Patient Testimonials

An automobile accident two years ago left me with RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) in my left arm. The pain medications put me in a fog and did not diminish the horrible burning pain.

After 5 months of pain, I was referred to Dr Richard Hood. Dr Hood is a compassionate physician that listens to his patients. I trust him completely with my medical care. Dr Hood started treatment of nerve blocks right away.

In April 2009, I had the permanent Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) implanted. The St Jude Medical Neurostimulation System SCS has been successful in alleviating my pain.

Although the Ft Myers office is closer to me, I prefer the Estero office. The staff is wonderful and the patient flow is better.

Thank you very much Dr Richard Hood, Laura Holland, PA, St Jude Medical Representative Dawn Durham and all the staff at Institute for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine for improving my quality of life!
— Susan Varcalli
Dr. Fifer has performed surgery on me several times (shoulders, knees, wrist) and I have been so happy with him and his entire staff.

My last surgery was on my right knee, and when I came back for the follow-up visit, I expressed to him that I was so pleased with him and the entire staff, and asked if he could recommend a foot doctor who could help me. In 2005, I had major surgery on all 10 toes - both feet. I had bunions and hammer toes. I was not aware that you had a doctor who could do this, so I went elsewhere. My doctor did a great job in straightening out the toes, but from walking with my toes turned under, I had large bumps on top of them after they were straightened. These bumps rubbed on the inside of my shoes and caused the skin to be rubbed off (blisters) on tops of 6 toes. I had to wrap them in bandages, and could only wear slides with the heel and toe out.

Dr. Fifer immediately told me about Dr. Kleiman and recommended him highly. I was so happy to know that I could get my toes taken care of by one of Dr. Fifer’s associates, because I have always been so happy with his care and the results of all my problems.

Dr. Kleiman did surgery on my toes on 6/14/2010 and he did an excellent job in trimming the bones down and removing spurs, and they look wonderfully straight and low, so they should not rub any more. I know after they get healed (another week), I will be able to wear shoes and not get blisters. I am so happy to get this done since I have suffered with this problem for the past 5 years.

Please tell Dr. Fifer and Dr. Kleiman how pleased I am with them, and let them know that I will always recommend my friends and family to them for their needs. God bless you all, and thank you for being there for me.
— S Karen B
Dr Hood has made it possible for me to survive the last 3+ years. I was in so much pain that I could barely think the first time I saw Dr. Hood. My old doctor (quack I think) told me that there was no such thing as Fibromyalgia and that the pain I was having was caused by depression and nothing would help. Dr. Hood did a full check out that day; told me that I did in fact have Fibromyalgia, shoulder, back, hip, knee, and wrist pain. Some of it from the Fibromyalgia and some from Carpal Tunnel and some just from the damage from the car accidents. He spent time talking to me, getting to know me, HE LISTENED to me, and he gave me some medication specifically for the Fibromyalgia and some just for the pain. From that day till today my life has been so much better. Everyone talks about the quality of life...Mine has improved drastically since I started seeing Dr. Hood, Laura, and Amber. I have also lost my family during my time as a patient here and Dr. Hood understood about the grief, the confusion, and even the financial problems that I was having and adjusted the type of medication I was taking from a monthly cost of $120.00 to a monthly cost of $39.00; and helped me to get a year of my Fibromyalgia medication free from the distributor; so with the same quality of relief in the medication and the free medication I can continue to have the quality of life I have come to enjoy. I cannot imagine the last nearly four years of my life without Dr. Hood and the Ladies and I thank God regularly for sending me to Dr. Hood! I tell EVERYONE I know to call for Dr. Hood, and I have even told some people I did not know, just noticed they were in pain so I told them to call Dr. Hood and gave them his number!!
— Diana R
Dr. R. Andrew Follweiler treated me with excellent knowledge of my situation and recommended various treatments along with physical therapy. Thanks again Steve Denman
— Stephen D
When I met George Markovich, MD. last October I knew we were going to be a dynamic team. My having 35 yrs in Acute Care health svcs (Nursing) didn’t hurt, and Dr. Markovich did acknowledge same. I want to thank you, Dr. Markovich for saving my life (as I had come to know it-without severe disability)! And, must admit that the assistance he & I received from all ancillary, medical, professional, inpatient, outpatient, and homepatient care staff was exemplary! THANK YOU ALL.
— Linda LeSure
I want to thank Dr.Gomez for the great job he did giving me my Two Hip Replacements. Prior to my 2nd Hip Replacement, the pain was so severe, I was forced to discontinue all physical activity, I stopped doing everything I enjoyed, therefore I stopped living. Now I have Two terrific new Hips, I am living a great lifestyle doing everything I want to do, so many things that I once thought I would never do again, thanks to Dr. Gomez I have gotten back my Life.

