Shoulder replacement supports active lifestyle

Patti Erlandson, Orthopaedics Patient

A year after having shoulder surgery at Riverwood Healthcare Center, Patti Erlandson is feeling great. After working for more than 30 years as a registered nurse, she retired early at age 62 because left shoulder pain interfered with her nursing job duties.

Patti shares her outstanding treatment experience and outcome. “I had trouble hanging IV bags because of the achiness, soreness and range of motion difficulties I had when I raised my left arm. I was an avid golfer and had to give that up when it became too painful to swing a club. I put off having surgery until I couldn’t do my job any longer. I had been living in Brainerd but moved back to Aitkin upon my retirement. I went to Riverwood for treatment of my shoulder pain as I wanted to be close to the hospital where I would have surgery. I saw Dr. Jeffrey Klassen for treatment of my shoulder pain and had a total shoulder replacement of my left shoulder. I liked how friendly and nice Dr. Klassen was, more casual and not overly clinical in his communication style. He was truly interested in learning what was important to me as a patient, answering all my questions.

I can’t say enough about the physical therapy at Riverwood, even in the middle of the Covid pandemic. My physical therapist, Brian Gehling, was great. Overall, my Riverwood care experience was very positive. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly.

Besides the excellent care at Riverwood, I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow your doctor’s directions for specific exercises after surgery. Do them as long as directed; don’t quit your exercises early. They make a big difference on how well you recover your mobility and strength.

Dr. Klassen has given me permission to start golfing again by practicing small swings at first. I’ll need to work myself up to doing nine holes. I’m looking forward to returning to the golf course this summer and playing many rounds in the years ahead.”