Orthopedics & Sports Medicine blog

July 24, 2017

Joint Replacement Surgery - Is it Time?

Joint Replacement Surgery — Is it Time?

Dan Weaver: At times, I couldn't walk up and down steps. I was in fear that it would give out on me, and it did give out on me. There were several times when I found myself laying at the bottom of the steps.

Narrator: Dan Weaver loves to play sports with his family, but there came a time when the pain in his knees kept him on the sidelines.

Weaver: You'd be sleeping at night, wake you up in the middle of the night, and your legs would hurt so bad.

Narrator: Jean Sandrock is an artist, but over time, the pain in her knees kept her from her work.

Jean Sandrock: We were in New York, up and down stairs, and it was my first problem that I noticed, that I was having trouble going up and down the stairs. I saw my family doctor and then decided, he said, "Oh, you have arthritis and you're probably going to, at some point in time, you might have problems with it.

Narrator: Dan Weaver, Jean Sandrock, like many others, decided to come to Sauk Prairie Memorial Joint Replacement Center to learn more about joint replacement surgery, a decision that often changes lives.

Dr. Arnold Rosenthal: The pain can become really life changing and limiting as far as mobility and the ability to walk and just do pretty ordinary things.

Dr. Diana Kruse: Perhaps it's your work activity, it may be sleep disturbance, recreational activities. Typically, you're going to have X-ray changes of arthritis and you'll have kind of tried all the non-operative things you would do.

Weaver: My wife would take a look at me and say, "You know what? You're not fun to live with anymore." Because I was grumpy; I hurt all the time.

Narrator: Dan Weaver tried everything, and after consultation with the staff at the center, decided to do the rare procedure of having both knees replaced at the same time.

Weaver: The man with the double knees. That's how I was known, the man with the double knees.

Sandrock: It was scary. I was pretending to be brave, which I was pretty well, until the night before and the days before. And then, you know, with anybody, this is major surgery, and it was scary, but I kept my eye on the idea that I wanted to be able to have 30 years more of mobility, and that was the driving force.

Dr. William Niedermeier: Certainly if you're over 60, age-wise, it isn't an issue because the survivorship on the joints we're putting in now at 20 years is over 90 percent. So, if you take a 65 year old and you give them 20 years, they're 85, and we think as we're getting numbers coming in that even at the 30 year range, we're going to be 85, 90 percent. So, ideally you'd be 60 or 65. The reality is that you'd need your knee replaced when it wears out, when it starts to control your life. So, if you can't do the recreational things you like to do, you're staying home on the weekends, and not doing social things because you worry about how your knee's going to work or that you aren't going to get through them, and it's keeping you from sleeping at night, then your knee or your arthritis symptoms really start to control your life, and that's the time to do it.

Narrator: So how do you know when it's time for a joint replacement? Ask yourself if your joint pain controls your life. If the answer is yes, it might be time to talk to the people at Sauk Prairie Memorial Joint Replacement Center.

Paul Sandrock: The goal was, okay, by the summer, this is over and we're in our kayaks.

Mrs. Sandrock: And we made it.

Mr. Sandrock: Yep.

Mrs. Sandrock: Last summer, we did it. We were in the kayaks, no problem, it was absolutely and so worth it. I am back to places I have not, 10 years ago, 12 years ago, I was not able to do the things I am able to do now. And it's wonderful, so worth it.

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