Thank you Dr. Gomez
— Mary Chamberlain
From my initial phone call to my last visit the Staff at Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine presented a courteous, efficient, skilled and pleasant demeanor. I was surprised to have an appointment within 24hrs of making my first call to the office. On the morning of my visit, the paperwork was processed in a prompt manner to minimize delays, and my wait time was minimal. For my tennis injury I was seen by Dr. Follweiler. I found Dr. Follweiler attentive, methodical, and I was impressed that he took the time to assess my injury, and present a choice of treatments to heal my wrist that fit with my lifestyle. My wrist is feeling much better, and I was pain free during a recent tennis game. Thank you.
— Ciara M
The Follweiller crew was amazing. I always felt like I was at “Cheers”. Everyone involved was professional, courteous and everything I’d hoped for. Having surgery is very disconcerting but the staff made me feel like everything was in control as it was. Thank you all so much.
— Steve I
I suffered from a herniated L5-S1 disc since 2000 and a SI joint issue since 2006. Both on the right side. I could not sit, get out of the car or most other physical activities without severe pain and constant muscle spasms. I was referred to Dr. Hood in 2006. We tried the injections,but it didn’t work. In 2009 we tried again with good results.

Dr. Hood continued to treated me over the next several months discovering what areas were helped and for how long. This was a dialog that had to be precise if we were to continue to improve the results. At one point it became clear that injections alone would not reduce the pain enough or for long enough. Dr. Hood suggested a Rhizotomy on the L5 and SI joints, which deadens the sensory nerves while leave the motor nerves intact.

After a little research but mostly on the trust built over the preceding months I had the procedure done. An astonishing 50% of the pain was gone but an
unbelievable 90% of the frequency of pain was gone too. Truly, anyone who suffers from SI joint pain would call this a new lease on life if not a miracle.

Thank you for listening.
— Neil Gomeringer
The purpose of this letter is to recognize your Estero Physical Therapy Team. Julie, Alex, Danny, and Jamie are all proficient in their jobs and considerate of the people in need of their services. However, I would like to single out Jim Schlemmer, as most of my therapy has been under Jim’s care.

This past July, I had knee surgery, beginning PT shortly thereafter. I progressed well but soon began having different symptoms and pain. Long story short and several tests later, it became apparent that I had back issues that were complicating my physical therapy. Jim was very extensive in his questioning of my symptoms, his exercise recommendations, analysis of what was working the best, and trying to get to the exact root cause of my discomfort. Although he obviously has a number of patients that he is responsible for, he is totally focused on each one during their session with him. He treats each person with respect and analyzes each persons needs to make sure that they can become pain free and functional as quickly as possible.

Aside from the physical care your therapists provide, they are also sensitive to the emotional side of a persons situation. Being a fairly recent widow, I was finding that attending the formal PT sessions during the Christmas season was somewhat stressful. Jim, with Alex’s input, understood and agreed that I could return after the Holidays. Obviously, I am continuing the therapy at home until I return for their evaluation. I am so grateful for their understanding.

