NEWS A Happy Accident: How Essentia Health Helped a Staples Woman Get Back on Her Standing – Brainerd Dispatch

A Happy Accident: How Essentia Health Helped a Staples Woman Get Back on Her Standing - Brainerd Dispatch

Brainard — Julie Orr would certainly describe herself as someone who is used to seeing it through.

The 60-year-old Staples resident has made central Minnesota her home all her life and is used to taking on challenges head on.

Like many people in the area, Orr enjoys spending time outdoors walking and admiring the beautiful scenery of the area. But in the fall of 2021, those walks turned painful. Orr began to experience pain in her left knee—a constant, dull ache that she couldn’t ignore.

“It hurts to walk, it hurts to stand at work, and the pain seems to be constant,” Orr said.

This isn’t the first time she’s had knee pain. She knew exactly what was wrong and what needed to be done.

“I had my right knee replaced about 7 years ago, and I knew how I felt would lead to the same surgery,” Orr said. “I didn’t do anything specific to harm it; it was just general wear and tear on my body.”

So Orr began working to determine the best treatment options to meet her needs and get her back to health quickly. She worked hard to explore options for surgery locally but encountered resistance before turning to specialists at Essentia.

“I was turned away from other medical systems telling me they couldn’t operate on me, which brought me to Essentia, and I’m glad that happened because my experience there was amazing,” Orr said.

Orr is connected to Essentia’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Metz.

“He was great, he performed well and took care of his patients,” Orr said. “I could tell he genuinely cared about me as a person and as a patient.”

“When patients come to see an orthopedic surgeon, they’re looking for why they’re feeling pain or limitation, and what options we can offer,” Metz said. “We treat each patient as a unique individual and work with them to create a treatment plan.”

Orr and Metz spent the next few days discussing her options and making sure all of Orr’s questions were answered.

“I could tell he really wanted me to understand the process so I could make the best decision for my health,” Orr said. “He made me feel very comfortable and was always professional.”

Orr had knee replacement surgery on July 11 at Essentia Health-St. Joseph Medical Center in Brainerd. It was a huge success.

“It’s been great, everything is going well, I haven’t had any trouble,” Orr said.

Orr was released after spending the night in the hospital to monitor her recovery. Soon after, she enrolled in Essentia’s physical therapy program, a regular recommendation to help people adjust to life after knee replacement surgery.

“The physical therapy team has been really good at working with me, helping me regain mobility and helping me regain strength in my knee,” Orr said. “Now, after a great surgery and a great rehab team, I’m almost back to normal.”

Orr, who has had two knee replacements under two different health care systems, says she knows one thing for sure—she would absolutely recommend Essentia for any joint care.

“Essentia’s doctors are great,” Orr said. “They made my whole experience simple and painless, and I highly recommend anyone with joint issues to see one of their specialists.”

“We established our Allied Health Center about 17 years ago and have seen thousands of patients go through the process,” Metz said. “It’s not just about post-surgery care. It’s a real educational process for patients and their families about how to prepare before surgery, the surgery itself, and optimize their post-op care. experience and their input to continuously improve the process.”

Orr is happy to be enjoying her daily walks again. the best part? Now they are pain free.

Essentia Health—St. Saint Joseph’s Medical Center was recently awarded the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Accreditation for Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement by demonstrating continued compliance with its performance standards. For nearly 17 years, St. Joseph’s Hospital has provided this care in the Brainerd area.

Anthony Matt is Essentia Health’s Media Relations Specialist.

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