Jan McGuire, Outpatient Total Knee Replacement Patient

Jan McGuire - Midland, MI

"Both times, my experience as an outpatient was phenomenal. They gave me all the tools I needed to be successful."

She's Feeling Outstanding after Outpatient Total Knee Replacement

Jan McGuire and her husband, Marty, are avid cyclists. For the past few years, their end-of-summer tradition was to participate in the DALMAC bicycle camping tour. "It's about 300 miles of biking," she said. "We start out from East Lansing, ride for four days and finish the trip by crossing the Mackinaw Bridge."

In past years, Jan needed cortisone injections in her knee to deal with pain and swelling. "Last year, I couldn't finish the ride," she said. "I knew it was time for knee replacement surgery."

Jan never expected, however, that she could have a knee replacement in the morning, cruise the hallways with a walker in the early afternoon and begin recuperating – at home – all before dinner.

Jan was the first patient to have total knee replacement surgery, as an outpatient procedure, at the Great Lakes Bay Surgery & Endoscopy Center in Midland. Her surgery was performed by MyMichigan Orthopedic Surgeon John Murphy, D.O., and was the first of its kind in the area.

Dr. Murphy initially approached her with the idea of day surgery for knee replacement. "He told me they had been looking for just the right candidate and he thought I would be a good one," Jan said. "After talking to Dr. Murphy and the staff at the surgery center, it did seem like a perfect fit."

"Over the last 20 years, advances in equipment and procedures have made joint replacement surgery much easier on the patient," Dr. Murphy said. "Smaller incisions and less tissue damage means faster healing and shorter hospital stays. Moving appropriate patients to an outpatient surgical center was the next logical step."

"Jan was the perfect candidate to have joint replacement as an outpatient," Dr. Murphy continued. "She is healthy, fit and was motivated to get back to her active lifestyle. We also knew she would comply with pre- and post-surgery instructions. That was important because we all wanted the first outpatient total knee replacement to be a success."

Jan had worked with Dr. Murphy for a couple of years to manage knee pain. She trusted his judgment and after touring the center and talking with the staff, she felt comfortable making the decision to have outpatient surgery. "They answered all our questions, and gave us all sorts of information," she said.

Her MyMichigan physical therapist, Eric Marquardt, P.T., D.P.T., C.M.P.T., prescribed pre-surgery exercises to strengthen her legs and showed her how to use a walker and a cane. "The day of my surgery, he came out to the center, got me up and had me walking up and down the hall," she said. "He was my therapist before and after both surgeries. He understands how I approach things and he helped me help myself."

The day of her surgery, Jan arrived at the Great Lakes Bay Surgery & Endoscopy Center at 6:30 a.m. "By 2 p.m., I was back home, sitting on my sofa, my leg elevated and ice on my knee," she said.

"Within hours, I was walking on my new knee," she said. "To be home so quickly after surgery, in familiar surroundings, sleeping in my own bed, I believe it helped speed the healing process. It was just so comfortable to be home. If I wanted something, it was right there."

Jan does not minimize the pain associated with the procedure and the physical therapy that follows. "Whether you are at a hospital or at home, there will be pain," she said. "I went to physical therapy two days after surgery. I did therapy at home as well which I think really helped my recovery. It hurts, but it's necessary to get the movement back."

She considers herself fortunate to have had her husband's support and she applauded the stellar job he did – from helping her in and out of bed the first few days, to encasing her knee in plastic wrap before a shower. "Marty played an essential role; he was wonderful," she said. "And it helps if you can live on one floor."

Jan believes it is vital to have the right mindset when facing joint replacement and follow-up therapy. "This is a partnership with you, your surgeon, your therapist and the rest of the health care team," she said. "You are as much in charge of your success as they are. The right mindset for me was to acknowledge that surgery and therapy will hurt, but it is essential to recovery. The alternative for me was pain and lack of movement – that was not the lifestyle I wanted."

When her left knee was completely healed and rehabbed, Jan had her right knee replaced, too. "The second time around, there was no question about whether or not to have outpatient surgery," she said. "Both times, my experience was phenomenal. They gave me all the tools I needed to be successful."

Those who would like more information on Dr. Murphy or MyMichigan Health’s orthopedic services may visit www.mymichigan.org/bonesandjoints.

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