A couple riding bikes

Cara's Knee Replacement Gives Her a New Spring in Her Step

(Pictured) Cara Coffelt is happy to be able to enjoy the outdoors again with her husband, Steve, thanks to knee replacement surgery at Miami County Medical Center.

Cara Coffelt has a lot to celebrate. She recently retired after a 28-year career at Tri-Ko, Inc., a day and residential care facility for individuals
 with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And, thanks to a recent knee replacement surgery, she is looking forward to living an active retirement with less pain.

The 58-year-old Osawatomie resident loves to work in her garden and on projects around the house, but before surgery, her knee pain made those activities tough.

“I would have to sit after walking short distances, and I was constantly taking ibuprofen and other pain relievers,” Cara said. “If I tried to work in the garden, I would end up with ice packs on my knee for days because of the swelling.”

Cara met with Dr. Christopher Eckland, an orthopedic surgeon with Johnson County Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Paola. He discussed a number of options for Cara, and together they decided a total knee replacement would be best.

“From the beginning, Dr. Eckland and Brooke Hiatt, PA-C, his physician assistant, provided me with great care,” Cara said. “I took the pre-op joint replacement class, asked lots of questions, and I felt prepared when it was time for surgery.”

During a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes and replaces an arthritic or damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. New advances in minimally invasive joint procedures promise faster recoveries, so patients can get back to living life at their own pace.

“My care at Miami County Medical Center was great. My nurses and therapists had me up and walking around soon after my surgery, and they made sure I was comfortable.”

After she went home, Cara continued her post-surgery therapy at Olathe Health Rehabilitation in Osawatomie.

“My therapists Janie and Teresa pushed me to work my hardest, but they also knew when I had reached my limit. They really helped my recovery,” Cara said.

Eighteen weeks after surgery, Cara graduated from physical therapy. She celebrated by working in her yard two weekends in a row, raking leaves, pushing a wheelbarrow, and getting the garden ready for spring. Cara urges anyone who is suffering from persistent knee pain to consider knee replacement surgery followed by post- surgery physical therapy.

“For me, it has been so worth it!” Cara said.

To make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Paola, call 913-557-3800.


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