Becky Moore, age 65, has led a very active, busy life. She enjoys gardening, canning lots of fruits and vegetables, volunteering with the local Lions club in Hill City, plus working as a lead worker for the Itasca County District Court in Grand Rapids. When she hit 60, osteoarthritis began slowing her down.
“I just kept doing things like gardening even though it hurt,” Becky explains. “I got more tired and it was very disheartening. The pain got so bad it was waking me up at night. People started to comment on the way I walked. I limped and it was embarrassing.”
In January 2016, Becky met with Dr. Erik Severson, orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacements and revisions, at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin. She was told she had bone rubbing on bone and needed to have a knee replacement.
“But before I could have my knee surgery, a dog knocked me down in our driveway and I broke my hip,” Becky explains. “The Riverwood hospital staff took such great care of me. I loved seeing that the nurses, doctors and therapists were all working together. I was impressed to see them gather around me as a group for bedside rounding, something they do in bigger hospitals and I didn’t expect to see that in Aitkin.”
What impressed Becky the most about Dr. Severson is that he focuses on each patient as a person with special qualities and interests.
“Dr. Severson maintains eye contact with you and he conveys such as sense that he knows what he’s doing when he explains how the surgical procedure will work,” she says. “Because of that confidence, as a patient, you know it’s going to be OK. I was impressed that he remembered a book I had been reading six months later.”
After having a left hip replacement in July 2016, Becky was finally recovered enough to proceed with her left knee replacement in November 2017. Dr. Severson’s advice that a patient must be willing to put in the time for the recommended exercises motivated her to start knee exercises eight months before her surgery.
“I was able to move well just hours after my knee surgery,” she says. “The physical therapists were great in answering a lot of questions. The nursing staff made sure I knew how to manage my pain at a level that was comfortable. They thought of everything for managing pain, including sending me home with two ice packs so I always had a cold one. I was surprised how relatively pain-free my recovery was.”
Becky completed her outpatient therapy at Majestic Pines in Grand Rapids, where she enjoyed using the therapeutic pool. She surprised her therapist with the extent of her new knee’s flexibility and range of motion.
Becky adds: “My care at Riverwood through both my hip and knee surgeries and recovery was simply amazing! The whole orthopaedic team of caregivers is awesome!”
Getting back to activities she enjoys, Becky did the Hill City Fun Run 5K on July 4, 2018. The last time she had run it was three weeks before her hip surgery in 2016.
“My body just felt so good, I had to do it.” Becky explains. “I mostly walked the 3.2 miles and received a medal for coming in second in my age bracket. Everything just felt so normal; nothing hurt, I wasn’t stiff, sore or limping after the race. I feel like I really am back and truly better than ever.”
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