Patient Stories

GET YOUR LIFE BACK!

Every patient has a different story about why they chose to have their Joint Replacement surgery at Douglas County Hospital.

Read a few of our patients' success stories: 

Dennis' Story

"My experience in getting my knee replaced was life changing! When I was 2yrs. old I was a polio victim and spent almost a year at Sister Kinney Institute. The doctors told my parents that I may never walk again,but the Polio only paralized my right leg. As I grew my polio leg was noticeably smaller and 3 inches shorter than my left leg. When I was 9yrs old the 0rthopedic surgeons tried a new procedure to stunt the growth in my good leg to allow my polio leg to catch up. It worked!"

"In my fifties arthritis set in and when I reached my early 60's the pain was 24/7 and my mobility was getting more and more limited. I love the game of golf, and after popping 6 to 8 ibuprofen during my round of golf I frequently managed to end up with a positive cash flow. When you limp, are overweight and a senior citizen people are always trying to get into your wallet!! The last two years my knee was so bad I was losing the desire to do any physical activity, even golf. So I quit procrastinating and made a appointment at the Joint Replacement Center to see with all my corrective surgeries if I was a candidate for a knee replacement. Dr. Dale informed me that I had that option!! I was so excited I made my surgery appointment. The soonest they could do it was Dec 20th, which put me in rehab over Christmas."

"The care and attention I was given before, during and post op was second to none! Now eight weeks after surgery I have very little pain(no pain pills) and I can't wait for the golf season and by eating smart I've lost over 20 pounds toward a goal of 100 pounds which will put less stress on my knees! Thank You to Dr.Dale, the staff at Heartland Orthopedics,Douglas County Hospital and Ecumen rehab for giving my quality of life back to me. We, in the Alexandria area, are so fortunate to have the very best of medical care. God bless you all!!"

 

Jeff’s Story

Jeff is a 54 year old man who has worked hard most of his life. He has been a teacher at Alexandria Technical and Community College for the past 13 years instructing computer classes. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Navy for 9 years, most of which was on a submarine.

“Before my knee pain got really bad, I enjoyed activities such as hiking, taking a walk and just being able to do what I wanted physically.”  

“Being a teacher you work on your feet. The end of the day was becoming more and more painful for me. Eventually long distance walking became intolerable. My knee pain was impacting my quality of life. Activities of daily living were now very difficult. Before I realized it, I had been dealing with 5 to 6 years of noticeable discomfort.”

“I knew it was a matter of time before I needed the joint replacement surgery. The limitations definitely out- weighed the risks of surgery for me.”

“I had been seen at Heartland Orthopedic Specialists and Douglas County Hospital previously for two less invasive procedures on my knee. Before having the replacement surgery, I did some research and found HOS and DCH to be well respected and rated among the best. How convenient living here and this place is in my back yard.”

“All aspects of the JRC program were very positive. The staff was exceptional and believed in what they were doing. The pre-op class relieved some anxiety and helped me prepare. The reunion luncheon provided additional insight what to expect in the months following surgery which has been extremely helpful.”

 "Now only a few months later I’m walking a couple miles a day and it’s heaven. I’m extremely glad I went ahead with the surgery as it has provided me with a back-to-normal lifestyle I had pretty much forgotten. I continue with all the physical therapy that is requested and it has proven to me that it does work as my knee continues to strengthen. I’m back to doing everything I was doing before and now can do even more. Did I mention how good it feels to be able to do things I haven’t done for years?"

"I also want to say that all the people involved with this surgery and my recovery time in the hospital are simply the best. They were all extremely positive and reassuring. They all made me feel like they were in fact there to help me through this process and that goes a long way. All my questions were answered and all my concerns were addressed.
I couldn’t be happier with how the entire procedure turned out and how my new knee is treating me. As a saying goes; I should have done this a long time ago."

 

Shirley’s Story

 “I have always enjoyed working out and exercising. Going for long walks, doing the elliptical and raising 3 children kept me fit and healthy. Teaching has been a big part of my life as well, going on 33 years now. I could always work through the discomfort in my hip and it didn’t limit me.” That was up until about 2 ½ years ago when she developed a noticeable hitch or limp in her walk.

Her hip degeneration progressed rapidly. Within 7 months she went from having some cartilage of the hip joint seen on x-ray to none at all. “I had a cortisone injection in February which worked well for me, but the second injection in September gave me no relief. I had constant pain in the hip for the next 3-4 months especially with prolonged sitting and getting out of bed in the morning. I felt like I had to constantly move around or else I got stiff and painful. The pain was affecting my lifestyle and limiting the things I enjoyed and at my age of 56, I was not ready to give that up. That’s when I knew I was ready for the joint replacement surgery.”

 “I feel so fortunate to have this place (Heartland Orthopedics and the Joint Replacement Center) right here in Alexandria. Dr. Weigel and the staff were all terrific.”

 “Now that I am 7 months out from surgery, I have no limitations and forget I even had the procedure done. I can walk 5 miles again if I want and not worry about going site seeing when I travel.” She is looking forward to participating in her daughter’s wedding this Fall and having fun. “My suggestion to those considering surgery is you don’t have to live with this pain. Get the surgery done and get back to your life!

 

Forrest’s Story

As a young man, Forrest enjoyed activities such as camping and hiking with his family including 5 children. “I worked as an Insurance agent for 23 years in Hastings MN. Prior to that, I was an Illinois patrolman for 10 years.  My wife and I retired and built a home here in Alexandria in 1994. Dr. Paul Dale was actually a neighbor of mine.”

“I initially hurt my left knee while in Hastings. Years later I had arthroscopic surgery on the left knee by Dr. Kennedy here at DCH which was helpful for quite some time.”  

“For 4 years I tried non operative treatments such as cortisone injections for my joint pain. I recall having constant discomfort. I could not tolerate walking at the MN state fair or see the new Mall of America. I put up with the pain for as long as I could before I decided to have my knee joint replacement.”

Forrest believes the pre-op physical therapy performed months prior to his surgery helped him quite a bit post-operatively. “The whole Joint Replacement Center plan was good and well thought out. Other patients I have talked to have had good experiences as well. My primary care physician whom I trust and the orthopedic team made sure I was medically cleared for surgery as I had suffered a stroke in the past.”

“My first knee replacement surgery went so well that I decided to have the other knee done 7 years later.”

“Now I am riding a stationary bike 3x/day for 15 minutes. I am also considering going to state fair this year as I haven’t been there for 15 years. I am enjoying doing my daily activities, taking care of my dog Rusty, and performing yard work without pain.” I caught Forrest busy in the kitchen preparing cucumbers this day. If you’d like the recipe feel free to contact Angie!