Page 12 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2016 - 23-03
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Page 12
Senior Times - March 2016
By: Joseph Burkhardt, D.O., Bronson Orthopedic Specialists
Knee pain affects more than just the knee. It can impact our daily activities, sleep or make even the simplest tasks difficult to accom- plish.
Knee replacement surgery has become a common and ef-
fective solution to relieve pain. Total knee replacement surgery helps more than 90 percent of patients get relief from pain, al- lowing 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 orthopedic expert who will review all options for treatment, including exercise and medicine. Consider these factors before deciding if surgery is right for you:
• Age: While there aren’t any age- related risk factors with this surgery, it is important 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 significantly overweight may need to lose weight before surgery.
• Pre-Surgery Responsibilities: Individuals planning to have total joint replacement 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 participate in “joint camp.” This in- cludes 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 activi- ties.
• 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 another material and, although it has some limita- tions, it can restore a person’s ability 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 exercises 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 return to most activities. It generally takes
six months to one year to fully return to maximum strength and endurance.
Local Success Story
Stephanie, a Bronson orthopedic joint re- placement patient, was a younger than aver- age 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 everyone. 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 real- ize they can get help, too.”
The Care You Need to Help You Stay in
the Home You Love!
When asked, most older adults say that they want to live in their own com- munity as long as possible. For those with chronic conditions and limited resources, this can be a challenge. CentraCare is part of the National PACE Program (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and serves to meet the health care needs of frail adults 55 or older living in Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Eastern VanBuren Counties.
Services are coordinated by the CentraCare team to:
Ensure safety in the home Promote wellness
Focus on quality medical care Provide an opportunity for socialization Support caregivers
We have two locations to serve you. Our Battle Creek Center is located at 200 West Michigan Ave., Suite 103, inside the Kool Family Community Center and our Kalamazoo Center is located at
445 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
Call us to find out if CentraCare is right for you or someone you love.
(269) 441-9313 or visit
“Keeping it in Balance”
Thursday, April 7, 2016
From 10:00 am to 1:30 pm Light lunch is provided from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Marshall Middle School Gymnasium 100 East Green Street, Marshall, MI 49068
This FREE event will showcase local businesses and public services of special interest to older adults, caregivers and families.
Presentations: 10:30am County Prosecutor Gilbert (fraud and abuse); 12:30pm Retired Judge Harter (probate issues); Oaklawn health demonstrations throughout the day. Call (269) 781-0846 for
more information about this event.
This event is brought to you by Calhoun County Senior Millage:
Planning Partners: Advisor/Chronicle, City of Marshall, Forks Senior Center, Fountain Clinic, Maplewood of Marshall, MAEDA, Marshall Public Schools, Oaklawn, Senior Health Partners, and Senior Times.

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