Sports / Orthopedic

Gail’s Smooth Transition for Her Total Joint Replacement Surgeries

Apr 19 2024

Gail Moon, a 72-year-old patient, had been going to St. Luke’s for her health care needs her entire life. Established with Douglas Olson, MD, she found a new home with our ministry when it came time for her total joint replacement surgeries – and couldn’t be happier with the experience!

Gail’s joint problems stemmed from years of hard work.

She spent many years working in a factory, carrying 50-pound bags, which took a major toll on her hips and knees. She had also fallen on her hip about 10 years prior, leading to debilitating arthritis. She initially came to Dr. Olson for knee pain, but then hip pain followed.

For several years, Gail had been seeing Dr. Olson at St. Luke’s, getting joint injections to help manage the pain. However, as her condition worsened, Dr. Olson and his physician assistant re-evaluated and recommended that Gail consider total joint replacement surgery. They reviewed the imaging together and determined that the hip should be done first, then the right knee and finally the left knee.

“Dr. Olson’s friendly personality helped me feel comfortable,” Gail shares. “He really listens to you and is very knowledgeable.” 

It was around this time that St. Luke’s closed, so Gail waited until Dr. Olson transitioned to Mercy Health to schedule her surgeries.

“I wanted to do all of my required surgeries consecutively so I could be done and get back to walking freely again,” Gail says.

Gail was impressed by the care she received with us. She attended our patient education class with models to explain the hip and knee procedures and found this to be very helpful. When it came time for surgery, Dr. Olson was attentive, stopping by to go over the details before the procedure and checking in afterward.

“My care philosophy as an orthopedic surgeon is to not only provide the most up to date and comprehensive orthopedic care, but also to ensure that the patient experience is as smooth and comfortable as possible,” Dr. Olson explains. “I try to give patients multiple opportunities to ask questions and get any concerns addressed. Each patient is unique, and I want them to feel at ease with our plan.”

As Gail recovered, she found she needed a bit more physical therapy than initially prescribed after the hip replacement to regain her strength and mobility. Knowing this from her hip replacement, she was able to advocate for the additional sessions after her knee replacement.

“I didn’t know you could ask for more physical therapy sessions,” Gail admits. “But I requested a few more, and that’s exactly what I needed.”

She continues, “After the first surgery, one leg was longer due to the bend in my knee. I have been moving better, but still use my cane when I leave the house.”

Gail recently had her third (and final!) joint replacement surgery. As she recovers, she is hopeful this final surgery will help restore her balance and stability, allowing her to ditch the cane for good. Her goal is to move without pain and get back to her daily morning walks.

Despite being a lifelong St. Luke’s patient, Gail has been incredibly impressed with the care she’s received with our ministry and has had a wonderful experience at every step of her joint replacement journey.

“Everyone I’ve interacted with at Mercy Health has been so pleasant – from the nurses to the physical therapists to the office staff… They’ve all been easy to work with,” Gail shares.

Gail’s advice to others is to not be afraid to advocate for your own needs, whether that’s requesting additional physical therapy or clarifying any questions you have with your provider. With the right care team in your corner, you can get back to living your best life.

Want to learn more about your joint health? Take our online joint risk assessment today.

Also, learn about orthopedic services we provide at Mercy Health.

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