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July 17 2017

Joint replacement helps get local women moving again

It’s not uncommon for people who have had joint replacement surgery to say they wished they had had the life-changing procedure much sooner.

“I’m a whole new person,” said Marilyn McKibben, 69, of Waukesha. “Dr. Merkow gave me back my life. I’m so thankful I did it. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.”

After seven years of pain and three cortisone shots, McKibben had surgery at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital on her left knee last July and her right knee last December.

“Now I can walk without using a cane. I can ride my bike, work in my yard and in my home, and go up and down steps,” she said. “I’m brand-new with two new knees.”

The Waukesha County resident certainly was not alone in experiencing joint pain before receiving treatment. When the cartilage that lines the end of the bones becomes damaged from a fracture, arthritis or another medical condition, chronic pain can result. When physical therapy, medications and changes to daily activities do not offer relief, many people consider joint replacement surgery.

Pam Gallina, 66, of Watertown, met with two other orthopedic surgeons in the Milwaukee area before Daniel Holub, MD, gave her the confidence to commit to knee replacement surgery to relieve debilitating pain.

“My knee had been deteriorating for two and a half years,” Gallina said. “The limitations it put on my life you cannot imagine. It was hard to do the simplest things.”

Dr. Holub performed her surgery at ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital last October. Now Gallina is able to clean her house without taking frequent breaks, climb stairs and walk her dogs pain-free.

“It’s good to be healthy and on the go,” she said. “I’m exercising and I’ve lost some weight. It’s just wonderful. I don’t miss that pain at all.”

These ProHealth Orthopedic Care patients said their surgeries and physical therapy went well. They were able to stop taking pain medication and engage in activities on schedule or earlier than expected.

They also appreciated the extra benefit of having a health coach personally assigned to them throughout their care and recovery.

“My health coach was really helpful,” McKibben said. “It was nice to know that there was one person that you could always call and get answers from. She even called me a few weeks after surgery to check in on me and see if I had any more questions.”

ProHealth Orthopedic Care includes the surgeons of Orthopaedic Associates of Wisconsin, an orthopedic health coach, nursing staff, physical and occupational therapists, discharge planners, case managers, home care staff and each patient’s care partner. The team works collaboratively with patients to reduce pain, restore movement and transform patients’ lives through traditional and minimally invasive joint replacement.

“My whole experience was very positive, and it can be scary to go through something like this,” Gallina said. “My doctor is extremely competent and also has compassion and empathy. I just can’t say enough about the nurses at the hospital and my health coach. Physical therapy was fabulous. They were all very, very nice and right on top of things.”

For more information about treatment for knee and hip pain, visit ProHealthCare.org/Orthopedics.

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For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.