After her successful hip replacement at River Falls Area Hospital, Marion Erlandson is happy to be back home enjoying time in her gardens and with her grandchildren.
Care for orthopedic needs close to home
Marion Erlandson of rural Ellsworth has a large extended family she enjoys spending time with. She also volunteers at her church and in the community, and she tries not to miss a wrestling match at Ellsworth High School, where her grandsons were members of the wrestling team.
So when her hip arthritis got so bad she had difficulty walking, Erlandson counted on the orthopedic program at River Falls Area Hospital to help her get back to her full life.
Easing transition from hospital to home
Erlandson had her left hip replaced at River Falls Area Hospital on March 12, 2012 and was discharged 10 days later. Before leaving the hospital, she had the opportunity to participate in the hospital's swing bed recovery program. This program is for patients who no longer require acute care but aren't yet ready to go home.
Swing bed patients receive temporary skilled care while they regain the skills they need to live as independently as possible.
After discharge, Erlandson continued her rehabilitation at the Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy Center at the Ellsworth Medical Clinic.
"All the care I received was excellent," said Erlandson, a retired elementary school teacher who is now 72. "Everyone was kind and caring, and they were always willing to answer questions."
"I particularly loved the swing bed program," she added. "I previously had my left knee and right hip replaced at River Falls, and both times I recuperated at my daughter's home and relied on my children for rides to physical therapy. But this time, when I left the hospital I was able to sleep in my own bed and drive myself to therapy."
Rehabilitation experts speed recovery
"We have excellent physical and occupational therapists at Courage Kenny with good leadership," said William Schneider, MD, the orthopedic surgeon who performed Erlandson's second hip replacement.
"They're well trained and highly motivated. We could do the best operation in the world, but patients who don't receive the proper rehab won't have optimal results."
Nicholas Maiers, PT, the primary inpatient physical therapist with the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, worked with Erlandson twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes.
"Initially, orthopedic patients perform gentle range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, practice sitting and standing, then using a walker," Maiers said.
An occupational therapist also helps patients with self-care, such as dressing and grooming.
Although she says it will take up to a year to fully recover, Erlandson is pain-free and walking much better. She's gradually getting back to doing what she loves and is grateful all the orthopedic services she needed were close to home.
"I'm a country girl," Erlandson said, "and being able to take care of my health concerns locally means a lot."