Abbie Christian – Orthopaedic Care

Abbie Christian is on her feet all day at work as manager of the Crossroads in Time boutique in Aitkin. As her knee pain worsened, she encountered difficulties not only doing her job but cooking, going for walks with her dog and sitting or driving for long periods. Here’s her story on an outstanding orthopaedic care experience at Riverwood Healthcare Center.

“I was having pain all over my knee and then a fall put me over the edge. Our St. Bernard-Boxer puppy knocked me to the ground and I landed on my bad knee. The pain was excruciating! I dragged myself into the house and had my son drive me to Riverwood’s ER.

I was referred to Dr. Austin Krohn, a family medicine physician with fellowship training in musculoskeletal medicine. After prescribing cortisone injections to relieve knee pain for an interim period, he referred me to Dr. Erik Severson, orthopaedic surgeon.

I was so impressed with the process the Orthopaedics department has in place. They got me into my appointment with no waiting. What a beautiful set-up in the Riverwood clinic! State-of-the-art in every area!  After the initial x-rays, I saw Dr. Severson and Josh Jacobson, a nurse practitioner who plays a vital role on the care team for orthopaedic patients.

They determined that I needed a knee replacement soon. Surgery was set up within 10 days.  Dr. Severson understood the severity and importance to getting me on the road to recovery. Outside of Riverwood, no other doctor I went to for knee pain ever went that far.

Another key care team member is Brianna Brophy, nurse coordinator for Orthopaedics. She really knows her stuff! She covered the whole surgery process with me, gave me lots of information to read and her cell phone number so I could text or call anytime with anything I needed.  She and DeAnn Monson, who works with scheduling, were so on top of everything!

Closer to surgery, I texted Briana with my questions and she responded so quickly with the information and support I needed. It was very comforting. Six months later, I can text Briana or call a physical therapist if I have a question.

My knee surgery was a complete success.  The care team was with me every step of the way before and after surgery. I went to physical therapy twice a week in McGregor and my husband and sons helped me with therapy exercises at home twice a day.  My family was just as well informed as I was. The importance of PT afterwards has to be your priority for a successful knee replacement. The therapists were supportive and caring; they knew exactly how to help me recover.  They listened to all of my questions and gave informative answers.

About a month ago, I fell on my knee and was very scared I had damaged my new knee.  I texted Briana to let her know I was going into ER.  By the time I got to Riverwood. DeAnn met me at the check-in desk and took me back to the Orthopaedics clinic to have Josh check my knee. I didn’t have to go to ER!  Again, the care team really cared for me!  It was impressive and reassuring that my well-being really mattered to Dr. Severson and his care team.  They are helping me with my recovery every step of the way.

I’m still recovering but very mobile now and getting stronger every day.  I am looking forward to walking the dog and other activities this spring. For future joint replacements, you can be sure I will be going to Riverwood!”


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