In closing, the entire team is an asset to your organization. Although I kidded Jim that I would rather not see so much of him in 2012, I know that he would be an outstanding therapist should I require those services again.
— Pat Montgomery
At age 52, I was diagnosed with severe hip arthritis. Each year following, until my 55th birhtday, the pain and lack of mobility increased to the point that i could barely walk two blocks without stopping to rest and then turn around and go back home. I Needed Ibuprofen and Darvocet to get me through a six hour day with at least bearable pain.
Because of the severe arthritis and bone on bone condition into which my hip deteriorated, i walked with a severe limp (which caused collateral damage to my knees) Yet, I was immensely frightened to have to lose my real hip to a replacement. Although surgery was complicated, (due to the degeneration of the bone and socket) and although the physical therapy and rehabilitiation were far longer thatn i had expected; the final end result was that i was able to walk without a limp whatsoever, and best of all without pain, for the first time in four years. The successful outcome would never have been realized without Dr Markovich’s unparalleled surigical skills and supreme expertise and committment. Both Dr Markovich and Pat told me emphatically beforehand that the surgery would be a success and that I would return to their offices to thank them. Indeed, it was and indeed, I did! I thank them today immensely for their candor, their skill, and for my ability to return to a more normal active livestyle. I cannot sing their praises enough.
— Donna P
I want to let you folks know how much I appreciated all that you did for me over the last 2 1/2 years. Angela at the chcek in desk always had a smile on her face and knew my name, xray techs very friendly and efficient, Sunni was professional but very caring and I felt that she not only had my best interests in mind but she felt like a friend. The checkout “girls” were pleasant and patient with everyone that checked out including me. I also want to say thanks to Dawn who answered the phone when I called and got me the answers I needed. I can’t say enough about Dr.Follweiler. He is very kind,caring, and truly interest in each patient. I know I had many questions and such but he always took the time to explain every thing. Surgery was great with him. If I had to do this over-I really don’t- I would definitly pick Dr.F. again. Even a friend of mine said that he was the most compassionate and caring doc she had seen in a long time. I definitly can second that. Thanks to all of you people who took care of me. You are all fantastic
— Joy R.
Dr. Markovich performed my total knee replacement surgery nearly 1 year ago, and I have absolutely no regrets. Yes it was painful and the rehab was hard, but I can walk without discomfort and climb stairs which I could not do a year ago. Thank you!
— Candace R
I was referred to Dr. George Markovich by Dr. Gerardo Gamez of the Florida Neurology Group. An MRI conducted by the Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine revealed a large rotator cuff tear in addition to three torn tendons. A fair amount of work would have to be done.

On my first visit with Dr. Markovich, his calm and confident manner immediately erased any concerns I had. Also, on the day of surgery Dr. Markovich came over to initial the arm to be operated on and said that he would do everything humanly possible to make me better. His words were of great comfort to me and gave me solace that all would be well.

My family and friends were astonished to see my quick recovery, it was truly spectacular. Indeed, they all told me if they ever needed an orthopedist Dr. Markovich is at the top of their list.

About two months after surgery I was informed that Dr. Markovich was in the Navy and was one of the surgeons who operated on our Navy Seals. Quite an endorsement! Also, I am a native of New England and when I learned that Dr. Markovich attended Harvard and trained at Mass General, well that just says it all.

Everyone at the Fort Myers facility are well trained and personable. I also must note here that Dr. Markivich’s assistant Pat DeFiore is very capable, attentive and personable.

I owe Dr. Gamez a great deal of gratitude for referring me to Dr. Markovich and I owe Dr. Markovich a great deal of gratitude for his tremendous skill and attention to detail. Thank you so much.
— Yvette R
Dr. Robert Follweiler is an amazing surgeon. He repaired my rotator cuff and reattached my bicep. At our initial visit he presented himself as a knowledgeable and caring Doctor and earned my trust. He did a wonderful job and I am glad I chose him as my surgeon.
— David M
I have lived with the worst knee pain in my left knee that one could imagine. It was terrible and finally got so bad I could barely stand to walk. Dr. Markovitch did a total knee replacement for me. I was worried and afraid. It is heaven. The surgery went perfectly, the healing did too, the scar is small and not to visible and it is only a little over a month since the surgery. I can walk with NO PAIN. It is wonderful. Dr. Markovitch, you are amazing thank you!

Dr. Follweiler did the same thing for my hands. I had carpal tunnel so bad that I hated my hands. The arthritis made them worse. Dr. Follweiler did surgery on both hands and from the first week after surgery the pain was not there any more. WONDERFUL, AWESOME, My Hero!!

Dr. Hood saved my life. About seven years ago I came to see Dr. Hood at my wits end. I hurt all over, my quality of life was non-existent and I was miserable and unhappy. Dr. Hood started working on getting the pain under control. When I could not afford the “big” medications Dr. Hood helped me get ones I could afford. He got the pain under control and then one thing at a time we have worked on getting rid of the causes of the pain. Ergo, hand and elbow and knee surgery. We are not done yet but I know Dr. Hood will take care of me. I would not be alive today if not for Dr. Hood, I was ready to give up, he fixed it. What do you call the person who saved your life? I have no names that would not upset people, I would opt for things that people would not understand so I guess I better just go with my DIETY. Thank You for putting the quality back into my life.

You are all wonderful Pam, Nadine, Laura, Stephanie, and all the others who have all been there for me and been so nice. You make it possible for these doctors to perform the miracles they do. You are the unsung hero’s. I want to thank you all.
— Diana H
First I just want to thank the staff @ Riverside for getting me an appointment, with Dr Hood .

