Knee Replacement Surgery: Connie Stein’s Story

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“I thought if I don’t do this now, why wait,” said Stein. “Dr. Rierson was very kind when I met with him before, and I knew he did robotic surgery. I heard it was more accurate, so he did my knee surgery in April 2022.”

– Connie Stein

It was nearly two years ago when Milford, Iowa resident Connie Stein was literally stopped in her tracks, unable to take another step while on her daily walk. Her left knee suddenly wouldn’t bend, and she was in excruciating pain. The pain was so bad she couldn’t sleep, so she got a cortisone shot the next day.

 

“I went in to see Dr. Rierson. He examined me and said my knee was completely worn out and that I would need knee surgery,” said Stein. “I thought the cortisone shots would make it better, but over time I noticed my leg started turning in. I overcompensated for my knee pain by walking in a different way. That affected my back, creating back pain, too.”

 

Her pain gradually worsened and inhibited her daily walks. In fact, it got to the point that it was difficult for her to even get out of bed and walk around the house. At that point, she decided to get her knee replaced.

 

“I thought if I don’t do this now, why wait,” said Stein. “Dr. Rierson was very kind when I met with him before, and I knew he did robotic surgery. I heard it was more accurate, so he did my knee surgery in April 2022.”

 

Stein prepared for surgery by following the exercises to keep her leg strong as recommended by Lakes Regional Healthcare Physical Therapists. She also practiced using a walker by herself. She said, “I am a widow and live by myself and practiced using the walker in order to make sure I could take care of myself after surgery.”

 

Stein also had a CT scan before surgery. Dr. Chris Rierson of Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint & Sports Surgeons said, “A pre-surgical plan is created based on a CT scan of the patient’s own knee, and we use the robotic arm during surgery to resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing healthy bone and surrounding tissue for a more natural feeling knee. A small implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.”

 

The results exceeded Stein’s expectations. “Everyone was wonderful during my hospital stay. I had knee surgery 13 years beforehand on my right knee and this time around I didn’t need as much pain medicine and I was able to move more easily,” she said. “I think the exercises I did before surgery and having robotic surgery were very beneficial to my rapid recovery.”

 

Physical therapy started a few days after the stitches were removed. There was quite a bit of pain for the first week, but that subsided as her movement improved each day. She said, “My therapist was surprised how well my leg was able to bend so soon.”

 

Stein is now able to live her life as she did before her knee pain began. “I’m not limited anymore. I’m walking again, playing with my grandchildren again, traveling to Florida and walking on the beach again,” she said. “I’m glad I didn’t wait very long for it to get better on its own, which wasn’t going to happen. I enjoy getting out and doing things, and I can because I had surgery.”

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