Patient Stories

Read how hip and knee joint replacement patients at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, Minnesota, have benefited from surgery.

I encourage people not to wait as long as I did. —Ken, International Falls

"I am grateful and blessed to have been able to turn 80 years old this last October in good health. We learned of The Joint Wellness Center through our daughter who has worked in Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center hospital for over 30 years. Knowing my daughter had firsthand knowledge of the staff and facilities we decided to come here.

My first indication that I had a bad knee was when I started limping. This started a year and a half before I did anything about it. I am an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. I couldn't walk to my deer stand anymore and I decided that's it. That was the moment for me.

Through Dr. Metz and the fine nursing staff at The Joint Wellness Center, as well as the physical therapy, I have made a complete recovery. The encouragement of everyone, the nice clean homey environment, and the staff's expertise made it possible for me.

One of my grandpa's sayings is 'Good, better, best, never leave it rest, until your good is better and your better is best' and I feel The Joint Wellness Center has followed my grandpa's saying and their good became better and their better became the best that there is!

I had a complete recovery. I can now walk miles, do jumping jacks, work on my deer stand, and cut wood. I can do all the outdoor activities I have always loved. I enjoy stopping back and visiting all my friends at the Joint Wellness Center when I am in the area. I would encourage people not to wait as long as I did.

—Ken, International Falls

The care I received...was excellent in every way. —Marcia, Baxter

"The cartilage in my right knee had been deteriorating for quite some time when my surgeon decided it was time for a total knee joint replacement. However, due to events in my family, I postponed surgery twice and another year had come and gone.

In November 2011 I had a total knee replacement. Because my leg had 'bowed' somewhat, my healing process might have been a little bit different and taken a bit longer than the average patient. Now, just five months later, I am walking well and my comfort level is improving. My leg is now straight, and I have only a thin line for a scar.

If and when I need surgery on my left knee, I will be at the Joint Wellness Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd. The care I received from my surgeon and the staff at the Joint Wellness Center was excellent in every way!"

—Marcia, Baxter

I love my new knees...I wish I had done it much sooner. —Penny, Pequot Lakes

"I live in Pequot Lakes, and I am a recipient of both knee replacements from the Joint Wellness Center. I encourage anyone who is facing knee replacement to just go for it! I have been known to put things off, thinking time would be better later. Always later. When I finally couldn't walk without bursting into tears, and I could no longer do my job as a nursing assistant, I knew the time had come. I only wish that I would have done it sooner.

Since my knee replacements, I have learned how to kayak. I had no problem getting in the kayak and paddling for hours on end. I just had trouble getting out by myself. Last week, I aced that as well. I can get out by myself now and am enjoying my new found freedom. I also ride a three-wheel bike instead of the traditional two-wheel bike. I like the security of being worry free from accidental tipping and banging my new knees. They are too precious to abuse. However, they are made for 'using'. I have since lost my husband who was my caregiver during the recovery period. It left me on my own to do for myself and I have adjusted. I now live on the 3rd floor of an apartment by my choosing. I want to avoid as much stiffness as I can, and the best way to do that is to walk up and down those stairs and bike.

I love my new knees. I thank God every day. I just wish I had done it much sooner, and avoided months of pain, agony, and worry. The sooner the better in my opinion."

—Penny, Pequot Lakes

My experience at the Joint Wellness Center can only be rated as a 10. —Donna, Wadena

"My experience at the Joint Wellness Center can only be rated as a 10. I had waited for my knee replacement until I could hardly walk. I don't recommend that. I chose to replace both my knees at once because both were equally in need of surgery. I came to the Wellness Center because all my post-op and pre-op could be done locally to save travel issues.

I also had a recommendation from many former patients. I felt very well prepared for my post-op healing and rehab process. I highly recommend the suggested pre-op exercises in preparation for getting back on your feet. I have always been about 5'7" and had shrunk to less than 5'5" because of my bent knees. I am now 5'7" again!

We are avid campers and it had gotten hard to get up those three steps into the fifth wheel. That issue is solved too! I am sure I will never take being pain free for granted again. I cannot stress enough what this procedure did to alleviate my joint pain as well as get me on my feet again. A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved!"

—Donna, Wadena

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