Former Corydon Resident Returns from Abroad for Knee Replacement Surgery at Baptist Health Floyd
Many area music lovers remember Paul Conrad. As the owner of Conrad Piano and Organ in Corydon and Louisville, and co-owner of Conrad Music Service in Corydon, Paul was the energetic, helpful and friendly man who was always ready to assist with selecting the right musical instruments for his customers. Hoping for warm weather and a slower pace of life, Paul recently left the business in his twin brother’s trustworthy hands and moved to Costa Rica for a well deserved retirement. However, his enjoyment was soon interrupted by pain in his right knee.
Worth the Trip
“In Costa Rica, I do a lot of walking and riding buses, and the knee pain made even running basic errands problematic. I was using a cane to get around, and wasn’t able to have the freedom I had hoped for from retirement,” said Paul. “The Costa Rican healthcare system is actually quite good, but I knew it was probably time to seriously consider surgery, and I wanted it to be with someone I trusted. I had been seeing Dr. Conner for my knee pain before I moved, and knew he was the right choice for me, despite the long journey to get back to him.”
“Paul followed all the right steps before deciding on total joint replacement. He tried a variety of conservative approaches to relieve his pain over an adequate amount of time, but made the decision for replacement before allowing the pain to result in a sedentary lifestyle. Now he enjoys the confidence in knowing that he made the right decision, at the right time.”
John Conner, MD
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Paul returned to Southern Indiana in the spring of 2010 and sought the help of John Conner, MD, a board certified orthopedic surgeon. As he expected, Dr. Conner advised him that the time had come for total knee replacement surgery.
Dr. Conner explained Paul’s condition, “Paul was 75 years old and in great shape, but experiencing progressively worse knee pain, despite conservative approaches including injections, anti-inflammatories and pain medications. He wanted more out of retirement than what his knee was allowing for, so I advised him that the time had come for total knee replacement, which we scheduled for April 13, 2010.”
Paul’s total knee replacement surgery was a success. “Dr. Conner and the staff at Baptist Health Floyd were great to me,” said Paul. “The surgery and rehabilitation afterwards went just as I had expected, and I was happy to return to Costa Rica with a new lease on life and the ability to enjoy all the great outdoor activities it has to offer.”
“I have a physical therapist here in Costa Rica that I work with regularly to continue to strengthen my knee, and I’m pain-free and able to do most anything I want. I even went on a canopy tour where I zip-lined through the trees of the rainforest, which involved a lot of climbing. I wouldn’t have been able to experience something like that before my surgery.”
Free Joint Pain Screening
Saturday, April 9, 7 am-Noon
Baptist Health Floyd will host a free joint pain screening of knees, hips and shoulders including X-rays and consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. You’ll also get an opportunity to meet the team of experts who will work with you every step of the way before and after your surgery. Space is limited and appointments are required. Screenings will take place at the Baptist Health Floyd Wound Healing Center. Call 1-800-4-SOURCE (1-800-476-8723) to register.
Baptist Health Floyd Nurse Undergoes Total Knee Replacement and Gets a Glimpse of the View from “the Other Side”
As a member of Baptist Health Floyd’s Interventional Radiology team, Debi Coffman, RN, thought she knew everything about the hospital. But when she had a total knee replacement in October of 2009, Debi learned a few things– about her hospital, her coworkers and herself.
As an active person, Debi grew dismayed when severe pain in her left knee began to interfere with her lifestyle. “I had to adjust everything to accommodate my painful knee,” explained Debi. “Everyday activities like doing housework, climbing stairs, pushing patients on stretchers at work, riding my bike and going for walks became impossible.”
Edward Bell, Jr., MD
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Debi sought the expertise of board certified Orthopedic Surgeon Edward Bell, Jr., MD. Dr. Bell explained her course of treatment, “We first tried injections of hyaluronic acid into her knee joint. It helps to supplement the fluid in the joint, providing extra lubrication and cushioning, which can reduce pain in some patients. But Debi’s job is not only physically strenuous; it also involves wearing a heavy lead apron to protect her from radiation exposure, which was putting constant pressure on her knees. It soon became evident that she would need total knee replacement surgery in order to continue with the lifestyle she enjoyed.”
The View From the “Other Side”
After so many years as a caregiver, one of the most memorable aspects of the surgical experience for Debi was to play the role of patient.
“Being on the flip side of the situation made me look at things in a totally different way,” said Debi. “I certainly appreciated the knowledge that my surgeon and nurses gave me more than I ever thought I would. Dr. Bell was the best. He was able to answer all my questions and set me at ease, both before and after surgery. And after all was said and done, he had laid it out exactly like it occurred, with no surprises.”
On the Road to Recovery
Debi was pleasantly surprised by how much better she felt – and how quickly. “Before my surgery, I was told that I would be standing the same day, which I found hard to believe. But, thanks to my physical therapist, I really did, which blew me away.”
After spending three days in the hospital, Debi did rehab five days a week, reducing her schedule as her healing progressed. Before long, she was back on her beloved exercise bike, and was back to work in just eight weeks. A little over a year later, Debi is in full swing. “Now I can do just about anything I want,” she said. “I feel completely back to normal, and will definitely have the other knee replaced when it gets to the point where it is needed.”
Encouraging Others Not to Live in Pain
Debi’s advice to others suffering from knee pain is to consider total knee replacement surgery.
“There is absolutely no reason for anyone to walk around on a painful knee,” she said. “Now I notice people hobbling around with bad knees, and I want to go up to them and say that it can be fixed and they can have an improved quality of life in just a matter of weeks. The journey of surgery and rehab are worth it, because the end result is absolutely wonderful. It just doesn’t make sense not to do it.”
Free Total Joint Replacement Seminars
Speaker: John Conner, MD
Thursday, March 24, 6-7 pm
Speaker: Edward Bell, Jr., MD
Thursday, May 19, 6-7 pm
Learn about advanced treatments that may offer dramatic relief of your knee or hip pain. An orthopedic surgeon and nurse will discuss medications, exercise and total joint replacement surgery. A former patient will also discuss their experience and recovery process. Call 1-800-4-SOURCE (1-800-476-8723) or register for the seminar online.
Are You Ready for Knee Replacement Surgery?
Having total knee replacement is not a decision to come to lightly. Here is a guide to help you decide if the time is right to consider the procedure:
Signs it’s Time to Consider Total Knee Replacement Surgery
- Your knee pain keeps you awake, or awakens you at night
- Your knee pain limits activities necessary for your daily routine, such as climbing stairs or getting up from a chair
- Engaging in physical activity of any kind is painful, and you find yourself becoming more sedentary in general
- You have tried conservative treatments for a reasonable amount of time, but continue to have persistent pain
Signs You Should Continue with Conservative Treatments
- Your knee pain does not limit your ability to engage in normal activities in your daily routine
- You are only limited to high-impact activities, such as running or playing contact sports
- Your pain and symptoms are improving with conservative treatments