New knee gives BVRMC patient a new lease on life

Monday, February 2, 2004

On March 17, 2003 Jim Osegaro, a resident of Storm Lake for the past 27 years, could finally celebrate. He was not celebrating or partaking in the usual festivities that accompany St. Patrick's Day, Jim was celebrating because this was the day he would undergo bi-lateral knee replacement. Surgery may not sound like a reason to celebrate, but for Jim this was a day that would help him regain the recreation, activity, and quality of life that he once enjoyed.

Ten years ago Jim tore the meniscus in his left knee during a skiing mishap. Even after repairing his left knee it continued to deteriorate due to a lack of cartilage. Since he was forced to favor his left knee, it resulted in weakening his right knee from the overuse and every-day strain. Jim explained that after ten years of suffering with knee injuries and pain which weakened the quality of his every day of life, he knew it was time to do something about it.

It was at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (BVRMC) that Jim found a solution to his problem. After researching the different options that would help him regain the quality of life that he once enjoyed, He decided to have a bi- lateral replacement performed by board certified Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. John Clark.

"Bi-lateral knee replacement, while unique for the patient, has become common - place in the world of orthopedic surgery. There is no longer a need to continually suffer from knee pain. Outcomes have improved tremendously due to advancements in procedures and equipment," Storm Lake Orthopedic Surgeon Clark stated.

Jim was able to take advantage of the quality care close to home that Buena Vista Regional Medical Center offers. He was able to receive a diagnosis for his condition, have corrective surgery, and receive the necessary rehabilitation to ensure an effective and efficient recovery. "We are pleased to be able to offer a comprehensive approach to orthopedic surgical needs. Diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services are all conveniently available for residents of this area," noted Clark.

Jim's surgery was a complete success. After the surgery, he was required to spend a week in the hospital to begin his recovery process. During that time, Physical Therapists Maureen Strader and Lynn Hruska met with him to begin the all-important rehab process and evaluate his progress.

After being released from the hospital, Jim continued to utilize the rehabilitation services offered at BVRMC. Marlon Gasner, PT, CSCS, Rehab Services Director, said, "Physical and Occupational Therapy plays an integral role in total knee rehabilitation. Restoring range of motion, strength, balance, and daily functioning often allow patients to return to a higher level of functioning than before their surgery."

Jim's rehabilitation consisted of one hour a day, two days a week of on-site therapy for several weeks as well as a routine of at-home exercises. "Jim's rehabilitation at BVRMC played an important role in teaching him proper exercises and techniques that will allow him to return to an active lifestyle," stated Gasner.

Jim credits the talented and compassionate staff at BVRMC, plus the support of family and friends that being close to home provided, with making his road to recovery smooth and uneventful.

"We have all the expert talent, right here," stated Osegaro. "The doctors, the nurses and the rehab staff, plus, having your friends and neighbors care for you makes a difference. I can't say enough about the nurses - they gave me extraordinary care and attended to my every need."

Currently Jim feels that he is at a 90 percent recovery level and feels that in another month, he will be back where he was prior to his injury. He attributes this to both the quality care he received while at BVRMC and a lot of hard work. The medical personnel also credit Osegaro with determination, a willingness to follow the prescribed therapies and a positive attitude.

"Buena Vista Regional Medical Center is proud to offer the expertise needed for the ongoing, quality care of the residents of Storm Lake and the surrounding communities," a facility statement reads.

In Jim Osegaro's case, that promise was more than words.

Jeff Coquyt is a BVRMC intern and a student at Buena Vista University

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