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Staying Active with Joint Replacement Surgery: Patient Stories
Lifelong athlete gets back in action
Enumclaw resident Liz Enger, 65, has been an athlete all her life. She loves to hike, bike and ski. But three years ago, her knee pain got to the point where she was barely able to walk a quarter mile from her home. Liz had osteoarthritis. The cartilage in her knee joint had completely worn away and the bones were rubbing against one another, resulting in debilitating pain. “Not only was the pain keeping me from doing my favorite outdoor activities, it made everyday tasks feel impossible,” Liz says. She knew she needed to do something about it. Liz met with David Bishop, MD, an orthopedic surgeon affi liated with St. Elizabeth Hospital, who had performed three prior surgeries on her. “She had suff ered numerous injuries to her knee over the years and replacing the joint was the very best option for resolving the pain,” Dr. Bishop explains.
A solution to joint pain
In 2008, Dr. Bishop replaced Liz’s left knee. The recovery went well, but she had also developed osteoarthritis in her right knee that continued to keep her off the trails. “Originally, I was hoping I wouldn’t need to have surgery on the right knee for a while. But the left one went so well I had the second one replaced a yearandahalf later when Dr. Bishop recommended it,” Liz says. After the second surgery, Liz worked hard in physical therapy. Four months later she was able to hit the ski slopes again. “I was nervous about getting back on skis, but I felt better and better as the season went on, and I’m almost completely back to normal now,” she says. “This year I skied until July 19 and had the best winter in a long time. I even skied a run with Dr. Bishop!”
Wide range of orthopedic treatments
In addition to performing knee replacement surgeries, Dr. Bishop also does hip replacement surgery at St. Elizabeth. “We use proven technologies that have excellent track records and provide the best outcomes for our patients,” Dr. Bishop says. Patients are often surprised to learn how quickly they’re sitting or standing after having a knee or a hip replaced. Today, Liz is grateful to be as active as she likes. “I got my life back,” she says. A hike up Crystal Mountain would never have been possible before her joint replacement surgery.