A Life Changing Opportunity: Partnering for Success

A Life Changing Opportunity: Partnering for Success

A Life Changing Opportunity: Partnering for Success
Submitted By: Carole Caron & Susie Montgomery
On her 50th birthday weekend Christina McNamara was walking down the street with her husband and felt something shatter in her right leg. Being so young, and with no family history, arthritis was not a diagnoses she thought she would receive. After an MRI, it was revealed that her left leg was in much worse of a condition than her right, which made no sense to her, seeing as all her pain was in her right leg. After trying anti-inflammatory medications, exercise, a dedicating her time at the gym and at home to her physiotherapy with no improvement, her doctor asked if she wished to see a surgeon. Right after her meeting with Dr. Winemaker, Christine new that her life would change for the better. Dr. Winemaker’s assurance thrilled her and gave her a new hope, something she had been without since her diagnosis. She knew she needed the surgery if she would one day want to be on the ground crawling around with her future grandchildren. The 15 month waitlist, when reflected on flew buy, but at the time, she was both anxious and excited. She educated herself on her surgery and the outcomes, and when Dr. Winemaker told he that he could get her in for the following July, everything seemed to be falling in to place, because that is when she takes her vacation time away from the home daycare she runs. Although she needed a new left hip and both her knees replaced, Christina is so grateful and says the surgery has changed her life. Speaking with her the day after her surgery she exclaimed, “today I am pain free, it’s a healing pain I feel, that I can handle, but the arthritis pain, is gone. I am so grateful to the people that have been with me for the last 13 months and 3 days, since the first surgery to this one.” The orthopedic program empowers patients to be in charge of their own care. Patients attend a mandatory class, that all staff have also attended, to make sure the are informed and there are no surprises once they have the surgery. A lot of preoperational education is put in to place, that allows patients to focus on healing when they get home. Because of the education and innovative treatment options the team has developed over the last several years, the team has been able to cut their length of stay from 5.5 days, to 2.9 days, well below the governments recommendation of 4.4. Clinical Nurse Specialist Carole Caron and Physiotherapist Suzie Montgomery stress that the decision to have a joint replacement, isn’t based off of their severity of arthritis, it is all based on quality of life. If you have arthritis and its affecting your activities or quality of life, you may want to be referred to the Regional Joint Assessment Program.