Come to Joint Re­place­ment Class on Jan­uary 29

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion, Nancy Goss, New­port, VT

Think­ing back in time, Eric Brigham of Derby couldn’t think back far enough to re­mem­ber a time when his knees didn’t ache, and he is only 46-years-old. How­ever, Oc­to­ber 22 was the be­gin­ning of the end for his pain. That was the day he un­der­went joint re­place­ment surgery at North Coun­try Hospi­tal.

The doc­tor who op­er­ated on Eric was Glen Neale MD, an orthopaedic sur­geon at North Coun­try Orthopaedic Surgery in New­port.

“I can now do so many things I couldn’t do in the past,” the 1984 grad­u­ate of North Coun­try Union High School said. “I can walk up and down the stairs and even go for a walk out­side with­out my knee hurt­ing.”

Eric’s jour­ney to hav­ing joint re­place­ment surgery has been a 30 year, painful ad­ven­ture. Born with knee prob­lems, he had his first knee surgery when he was 16, not to re­place the joint, but to at­tempt

to re­pair it. That surgery was fol­lowed by sev­eral more surg­eries on his knees with the same in­ten­tion; how­ever, the pain never went away.

He ex­plained that un­til he met Dr. Neale no sur­geon at other hos­pi­tals he vis­ited wanted to give him a to­tal knee re­place­ment. They rea­soned he was too young for such a surgery, and there was the is­sue of him hav­ing di­a­betes and a clot­ting is­sue with his blood. Noth­ing short of knee re­place­ment, though, took away his pain.

When some­body told him about Dr. Neale, his in­ter­est was piqued by the fact that the doc­tor had had dou­ble hip re­place­ment surgery when he was only in his 40s be­cause bad hips had made it dif­fi­cult for him to walk even a short dis­tance. Eric knew that pain, but in his knees, all too well.

Dr. Neale de­ter­mined Eric was a good can­di­date for a joint re­place­ment, even con­sid­er­ing the other fac­tors.

Be­fore his surgery though, as with all joint re­place­ment pa­tients, Eric had to at­tend a joint re­place­ment class at the hospi­tal.

Mary Jane Man­fredi, the prac­tice man­ager at North Coun­try Orthopaedics, ex­plained the pur­pose of the class.

“Joint Re­place­ment Class is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to learn about the process in­volved in get­ting a to­tal joint re­placed. 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.”

The next joint re­place­ment class is on Jan­uary 29 from 3 to 5 pm in the hospi­tal meet­ing room.

Drs. Neale and Var­ney plan to at­tend the class to ex­plain the pro­ce­dure in de­tail and what to ex­pect dur­ing the re­cov­ery pe­riod. Other mem­bers of the med­i­cal staff will be at­tend­ing, in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing room staff, nurs­ing, and phys­i­cal ther­apy. Of­ten­times former pa­tients, who went through the class then went on to have joint re­place­ment surgery, are in­vited to at­tend to share their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Eric en­cour­ages peo­ple con­sid­er­ing joint re­place­ment to at­tend the class. “I learned ev­ery­thing I needed to know in the class.”

Yes, there is some pain af­ter surgery, but he said the pain of surgery is noth­ing com­pared to the pain most joint pain suf­fers ex­pe­ri­ence on a day-to-day ba­sis. “The pain from surgery wasn’t any­thing com­pared to the pain I lived with ev­ery day.”

Although he looks for­ward to hav­ing surgery on his other knee in the coming months, he was re­cently able to snow­mo­bile for the first time in 20 years, some­thing which would have wreaked havoc on his knee be­fore surgery. Most im­por­tant, though, he is now able to lead a more ac­tive life with his two chil­dren, a 13 year old daugh­ter, and a five year old son.

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing the coming class please con­tact North Coun­try Orthopaedics at 802-334-4175.

Photo courtesy

Eric Brigham of Derby, is en­joy­ing life af­ter a life­time of knee pain, highly rec­om­mends the Joint Re­place­ment Class.

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