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Monday, June 04, 2012 - Retired teacher has an A+ experience at Methodist Joint Replacement Center

   
  Thanks to the Methodist Joint Replacement Center, Pat Stonecipher’s new knee is ready for bouncing her baby granddaughter, Adah. Pat and Adah are pictured second from left with Pat’s husband, V.L., and daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Michael Freels.
   
As a former tennis player, water skier and cheerleader, Pat Stonecipher of Clinton, 61, said her knees eventually felt the wear and tear of arthritis.

“You just think you’re going to be able to do that forever, and you’re not,” she said. “Dr. (Randall) Robbins had told me that I would know when it’s time to have the knee replaced.  Seven years ago, it was a trip to Williamsburg trip that convinced me.”

Stonecipher had her left knee replaced in 2005 at Methodist Medical Center, and then in May 2012, she decided to have the right one done as well – this time at Methodist’s new specialty Joint Replacement Center.

“This year, I have a new granddaughter, and she’s six weeks old. We always take a family vacation to Hilton Head, and I want to be able to do things with her.”

Over the span of those seven years, Stonecipher said she could tell a big difference in how much easier the surgery has become at Methodist. Recovery has been quicker this time around, she said. Methodist is among the top 10 percent for joint replacement care in the nation for overall quality of care, according to Professional Research Consultants, Inc., and rated as one of the region’s best hospitals for orthopedic care by U.S. News and World Report.

“I could tell a difference right away,” Stonecipher said of her second surgery in May. 

“The biggest difference was the amount of time it took to get me out of the bed. I walked more in the first day than I did the first three or four days before. I will tell you it’s painful, but it does help you in the long run.”

The all-private, 12-suite center takes a team approach to recovery. Patients come in before surgery for a pre-operative class, showing them what to expect while they’re in the hospital and how to take care of themselves afterward.

“They really told us what to expect. They told us they would get you up every morning and take all the bed linens off, so you can’t get back in the bed!” Stonecipher said with a laugh. “You sit in the recliner. The more you get up and get moving, the better it is all the way around.”

While they’re in the hospital – a two to three day stay for most – patients receive physical therapy as a group, with others in the same situation.

“That was a fun time. We got to meet all the people who were going through the same thing,” Stonecipher said. “It’s always fun to meet new people. One gentleman was having two replacements at the same time.”

Stonecipher said she would recommend Methodist Joint Replacement Center to anyone needing a new hip or knee.

“It was top notch, absolutely top notch,” she said. “I think they all enjoy their jobs, and that makes a big difference.”

While she was in the hospital, Stonecipher said she saw people she knew from church and school. She is a retired Clinton City School teacher, and her husband, V.L. Stonecipher, is a retired superintendant of Anderson County Schools. 

 “That’s kind of nice to know people who know you,” she said. “I want to thank them for the great care I was given, and almost in my backyard, too.”