The 500th joint replacement

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Tri-County Health Care recently celebrated the 500th joint replacement.

In the winter of 2021, Tri-County Health Care’s orthopedics team hit 500 joint replacement surgeries. Sometimes people get obsessed with statistics without thinking about what the numbers represent. In this case, 500 joints have been effectively replaced, meaning hundreds of people are free from chronic pain and even immobility. Dozens of people can play with their grandchildren once again, mow the lawn, go shopping, or just live life. Carla Schwantz is our 500th joint replacement recipient. Her story is special and serves as an excellent breakdown of the patient experience at Tri-County Health Care.

2021-The beginning

Carla Schwantz

Carla Schwantz

Carla is an active lady; she loves bike riding and enjoying the outdoors. Family means a lot to her, but pain has crept into her life in recent years. In 2021, this pain became too much to bear, so she decided it was time to do something about it.

June 9, 2021-First meeting

Early in the summer of 2021, Carla met with Ben Robertson, M.D. to discuss the pain. The pair decided that hip replacement surgery was necessary.

July 6, 2021-Thinking of the future

Carla’s case is unique. She was enduring multiple sources of joint pain. While dealing with her hip pain, Dr. Robertson found that Carla could also benefit from bi-lateral knee replacement. That surgery was scheduled for December 6, 2021.

August 23, 2021-Surgery

Carla and Dr. Robertson discussing the procedure.

Carla had hip surgery toward the end of summer. Carla also went through a physical therapy regimen in the fall. She often commented on the lack of pain she experienced post-surgery.

December 6, 2021-Knee surgery

Finally, the big day arrived. Carla underwent her second surgery. After some prep time, Dr. Robertson signed her knees, and she was off to surgery. Everything went as planned.

December 10, 2021-Therapy

This time around, physical therapy was more intense. Carla worked to restore range of motion and learned how to walk again. Typically, a recipient of this type of surgery usually has to go through 12 therapy sessions.

The future

Carla is recovery well after her surgery.

Carla is doing well and is nearing the end of her physical therapy. It takes around six weeks of recovery time, but patients will have to focus on at-home exercise for months after.

Tri-County Health Care would like to congratulate the orthopedics team and Carla on the 500th joint replacement. For more information about orthopedics and take a free joint health assessment, please visit TCHC.org/firststep. Call 218-631-3510 for scheduling.


Juvenile Arthritis Month: Donate today!

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An unfortunate side effect of old age is arthritis or a stiffening of the joints. Pain can range from mild problems to chronic pain. Often, young people look on with sympathy but breathe a sigh of relief, glad they won’t have to experience that pain until later in life. What if you had to deal with that pain as a child? Do you think you would be the same person? Every day thousands of children wake up to swollen joints and pain, unable to play, participate in sports, and do all the things kids love to do. July is a time to remember that pain and intensify the search for a cure for juvenile arthritis.

Signs and symptoms

According to the Arthritis National Research Foundation, 300,000 children have arthritis in the United States. The ANRF is urging parents to educate themselves on the disease and spread awareness. Additionally, it’s also important to be mindful of the signs and symptoms. Parents should look for:

  • Difficulty with daily activitiesParents should be on the lookout for typical juvenile arthritis symptoms.
  • Abnormal Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red eyes

Autoimmune

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting children from 6 months to 18 years of age. An autoimmune disease refers to an illness generated from the body’s own immune system attacking itself. This is the main distinction between juvenile arthritis and more commonly knows forms of the disease. Symptoms and pain are carried into young adulthood.

Donate today!

Tri-County Health Care is equipped with providers that can help with this unique condition. Tri-County Health Care has several staff members trained in pediatric medicine and an orthopedic department that regularly treats arthritic conditions. Additionally, ANRF is always in need of donations to help in the fight against juvenile arthritis. To donate, visit https://curearthritis.org/donation/. These donations fund research and treatment methods.