As a long-time electrician, thereâ€™s not much that keeps Lynn Toedt in the dark.
So when severe pain in his right knee began interfering with hisnormal, day-to-day activities, the 64-year old knew right away he needed relief only specialized medical care could give.
â€œI was in constant pain, and nothing seemed to remedy it,â€쳌 said the Hampstead resident. â€œI knew I needed a long-term solution."
For Toedt, that solution came in the form of knee replacement surgery at New Hanover Regional Medical Center Orthopedic Center at Cape Fear Hospital.
â€œKnee replacement is one of the most common joint replacement surgeries,â€쳌 said Wilmington orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Hannum, who performed Toedtâ€™s knee surgery. â€œWhen patients say to me, â€˜I canâ€™t walk, I canâ€™t stand, I canâ€™t get up out of a chair because of the pain,â€™ it usually means all other treatment options have been exhausted and that knee replacement surgery is the next choice of treatment.â€쳌
Chronic arthritic knee pain is the main cause for knee replacement surgery, said Dr. Hannum.
â€œArthritis is progressive and gets worse with time,â€쳌 he said. â€œAnd while medicines, injections, salves and gels can help relieve the pain, theyâ€™re usually only temporary solutions.â€쳌
During knee replacement surgery, the worn-out lower end of the femur (thigh bone) and the worn-out upper end of the tibia (shin bone) are removed. Both ends then receive metal prosthetic components. In between these components sits a thin plastic insert allowing
the femur to move smoothly over the tibia. Together, these parts form the new knee joint.
The procedure usually lasts about an hour, said Dr. Hannum, and is typically performed under spinal anesthesia.
â€œI had the surgery early in the morning and by afternoon I was up walking the hallway,â€쳌 said Toedt. â€œThe arthritic knee pain was gone.â€쳌
On average, patients spend three nights in the hospital before going home, said Dr. Hannum, and after a prescribed regimen of physical therapy, they can expect to resume most activities of daily living within six weeks after surgery.
â€œI had the surgery on a Friday and was home Monday,â€쳌 said Toedt. â€œIn the weeks following, the physical therapists at Oleander Rehabilitation worked with me to get my mobility back. They were very positive and had a great attitude.â€쳌
Teamwork, said Dr. Hannum, is crucial in producing successful outcomes like Toedtâ€™s.
â€œItâ€™s truly a team effort to make someone well from a knee replacement,â€쳌 he said. â€œFrom the anesthesiologist and surgeon to the nurses, rehabilitation therapists and other hospital staff â€“ all those people have to work together to achieve a successful result.â€쳌
For Toedt, itâ€™s a result that has given him back something very important: â€œAfter just seven weeks I was able to go back to work â€“ and with no restrictions. Everyone at the hospital took really good care of me. Iâ€™d recommend the procedure and the NHRMC Orthopedic Center to anyone.â€쳌
For information on the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Orthopedic Center at Cape Fear Hospital, visit www.nhrmc.org/orthopedics, or call VitaLine at 815.5188.