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River Falls Area Hospital

Orthopedic program

Complete orthopedic care and service

If your life has been derailed by an orthopedic problem, River Falls Area Hospital's seamless system of care can put you back on track.

The hospital partners with St. Croix Orthopaedics, a group of highly experienced orthopedic surgeons who see patients most weekdays in River Falls.

Patients needing surgery can have their procedure at River Falls Area Hospital followed by inpatient rehabilitation and the opportunity to participate in the hospital's swing bed program.

In addition to hip, knee and shoulder replacement, procedures performed at River Falls Area Hospital include:

  • advanced arthroscopy to diagnose and treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, rotator cuff tears, labral tears, meniscus tears, shoulder instability and shoulder arthritis
  • hand, wrist and elbow surgery
  • foot and ankle surgery.

After leaving the hospital, orthopedic patients complete their rehab at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute–River Falls or the Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy Center at the Ellsworth Medical Clinic.

Source: Healthy Communities Magazine, Fall 2012 edition
Reviewed by: William Schneider, MD, orthopedic surgeon; Nicholas Maiers, PT
First Published: 10/01/2012
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2012

Rehabilitation maximizes recovery after orthopedic surgery

LeeAnn Lokken, PT, works with Wayne Anderson

At the Courage Kenny Sports and Physical Therapy Center in Ellsworth, LeeAnn Lokken, PT, works with Wayne Anderson on regaining strength after his knee replacement.

Orthopedic surgery may be your next step to relieve your pain and resume a more normal lifestyle.

To get the maximum benefit from your shoulder, hip, knee or back procedure, it's important to follow through with the proper rehabilitation.

At Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute–River Falls, our physical therapists are experts at helping patients improve their strength, flexibility, range of motion and walking pattern after a major orthopedic procedure.

Our occupational therapists work closely with you to help you regain daily living skills, such as dressing, toileting and getting in and out of a car. Rehabilitation ensures that you safely progress through the recommended exercises and activities so you'll function at the highest level possible after your procedure.

Patients in rehabilitation at Courage Kenny in River Falls typically meet with therapists twice a week, and programs last a few weeks to a few months, said Kent Kittleson, PT, manager of Rehabilitation Services.

Kittleson said it's critical for orthopedic patients to follow their surgeon's rehabilitation orders.

"Those who don't follow their rehabilitation plan risk injuring themselves or setting back their recovery," Kittleson said. "Rehabilitation experts are trained to see the whole picture—they understand how a patient's medical history can affect how quickly he or she heals, and we know when it's appropriate to or inappropriate to move on to the next step."

"If you've already gone as far as major surgery," he added, "you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to achieve the best result."


Source: Healthy Communities Magazine, Fall 2012 edition
Reviewed by: Kent Kittleson, PT, manager of Rehabilitation Services
First Published: 10/01/2012
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2012
Marion Erlandson

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."


Source: Healthy Communities Magazine, Fall 2012 edition
Reviewed by: William Schneider, MD, orthopedic surgeon; Nicholas Maiers, PT
First Published: 10/01/2012
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2012