too many doctors to count, but Dr. Gilbert and his transparency and calm demeanor really stand out to me. You feel like he’s being 100% honest and upfront, and he never talks down to you. He’s truly genuine when he’s helping his patients. 

I’ve never felt guilty calling with any questions that have come up, it’s never even been a second thought. GDO is just that inviting! 

After all of these surgeries, Dr. Gilbert and I have built up such a rapport. We share stories, he knows about my family, and he always checks up on them. In fact, with my regular check-ins, everyone at GDO knows me. They all know my name, which is so welcoming and so personal. 

Honestly, I couldn’t recommend GDO highly enough. With a rare, uncharted ailment, they really provided me with compassion and a clear path. You can find comfort in their expertise and in the experience you have in their office and with their people.

Thank you, Dr. Gilbert and GDO!

We’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Jennifer for allowing us to share her story! Through all the twists and turns, Dr. Gilbert and the GDO team were always impressed with your attitude and your optimism. We look forward to seeing you again soon for your next all-clear exam! 

We can’t wait to share our next GDO patient story with you all in the near future.

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