Page 12 - Scene Magazine 41-03 March 2016
P. 12

Health Scene
is Knee replacement surgery right For You?
Knee pain af- fects more than just the knee. It can im- pact our daily activ- ities, sleep or make even the simplest tasks difficult to accomplish. Knee replacement sur-
gery has become a common and effec- tive solution to relieve pain. Total knee replacement surgery helps more than 90 percent of patients get relief from pain, allowing them to gain mobility and get back to the activities they enjoy. So how do you know if total knee replacement surgery is the best option for you? The first step is to be evaluated by an ortho- pedic expert who will review all options for treatment, including exercise and medicine. Consider these factors before deciding if surgery is right for you:
Stephanie, a Bronson orthopedic joint replacement patient, was a younger than average candidate for knee surgery, but found it was the best and only option for her.
“I was training for a half marathon with my daughter when my knee pain became unbearable. I went to see Joseph Burkhardt, DO, an orthopedic surgeon at Bronson Orthopedic Specialists. X-rays revealed my knee cartilage was completely gone. I’m young for a knee replacement but there was no other option. I’m a mother of six. Life is hectic,” Stephanie said. “I’m always looking after every- one. Now I was the one being looked after,” she explained.
“The nurses are so dedicated.
I can’t remember the last time
I enjoyed such peace and quiet. Although joint camp was tough, I had the support I needed to flourish. Dr. Burkhardt told me that when he saw the damage to my knee during surgery, he couldn’t believe how long I put up with it. I just hope others experiencing this severe
level of pain realize they can get help, too.”
ABOUT
Bronson Orthopedic Specialists The medical practice includes four
orthopedic physicians – Joseph Burkhardt, DO; William Comai, DO; Daniel Garcia, MD; and Mark Russell, DO. These physicians perform total knee replacement surgery at Bronson Battle Creek, which is nationally recognized by Healthgrades® as a five-star hospital for knee replacement surgery for 2016. They also perform hip and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as providing sports medicine and general orthopedic care.
With three office locations, one in Marshall and two in Battle Creek, patients can make an appointment by calling (877) 704-3133.
• Age: While there aren’t any age-related risk factors with this surgery, it is im- portant to be aware that artificial knees usually last about 15-20 years.
• overall health: People who suffer from heart disease or other conditions should make sure that they are healthy enough for joint replacement surgery. They may be asked to consult with their primary care provider. Those who are signifi- cantly overweight may need to lose weight before surgery.
• Pre-surgery responsibilities: Individ- uals planning to have total joint replace- ment surgery are required to attend a pre-surgery education class at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. As part of “joint camp”, they learn how to best prepare their body for surgery and their home for the best possible recovery.
• in the hospital: Patients actively par- ticipate in “joint camp”. This includes physical therapy sessions with other patients who have had knee or hip replacement. They learn how to begin using their new joint to walk and move as needed for their daily activities.
• Post-surgery responsibilities: To ensure the best results and recovery, patients should continue their physical therapy and exercises either at home or in an outpatient facility for a period of time after surgery.
Knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged part of the knee, followed by replacing it with an artificial implant (joint). The artificial joint can either be made of plastic, metal or an- other material and, although it has some limitations, it can restore a person’s abil- ity to walk and move with much greater comfort.
Pain medications will help with gen- eral pain or discomfort after surgery and allow patients to begin walking soon after surgery. Most patients are able to leave the hospital within a few days, but it is important for them to continue their ex- ercises at home. After about four to six weeks, patients usually feel strong enough to drive or perform light activities. After three months, they are usually able to re- turn to most activities. It generally takes six months to one year to fully return to maximum strength and endurance.
By JOSEPh BURKhARDt, D.O., Bronson Orthopedic Specialists
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