The class is a time for people, some who have already been scheduled for surgery and others who are only contemplating it, to learn more about joint replacement surgery and what to expect.
“Joint Replacement Class is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the process involved in getting a total joint replaced,” Maryjane Manfredi said. “All of the staff involved in the procedure will take you through each step, from the initial evaluation with the surgeon through the entire recovery. The class is open to those who have already consulted with a physician regarding total joint replacement as well as those who are contemplating their options and want to learn more about this opportunity. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged. However, due to space concerns we do encourage you to call our office and register.” Maryjane is the practice manager for North Country Orthopaedics.
Dr. Glen Neale, the full-time Orthopaedic surgeon at North Country Orthopaedics in Newport, performs the joint replacement surgeries. Also on staff in the practice is Dr. Richard James, parttime Sports Medicine physician who often refers patients to Dr. Neale for surgery and works very closely with our team to collaborate with post-operative patients’ treatment plans. Dr. James also specializes in major joint injections (shoulder, hip and knee) done under ultrasound guidance. Norm Dupuis, an Orthopaedic Physician Assistant, routinely sees patients in the practice and assists Dr. Neale in surgery.
Fast forward to March 8, 2012, about two years after Richard’s surgery. He was back in the same meeting room at the hospital, and he was again listening to the hospital, and he was again listening to a very similar talk about joint replacement surgery with a group of other people. No, his joint replacements hadn’t gone bad, nor did he need any other joints replaced. He was there to encourage other joint replacement candidates, many who were nervous about undergoing the surgery. And far from being angry about being at this class, he was happy and downright humorous as he told others about his experience.
“I was just so thrilled I had the surgery done,” Richard said. However, he understands their reluctance to have the surgery. “I was told when I was 43 I needed knee replacement surgery, but I just wasn’t ready to have it done yet.”
He tried just about every procedure to avoid having the surgery, including taking a copious amount of over-the-counter painkillers, and being injected with steroids. “By the time I was 63 I could barely walk. If I walked 100 yards I was in excruciating pain.” The pain made it difficult for him to work at his job as a currier for the Passumpsic Savings Bank.
Along with his humor and personal experience relating to the surgery, he didn’t beat around the push about the procedure and the moderate pain he had to endure for a time after the operation. However, he said that pain was nothing compared to the pain he’d felt for years leading up to the surgery. And the pain disappeared soon after undergoing the procedure.
“I felt so good after the surgery I decided to retire from work because I could do things I hadn’t been able to do in 15 years,” Richard said. He also went out and bought himself a motorcycle.”
People interested in knowing more about joint replacement, or in attending the class, please contact North Country Orthopaedics at 802-334-4175.
North Country Orthopaedics will soon be welcoming a second orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Thomas Varney will be joining Dr. Neale and Dr. James in May.