Come to Joint Replacement Class on January 29
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.
Eric Brigham of Derby, is enjoying life after a lifetime of knee pain, highly recommends the Joint Replacement Class.