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Knee replacement gets cyclist back on the road

  • Dennis Zielski, 62, an avid bicyclist, keeps meticulous records of the distances he's traveled. His workout on April 27 was fairly modest - just five miles - but memorable. It was the first time he'd been out for a ride since having total knee replacement at River Falls Area Hospital, little more than a month before.

    Fighting against knee pain

    Zielski had battled arthritis pain in his knees for years, and he had undergone total knee replacement of his right knee in 2008. He was able to manage the pain in his left knee with the help of Andrea Saterbak, MD, who treated him for nearly four years with cortisone shots and other noninvasive measures.

    Saterbak, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Croix Orthopaedics, a group of highly experienced surgeons who treat patients at River Falls Area Hospital, got to know Zielski well. "By 2013, I knew he was living his life around his knee pain," she said. She suggested that it was time for his left knee to be replaced.

    Standing up on surgery day

    Zielski decided to have his surgery at River Falls Area Hospital, only four miles from his home. The procedure, which replaced the knee joint with an artificial implant, was "routine, and it went well," Saterbak said.

    "I was out of bed and standing up the afternoon of my surgery day, and by the evening I could walk with a cane," Zielski recalled. He was impressed by the staff and the hospital environment. "The nurses were always checking on me. I never wanted for anything," he said. "Even the food was good."

    He left after a two-day stay and returned for outpatient therapy at Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy™ - River Falls. A few weeks later, Zielski was walking comfortably, and by April he was back on his bike. "I'm up to 100 miles so far this year, and I have no complaints," he said. "I'd recommend River Falls Area Hospital to anyone."

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