Jane Moore’s family spent years trying to convince her to get knee replacement surgery, but it was volunteering at Methodist Midlothian Medical Center that finally persuaded the 68-year-old grandmother to do something about her decade-long joint pain.
“It started out as a weakness in my knees,” Jane explains. “Over time, it turned into pain and instability, especially with stairs. It was bad enough that I went to see an orthopedic specialist.”
The doctor explained that the cartilage in Jane’s knees was breaking down, causing her bones to grind against one another. While corticosteroid injections and physical therapy provided temporary relief, Jane wanted a more lasting solution. But she was nervous about surgery and the timing never felt right.
That is until she saw the life-changing benefits for herself.
“I began volunteering at the admissions desk at Methodist Midlothian and got to know an admissions officer who told me how she and her husband both used to suffer from chronic knee problems. She enthusiastically recommended the team at the hospital,” Jane says.
Emboldened by this conversation and tired of relying on her family to get around, Jane decided to take the leap.
“I am so glad I had the surgery, though I wish I hadn’t waited so long,” she says. “I’m so grateful for the excellent surgical team and the extended care team, who were all so attentive.”
RESURFACING THE KNEE
Jane was referred to Edward Mairura, MD, orthopedic surgeon on the hospital’s medical staff.
“When I left that appointment, I knew I had found the right team,” Jane recalls.
Dr. Mairura evaluated Jane and found the damage to be so severe that he recommended replacing both knees.
“A knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty, might be more accurately called a knee ‘resurfacing’ because only the surface of the bones is replaced,” Dr. Mairura says. “It’s a very effective and long-lasting procedure that offers immediate improvement of symptoms.”
He explained that the end of the femur in the thigh and the top of the tibia in the leg are shaved down to remove damaged bone and cartilage. Then, the ends of both bones are fitted with metal and plastic coverings that act as replacements for the removed tips. If needed, he added, the underside of the patella would also be resurfaced and a mushroom-shaped prosthesis would be placed.
METHODIST JOINT ACADEMY
Before Jane’s surgery was scheduled, Dr. Mairura requested that she enroll in the Methodist Joint Academy, an informational program offered at many Methodist Health System facilities, including the hospital in Midlothian.
“This educational workshop helps prepare patients for upcoming joint replacement surgery,” Dr. Mairura explains. “When patients can ask the surgical staff questions or hear tips and advice from the physical and occupational therapists, the outcomes are enhanced.”
Jane underwent her first total knee replacement on her right leg on August 23, 2023, and is recovering exactly as Dr. Mairura predicted she would. Now, she says she can’t wait to regain her full mobility.
“As soon as I am fully recovered, I’ll be talking to Dr. Mairura about doing my left knee,” Jane says.
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