Joyce Mills had tried just about everything to manage her knee pain—anti-inflammatory medicine, cortisone shots, rest.
The 79-year-old member of Taylorville’s “Silver Sneakers” walking club didn’t want to slow down. But eventually she had to put away her bicycle, store the square-dancing shoes and even sit down while cooking meals.
“Grocery shopping was even a hassle,” Joyce said. “I could barely move.”
She met with Jeffrey Schopp, then an orthopedic surgeon with Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s JointWorks program. He had two words for her: “You’re ready.”
He explained the process of knee replacement surgery and gave her exercises to complete at home prior to surgery. Joyce took a four-hour class led by Maggie Rice, RN, and JointWorks educator, who answered questions and explained what to expect at home following surgery and the outpatient rehabilitation process.
“Joyce has such an optimist outlook on life and believes that preventative care and maintenance of post-surgery exercises increases her chances to promote a more proactive lifestyle,” Rice said. “I'm sure that was a determining factor on her success. Once she sets a goal for herself, you can count on her achieving it.”
As a result, Joyce wasn’t even nervous about the surgery on her first knee and, later on, her second. And she was ecstatic about the opportunity to have the procedures both done in her hometown, Taylorville.
“I felt more comfortable being close to home,” she said. “I knew the hospital greeter, the menu person and the pastor was close. I just liked being home.”
“The surgery was uneventful, and I didn’t have any pain when I woke up,” she added. “We went for a walk, and I did exactly what they told me to.”
After both surgeries, Joyce went to outpatient rehabilitation with Krista Gooding, PT, twice weekly for a couple of months after the surgery.
“Every time I take off for a walk, I’m so grateful,” she said. “I’m back to yard work, bike riding, walking. I can’t sit still!”