BACK in ACTION - Medical Center Elmer
With 22 grandchildren, nine children, a full-time job and an exciting retirement to plan, Karen Jackson-Gross didn’t have time to devote to chronic pain in her left leg. Last September, she took action by having a total knee replacement at Inspira Medical Center Elmer, which recently received a Women’s Choice “America’s Best Hospital for Orthopedics” Award.
“I was in excruciating pain for about five years, and I couldn’t do the things that I loved and needed to do,” Karen said. “I wanted a better quality of life.”
John Catalano, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Inspira Medical Center Elmer, performed Karen’s surgery, transforming her life almost immediately. As part of Inspira’s advanced pain management protocol, Karen received local anesthesia containing the anti-inflammatory pain reliever celecoxib instead of large amounts of opioid medication during surgery. This pain protocol benefits patients post-operatively by decreasing pain, improving quality of sleep, speeding recovery and increasing range of motion.
“I felt great the day I woke up from surgery,” Karen said. “Now, there’s no day that I don’t feel great, and I don’t have to use much pain medication.”
Karen also credits the prehabilitation training she received from Dr. Catalano, who taught her presurgery exercises to strengthen the muscles around her knee, with helping her take proper care of herself in the weeks and months following her surgery. She now participates in physical therapy three times each week.
“The hospital was exceptional,” Karen said. “They had nothing but my best interests in mind both going in and going home. I felt so welcome.”