Computer Assisted Knee Replacement Surgery

Feeling the benefits...

Coping with osteoarthritis and making the decision to have knee replacement surgery can be difficult and may make you feel alone. Here are two stories on how others coped with osteoarthritis and why they considered surgery that helped change their lives. It can change yours too.

For over a year, 63 year old Karen Kentopp lived with constant pain. “I was in a lot of pain for about a year so I made an appointment with Dr. Jones,” comments Karen. Like millions of people Karen’s age, the onset of degenerative joint disease had drastically restricted her lifestyle. Suffering from severe arthritis with areas of bone-on-bone, the Oshkosh woman initially had her knee scoped in June 2006 providing only temporary relief.

“For six months I was in pure pain, walking with a limp and having difficulty going up stairs. It was clear I was not going to get any better so it was time to take the next step. What did I have to lose?” says Karen. After her consultation with orthopedic surgeon, David Jones, MD, the decision was made to proceed with surgery. “Dr. Jones explained all the benefits of computer-assisted knee replacement surgery and how I could have an active lifestyle, with less pain and greater mobility. Who wouldn’t want that?” comments Karen. She had her knee replacement surgery on October 25, 2006.

Computer-Assisted Surgery has been utilized for over a year by Dr.Jones at Berlin Memorial Hospital. He was one of the first surgeons in the state to utilize this advanced technology.

Prior to surgery, Karen received a mild, short-acting sedative and a regional anesthesia. Dr. Jones performed the two-hour, computer-assisted total knee replacement surgery and later that day Karen was eating a light supper. Karen received a pain pump and oral pain medication so her therapy could begin just hours after her surgery. Effective pain management allows patients to begin therapy without discomfort so they recover faster. Originally, Karen was scheduled for six weeks of rehab, but progressed so rapidly that she only required therapy for three weeks. Patients are also encouraged to continue their exercises at home.

“Don’t ever think twice about having knee surgery. It was the best thing I ever did. My pain is finally gone,” Karen says.

Mike Wolf, CRNA, with the Anesthesia and Pain Management Team at Berlin Memorial Hospital, works with patients like Karen. “We develop a customized pain management plan based on each patient’s individual needs. Since we used regional anesthesia with Karen, she was alert and talking in the recovery room. Total joint patients used to be in bed for days and could not proceed with physical therapy because they were uncomfortable and in pain. The pain pump allows patients to rehab immediately. In Karen’s case, she was undergoing therapy the day of surgery and the next morning she was up using a walker,” comments Mike.

Another one of Dr. Jones patients, Elsa Peterson, age 74, also made the decision to have computer assisted total knee replacement surgery. Elsa was experiencing difficulty going up and down stairs and getting in and out of a car. “Six months before my surgery, I noticed a drastic decrease in my mobility. A dear friend of mine went to Dr. Jones for her knee replacement surgery and it was the best thing she ever did. She had read an article about Dr. Jones and computer-assisted knee surgery,” Elsa says.

Elsa had her knee surgery on October 24, 2006 and everything went well from her pre-op examine to post op rehabilitation. Since she lives in Wisconsin Dells, she was able to schedule her therapy back home. She just celebrated her three month anniversary and is extremely pleased with her results.

Her recommendation to others, “I would tell them they should go to a reputable surgeon and talk to someone else who had the procedure done. The pain pump really worked great for me. I’m not sorry I had it done and eventually I will have the other knee done. I don’t have any pain at all now,” says Elsa.

“Arthritis, injuries, and people living longer are the main reasons that we see knee joints deteriorating faster. Here at Berlin Memorial Hospital, our knee patients have access to the best orthopedic care in the region. It takes a total team effort of nurses, OR personnel, anesthesia department, physical therapists and physicians working together to provide patients with better long-term results, more mobility and a quicker recovery,”says David Jones, MD.

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