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Smiling Again: Knee Replacement Surgery Helps Patient Live the Life She Loves

Human Interest

Smiling Again: Knee Replacement Surgery Helps Patient Live the Life She Loves

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 13, 2012

Contact: Kristen Meadows
Marketing Specialist
(707) 456-3127

 

Willits-For people with hip and knee pain, the fear of surgery often prevents them from exploring their treatment options. However, many patients who get hip and knee replacement surgery at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California wonder why they waited as long as they did, and some come back quickly to get their other knee or hip fixed because their experience is so positive.

For people with hip and knee pain, the fear of surgery often prevents them from exploring their treatment options. However, many patients who get hip and knee replacement surgery at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California wonder why they waited as long as they did, and some come back quickly to get their other knee or hip fixed because their experience is so positive.

Denise Fieseler is just such a patient.

At age 10, rheumatic fever left Fieseler with arthritic knees. She knew she'd need knee replacement surgery someday, but was encouraged to wait so her new knees would last through her life. Fieseler is a dental hygienist and a waitress. As a waitress, she was on her feet a lot. She had lived with pain for years, but was putting off surgery until her loss of function prevented her from doing what she needed and wanted to do.

"It got to the point where I had trouble driving. I couldn't get my foot off the accelerator fast enough, so I was only using my left leg to drive," she said. "Then I had to quit my waitressing job. Every step was excruciating."

When it came to choosing a hospital, she knew exactly where she wanted to go. Both her son-in-law and her husband had been in accidents requiring orthopedic care and both had been expertly cared for by Dr. Bill Bowen at Howard Hospital.

"When my husband showed up at another hospital's emergency room, the doctors said they couldn't fix the problem. Dr. Bowen looked at the electronic x-rays and said, 'Bring him to Howard Hospital. I'll take care of him.' And he did."

Fieseler lives about three hours away from Howard Hospital, but she didn't hesitate to make the trip. She had her right knee replaced in February and her left knee replaced on November 5, 2012. "It's been wonderful. The staff is super caring; they pay attention to every detail. The whole program is really well organized. With the education they provided, I knew exactly what to expect," she said.

She described individual staff members in glowing terms. "Dolly has been incredible. She has such a loving touch. Patti, the coordinator, is amazing. Heather in Physical Therapy is gentle and understanding. There's no forcing; she just goes with my comfort level."

As Fieseler tried to describe how her life changed after surgery, she got a little emotional. Living with constant pain and then being pain-free changes everything. After her first knee replacement, her husband Ben commented on her smiling face, "I haven't seen you smile in four months." She's smiling now.