One of the most gratifying outcomes of joint replacement
surgery is the difference it can make in the quality of life for our
patients. Many suffer with years of
debilitating pain that can make everyday activities painful and limit their
ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
The following are just a few examples of the life-changing experience
many patients have after joint replacement surgery.
34 years as an elementary school teacher
Total knee replacement
Patricia suffered with debilitating knee pain for years. While she had orthoscopic knee surgery 7 to 8 years previous, the pain progressively became worse, even debilitating at times. In fact, the pain even affected her work as a school teacher, which kept her on her feet all day. Finally, she had to make the choice to leave her students and stay home. Pat describes her mobility as very limited. “I needed a cane to go anywhere, and an electric cart. It became difficult to even get out of the car or off the couch. Eventually I had to use a walker, and even then I could hardly walk. It became physically and emotionally overwhelming,” she says.
Patricia contemplated knee replacement surgery for two years before she finally decided something had to be done. She consulted with Dr. Jay Shah. “Dr. Shah asked me how I could have gone on for so long with this pain. I really appreciated the fact that he was kind and compassionate. He really listened.” Dr. Shah also suggested said she would benefit from physical therapy prior to surgery, to strengthen her for the procedure. She also took the hospital’s pre-surgery class, and met with Kathleen Webster, RN, nurse navigator for The Joint Replacement Center. “It was really helpful,” Pat says. “It helped bring down some of my anxiety. They taught me how to prepare my home and how to use ice packs for pain.”
In February 2015, Pat finally had her total knee replacement surgery at San Antonio Regional Hospital. “It was easier than my orthoscopic surgery,” she says. “The staff had me up the very next day and my hospital stay was great. It was like they just knew what I was going to need before I even needed it. My attitude is so positive because I had a successful surgery and I attribute all those things that led up to it. They prepared me really well. The nurse navigator Kathleen was really helpful with little things. Like tricks with ice packs and other tips to help with recovery.
After completing post-surgery physical therapy, Pat says it has made a night and day difference in her life. “The pain really is gone! It was bone on bone before surgery. I was restricted from a lot of activities—anything that was more physical. I had to go to movies in a wheelchair. Everything had to be short periods of time and I had to plan everything. I would have been stuck in my house if it weren’t for my husband and my sister. After recently taking a trip to Las Vegas and standing for long periods of time, Pat says “I should have listened and had this done so much sooner.”
Al suffered with debilitating pain in both knees for years. While he went to a physician who gave him cortisone shots every two weeks, it was not bringing relief. One day, he woke up out of bed one day and couldn’t stand anymore. He was resigned to using a wheelchair and a walker to even go to the doctor. Knowing he couldn’t continue that way, he sought a second opinion.
Finally, Al decided to go to Dr. Jay Shah for a consultation. By that time, both of his knee joints were bone on bone. “Everything started happening at the same time. I was completely leaning forward, because of arthritis too. My knees and hips got so bad I had to use crutches just to hold myself up.” Dr. Shah told Al he would not only need two knee replacements, but joint replacement on both hips as well. The procedures were done in phases, and took place over the course of the next year and a half.
“I am retired and I would say I suffered for two years,” says Al. “I used to be an auto body man. I painted cars. I was constantly on narcotic pain medications—I was on Fentanyl patches when the pain became real severe. I had a miserable quality of life. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I couldn’t put on shoes or socks. I was completely disabled. I was going to a pain specialist to control my pain.”
“Dr. Shah was wonderful—I would recommend him to anyone. I was an extreme case. I came in a wheelchair. Normally they at least like patients to be walking, but Dr. Shah said he would try to help me.” For each of his joint replacement procedures, Al took the hospital’s pre-surgery class which he states really helped. “The nurses were really nice, and hysical therapy was incredible—they got me up and walked me around the hallway. Each surgery was just a short 3-day stay.
Mr. Robles says he really has a whole new life. “After surgery—I didn’t need any pain medication. I was walking with crutches for a year, and now I can walk without any assistance. Even the doctor said he thought I would need a cane, but I don’t. Prior to surgery, it was miserable for me and miserable for my wife. I cut the lawn for the first time in years a few weeks ago. The neighbors see me and they can’t believe I’m up and walking, let alone cutting the grass!”
Our mission is to provide high quality Joint Replacement Services that both comfort and cure, in settings that inspire confidence, and in a manner that earns the trust of our patients. With our Patient Satisfaction scores that are among the highest possible, learn more about the San Antonio patient experience directly from some of our recent patients below:
HCAHPS Patient Satisfaction Phone Survey conducted independently by National Research Corporation
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Our mission is to improve the overall health of our regional community by offering healthcare services that both comfort and cure, in settings that inspire confidence, and in a manner that earns the trust of our patients, our physicians, and our employees.