Secondly I want to thank the employes @ the Estero office for their help in getting my last appointment with Dr Hood.

Third I like to thank Dr. Hood for accepting me as a patient, and actually helping me with my medical problems..I now have a plan of action that gives me hope. Which as everyone knows is priceless...
— David
I had my right knee replaced..somehow the tissue around the joint became infected. Home health physical therapist, Dr. Debbi Ronis, was here every day including Saturday and Sunday.She called Pat Fiore on Sunday morning to have him order antibiotics for me. Pat was not on call but he answered Debbi’s page and ordered the medication I needed...Kudos to both
Dr. Debbi Ronis and to Pat Fiore for being there when I needed them and for Pat calling and emailing Debbi to check up on me. You are fortunate to have Pat Fiore and Dr. Debbi Ronis on your team and I am also lucky to have them on my side. Thank you
— Gerald H. Stein (Jerry)
Dr. Gomez did surgery on my shoulder in October of 2014 for rotator Cuff, Spurs, Etc. Surgery was a bit more involved and I’m doing Wonderful! Thanks to Dr. Gomez and his Assistant, Matt.
They are Tops, In my Book!
— Patricia A
Many thanks to the team at the Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine for helping me with my recent wrist injury. The practice was able to get me in to see a doctor within 24 hours, and I am already feeling relief. The process from scheduling to check-out was easy, pleasant, and helpful.
— Linda
Saw Dr. Ed Gomez about a severe pain in my shoulder while running that was forcing me to stop mid-run. He did a thorough exam, took x-rays, identified the issue, determined he could safely administer a cortisone shot to relieve the pain while the problem resolved on its own, and the result was fantastic. Back to running distances with no pain. It was so great to work with a Doc who did a thorough job, understands the needs and issues of athletes, and talked to me like I was an intelligent person.
— Bob S
I slipped and fell and hit my right heel on the swimming pool edge... I sheared my heel completely off. Dr Gomez did surgery to reattached my heel to my foot and Matthew Walk did the follow up appointments on my healing... Thank you for the great job.. It has been a slow recovery time, but I am up and walking again. Never knew how much I would miss walking. Thank you for the good job repairing my foot. I hopefully dont have to use your services in the future. Thanks again.. I appreciate all your good work
— Rebecca F
This will seem a bit odd to some but, I just wanted to express my gratitude to Dr. Heligman. I was one of his patients during his residency at Shriners in Chicago and he did my first major knee surgery. 32 years later, still no issues and I have never forgotten him for taking the time to explain to a ten year old kid what was going on. What a wonderful surgeon and human being he is!
— Toddi C
My wife was referred to Dr. Fifer after falling and shattering her wrist. She ended up needing surgery and had plates and screws put in. Her wrist is now as good as new and she has continued playing golf and tennis with no ill effects. Because of her treatment, I chose Dr. Fifer for knee pain. Initially, he advised me to hold off any procedure until the pain became worse. Fast forward six months, and I returned with increased pain. Dr. Fifer performed a Knee arthroscopy. I was walking the same day, and 10 days later my knee has improved greatly. I know I can’t turn back the clock (I’m 65), but I am looking forward to being active again fairly soon. Dr. Fifer is honest, skilled, and experienced. His staff and facilities are also great. We both are very thankful to have found him and his practice.
— Phil F
I have a chronic pain disease,and Dr. Hood and his team are the best ever. I can honestly say I look forward to my visits.They have helped me with my pain,CRPS and like “Cheers” they all remember my name. God Bless this team of Professionals all with a Heart , just going there makes one feel better. Thank You Each One!
— David C. W
I had my knee replacement in October 2015 by Dr John Fifer. He did a fabulous job. I could not be more thrilled. He recommended presugery therapy which I believe made the procedure and post surgery go so well. Thank you Dr Fifer
— JP M
I am a patient of Dr Hood & have been one for several years. Although my case is very complicated Dr. Hood has been very supportive & suggestive. I am in Ft. Myers for about 7 months of the year. In July my pain became out of control & I flew to Florida for injections.Not only did they worked me in so I could fly back out to get back to my Family but Erica from his office call to see how I was making out! Erica is always so pleasant to deal with but for her to take the time to call me when her schedule is taxing just blew me away. This was above & beyond & hopeful Dr. Hood will make every effort to keep her a part of his office. Dr. Hood & Erica Are a winning team!
— Paul F

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