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Orthopedic surgeon strives to empower patients to make best health care decisions

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  • Written By: Kim Phagan-Hansel
Orthopedic surgeon strives to empower patients to make best health care decisions

On October 10, 2018, everything changed for 38-year-old Joseph Green. A fall, that took him to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, left him with a badly injured shoulder. After visiting with a couple of different doctors, even one out-of-state, Joseph decided that Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine surgeon Dr. Stanford Israelsen was his best option for shoulder surgery.

“He was close to home and it was more of a convenience factor at first,” Joseph said. But after meeting Dr. Israelsen, Joseph was impressed with the doctor’s demeanor and professionalism.

“He was very thorough going through everything,” Joseph said. Because “this was the first thing I’ve ever broken,” he said, “the whole process was really challenging for me.”

But with Dr. Israelsen’s time and patience, Joseph said he had a clear understanding of what to expect and what recovery would look like. This is something Dr. Israelsen says is important when building a trusting relationship with patients.

Dr. Stanford Israelsen board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Powder River Orthopedics & Spine in Gillette, Wyoming“Our discussion always includes the various treatment options and we talk about the risk and potential outcomes,” Dr. Israelsen said. “My job is to provide them with the relevant information and help them make an informed decision.”

This is something Dr. Israelsen believes helps patients feel empowered to navigate their health care needs and make the right decision for themselves.

“I try not to sugar coat things for my patients,” Dr. Israelsen. “I want them to have realistic expectations going into it.”

While a rotator cuff repair is a pretty common surgery that Dr. Israelsen says is a “minimally invasive technique using a small camera through a small incision in the arm,” the recovery can be challenging—and it can be quite painful.

“Recovery from shoulder surgery takes time and is generally pretty slow to heal,” Dr. Israelsen said.

For Joseph, who underwent surgery on October 30, the recovery time took around three months, which is fairly quick. Dr. Israelsen credits Joseph’s age and commitment to physical therapy for the faster turnaround.

“The recovery time was awesome,” Joseph said. “I was back to work in three months and I have minimal pain.”

For Dr. Israelsen, Joseph’s outcome is exactly what he strives for with each and every patient and being able to close a patient’s file with a full recovery notation is what he considers a success.

“I enjoy the last visit where the patient is satisfied with the outcome and able to return to what they want to do,” Dr. Israelsen said.

Expert Orthopedic & Spine Care In Gillette, Wyoming

Dr. Stanford Israelsen is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine in Gillette, Wyoming. The physicians at WYOS take an innovative and comprehensive approach to the treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic pain. Have your procedure in our modern operating rooms at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or Powder River Surgery Center.

For a consultation, call 307.686.1413 or visit

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer

  • Category: Emergency Department, Patient Care, Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine, Campbell County Medical Group clinic, Powder River Surgery Center, Surgery