Brenda's Story: Knee and Hip Replacements
Back to an Active Life… After Knee and Hip Replacements
For much of her adult life, Brenda Galen, 58, was active, athletic and thin. She was a Girl Scouts leader, a cheerleading coach and an avid shopper. Then, at age 45, her body “shut down, ” as she puts it. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and suffered for years.
“I had trouble walking up or down stairs and could not walk for any length of time,” says Galen, who lives in Needham, MA with her husband. “It usually resulted in being put in a wheelchair, discouraging to me and my family. I was in constant pain. I just wanted a normal life.”
She had her right knee replaced in 2004, but wasn’t completely satisfied with the results, so when it became clear six years later that her right hip was next, she called the Kaplan Joint Center at the recommendation of her primary care physician. “It was the best thing I could have done,” says Galen. Hany Bedair, MD, replaced that hip, then her left hip a year later and finally her left knee most recently.
“Dr. Bedair is friendly, professional, caring and he makes you feel like your concerns are valid and that you are his only patient at that time,” says Galen. “All of the staff are personable, great listeners and they make you feel like a person, not a patient.”
Galen is impressed with how the Joint Center staff strives to make the entire experience as pleasant as possible and the attention to detail. “I had a gorgeous, spacious private room with a picture window and two large screen TVs, one for me and one for my daughter who stayed overnight on the day bed,” says Galen. After each surgery, Dr. Bedair, nurse practitioner Judy Walsh and the Joint Center’s internist Judy Yang, MD, would visit her. “There isn’t anything better than that feeling that you matter,” says Galen.
Galen says rehabilitation has gone smoothly every time. She recalls scooting down the hallway of a rehab facility with her walker just five days after having her right hip replaced. “The nurse asked me to slow down and I told her she didn’t understand how wonderful it felt to be able to walk without pain.”
She has been very pleased with her progress in the seven weeks since her most recent surgery on her left knee. “I am able to get up out of the chair without pain, walk further than I have been able to walk in years, and get in and out of bed easily, without pain,” she says. “I can take care of myself in all personal areas, including bathing, dressing, and working around the kitchen.” Galen is looking forward to one particular physical activity with her new knee: dancing at her daughter Kathleen’s wedding in four months.