Total joint replacements, fracture care, ACL reconstruction – all this and more are now offered full time at Tri-County Health Care through its new Tri Orthopedics program. The service was made complete with the transition of orthopedic surgeon Ben Robertson, M.D., from a visiting specialist to a full-time provider.
Most notably, the lineup of services includes total joint replacements, which remove a damaged or arthritic joint and swap it with a prosthetic device designed to move and function like that of a healthy joint. This is a reliable option for when physical therapy, medication or life modifications don’t help. Dr. Robertson has special training in direct anterior hip, Oxford knee and reverse total shoulder replacements.
Other orthopedic services offered include:
- Carpal tunnel release
- Ganglion cyst removal
- Bunion and hammertoe corrections
- Rotator cuff repair
- ACL reconstruction
- Arthroscopy procedures
- Fracture care
- Osteoarthritis care
- Repetitive use/sports injuries
Getting her life back
Junelle Jackson of Wadena loves being outside, push mowing the lawn, and running around with her grandsons. She recently retired after 35 years of teaching at Wadena-Deer Creek, with 15 of those spent in kindergarten and 20 in second grade. But several years ago in 2012, she could barely function in everyday life, much less keep up with her students, because of intense pain in her knees.
“I’m not a person to just sit. I think that was the hardest when my knees hurt,” she said. “I found myself coming home from school and just sitting until it’s time to go to bed. And that’s not me. I just lost my life.”
It turns out Junelle suffered from arthritis in both knees, which progressed to bone rubbing against bone. She knew her mother and aunt had sought Dr. Robertson for knee replacements, and she witnessed the new life it gave them, so she decided to see him too.
Dr. Robertson tried cortisone injections and other options first to prolong surgery as much as possible, but it soon got to the point where nothing could take the pain away.
He determined it was time and recommended replacing both knees simultaneously. So she did.
“It was amazing. The pain from the surgery was less than the pain I was suffering every single day. It was a no-brainer to go,” she said. “It was on June 5, and I was back in school by the end of August. At the time, I was teaching kindergarten. I was able to get back on the floor. We were singing, dancing like you do in kindergarten. I was like a brand-new person.”
In 2016, her right hip began to exhibit the same painful symptoms her knees once had. She said there was “absolutely no question” in going back to Dr. Robertson. He performed a hip replacement in June, and by August, she was strolling about the Minnesota State Fair and taking her dogs for much-loved walks.
“Before I had my knees done or my hip, there was no way I could make it down the street and back,” she said. “Life is just awesome now.”
‘It’s going to be amazing in Wadena’
Over the years, because of the success Junelle’s had with Dr. Robertson, she has sent countless people his way. Anytime a friend or family member complains of severe joint pain, she’s there with a glowing recommendation.
“There’s no question in my mind,” she said. “Dr. Robertson is just amazing. He won’t rush into the surgery. He tried everything he could to get the pain to go away. He’s always smiling. He always greets you by name. He never forgets who you are. He’s just so kind, patient. You’re so comfortable with him.”
Junelle also worked closely with the joint care coordinator, Medley Shamp, RN. She praised Medley’s kind heart and diligence in her care. “She is just a honey,” Junelle said. “We just held each other and cried because she knew what I was feeling. She becomes an instant friend.” Then she expressed gratitude for the entire team and added, “I love everybody that’s here.”
Junelle’s surgeries and daily joint camps took place in Brainerd where Dr. Robertson practiced at the time. Though she absolutely loved her experience there, she noted that the 45-minute drive was inconvenient. So when she heard that total joints and orthopedics were coming to Wadena, she was ecstatic.
“At first, I didn’t believe it. I just thought it was too good to be true,” she said.
“But I just think it is the best thing that Tri-County could do is to get him here, to get his staff, that orthopedics is all right here in town. It’s going to be amazing in Wadena.
“We had to have a coach for joint camp, and it was hard for me to get a coach because they had to drive every single day. But now being here in town, your coaches are available, your rehab, your hospitalization, your after appointments. Like I said, I was amazed. It’s the best thing they could have ever done.”
If you’re experiencing joint or muscle pain, don’t wait any longer. Dr. Robertson and Tri Orthopedics can help take it away and return you to the life you love.
To learn more, visit TCHC.org/ortho or call 218-631-3510.