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orthopedic patient testimonial

Orthopedic  Patient Testimonial

Knee replacement gives Bettendorf woman comfort during trip of a lifetime

Greta Essner couldn't put off replacing her bad knee any longer. It was getting stiffer and more painful every day. And she wasn't the kind to sit still.

This would be the 80-year-old Bettendorf woman's second knee replacement. She had had her right knee replaced six years ago. Although her results had been excellent, she had been putting off the second surgery. She didn't want to devote the time to a long recovery.

Now with a trip to Denmark and Norway on the horizon, Greta relented. She was determined to be able to walk, climb and linger along the quaint streets of her ancestral home. In March 2013, she returned to UnityPoint Health - Trinity Bettendorf for her new procedure. 

Joint Academy 

Thanks to Trinity's Joint Academy, total joint replacement patients know what to expect both before and after surgery. 

"Our goal is to help our patients through the process quickly, safely and with maximum comfort," Joint Academy instructor Stephanie Rabe, RN, says. "The Joint Academy is the first step. Our patients learn about their procedure as well as their recovery. They learn everything from what medications to stop before surgery to what equipment to bring into their home. We teach in a team, so our patients can get the answers they need."

Designed by surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other care providers, Trinity's innovative Joint Academy is one of the key reasons for its good surgical outcomes and lower infection rates, resulting in recognition as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement.

Greta's knee replacement surgery

Greta was confident as she was wheeled into surgery. Trinity Bettendorf surgeons perform approximately 450 total joint replacements per year. They work closely with pain management specialists, nurses, physical therapists and primary care physicians to create a personalized plan for every patient. For Greta, living alone, that would mean involving UnityPoint at Home as well. 

Greta's surgery was performed in the morning. She was on her feet a few hours later.

"I was up and walking by that night," Greta remembers. "The next morning I was walking the halls and climbing stairs. It's wonderful what they do these days."

Back home . and on to Denmark

Greta was able to go home in two days, alone. 

"My neighbor stopped in to check on me, and a few friends dropped off food," she says. "But I didn't need any help. I used a walker for maybe three days, and a cane for a few days after that. I was driving again in 10 days."

Greta also credits UnityPoint at Home with her rapid home rehabilitation. 

"They came for a couple of weeks, providing me with physical therapy right in my home," she says. "They were so very helpful. They asked me how I was doing, and made sure I was recovering well." 

By April, Greta says she was back to walking daily for exercise.

"I went to Trinity outpatient physical therapy for about six weeks, but I also got back to walking," she says. "I walk almost every day for about a mile. I also do my own mowing and gardening. I like to keep busy."

Greta says she would encourage anyone who suffers with arthritic knees to consider knee replacement at Trinity. 

"Trinity really got to know me and my needs," she says. "They provided excellent care at the hospital and at home. I can't believe how fast I recovered. I am always on the go, so that was important to me."

And was she ready for her Nordic trip?

"Oh, my, yes," she says. "The cobblestone streets were a challenge, but I did great. It was a beautiful trip, one that I really need to thank Trinity for!"