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Total Knee Replacement Surgery: Anita’s Story


Anita Kinser: You talk about comparing pain levels. I know in medicine they always ask, what is it from a zero to 10? I honestly would say before my surgery, my first surgery, I was probably doing a 12 or 15. It was that bad. I had people where I was working say, why are you working? Why are you even here? They could see pain on my face. Now, I have a zero. I honestly have zero pain. Even first thing in the morning, it's just, there's nothing there. I'm Anita. I live in Wisconsin Dells and over the last 15 months I've had two total knee replacements at Sauk Prairie Healthcare.

I had spent about five years taking care of my elderly mother and over time my knees were getting painful, stiff, difficulty moving, difficulty lifting, doing pretty much anything. But I ignored them because I was taking care of her. And then after moving from the West Coast to Wisconsin winters. After the first winter, I was in extreme pain. I could not bend my leg, my left leg. I couldn't straighten it all the way. I couldn't get up out of a chair and walk without stopping and stretching and working on it to move. I just couldn't get up and walk.

I had to work at it. I couldn't go up and down steps without doing it one step at a time and hanging on to things. I couldn't lift. It was very limiting. I was in pain all of the time. I didn't sleep well at night because of pain. It affected every moment of my life really. Once I decided to have knee surgery, it was a little nerve wracking because I had never had gone through a major surgery. But I also knew that life had to change, that I couldn't live the way that I was. The process and the entire team at Sauk Prairie Healthcare helped me feel much more comfortable.

I was very impressed with their process of educating and communicating and making sure you knew what was happening every step of the way. Preparing you for the surgery, what to expect before, how to prepare, what they call prehab with exercises and what to expect afterwards. So Dr. Ertl and his physician's assistant and the entire team helped me feel comfortable with that process, so that really the day that I went into surgery I wasn't frightened. I was kind of excited to know I was going on to something better. So since the surgeries, I can do anything I want to do.

I mow my own lawn. I take my dogs for walks. I've gone on vacations. I went to Ireland and walked two to five miles a day. I climbed Blarney Castle. Three months after my last surgery, I was fast dancing for two hours with friends. I just have no limitations. It was life changing.

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