Joint Camp Preps Patients for Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery [Jim Mohs]

Video Transcript

My name's Jim Mohs. I live here in Brookings, South Dakota, and I'm the operations officer for Karls TV & Appliances.

How long did you experience knee pain?

I started feeling knee pain 20 years ago, but really the last five years had gotten pretty difficult. So I started seeing Dr. Mayer five years ago, and just doing different types of procedures of treatments to try to prolong a little bit of time, just because of my age.

How was knee pain affecting your life?

The knee pain, it was at the point where couldn't really take the dog for a long walk anymore. Couldn't take long walks going upstairs, in particular, going up and down stairs carrying any type of weight would feel pain on every step. So it had gotten to the point it was pretty uncomfortable day-to-day.

Why did you decide to have knee surgery in Brookings?

I live in Brookings, part of it I heard some really good things. But most importantly, when I met Dr. Mayer a few years ago and started seeing him, I felt I had developed a really nice relationship with him.

What was your impression of Dr. Mayer?

Really professional and genuine from the very first visit, any question I would ask, you always hear about doctors not talking down to the patient totally opposite. And I've always had a great experience with doctors, but Dr. Mayer, in particular, was very, very genuine and really speaks to the patient. Will take the time to, you know, show you exactly what they're doing, whether it be through a prop or through your actual knee or whatever, and actually shows you exactly what's going on. He's extremely easy to talk to and listens very well.

Why did you choose Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery?

I think Dr. Mayer that's what he specializes in and he educated me on how that procedure works. I think primarily just understanding that it reduces soft tissue damage, takes away as little of the damaged bone as possible I thought was really appealing to me to not do more than you had to do within the surgery.

How did Joint Camp prepare you for surgery?

Well, as you go into the surgery, you have an idea of what's going to go, but the Joint Camp just really helps you understand prior to the day preparation because Joint Camp's not just about the joint, it's also about the surgery and the nursing staff and what they do and everything. So they take you through each and every step of the day, the procedure, and post care. So from PT and OT pre-showing you the types of exercises, types of equipment that you may need, so you can actually purchase or get equipment that you need before you come to the home. So, I found that day of the whole thing to be the most helpful because it really did help me kind of get a grasp as to what I was going to be going into within that next week.

How does the procedure work?

They do a pretty extensive series of cat scans on the actual knee and the joint so they can get all different angles. And through that, they assess exactly what part of the bone is damaged and what they remove. And then my understanding is they actually graph all that out before the surgery. So when you do go into the surgery, it's already predetermined exactly what will happen with the knee. So I think for the medical professional just the confidence level of doing the right thing for the patients is probably extremely high. And for the patients, it's just the idea that you're going into the surgery already knowing what's going to happen is really comforting in that respect.

What was the day of surgery and your hospital stay like?

Seamless. I knew exactly what I needed to do for preparation. My surgery was very early in the morning, so I was here at 5:30. They were ready for me, had me prepped. I went through everybody that would be involved with the procedure came in and introduced themselves, told me what their role was, exactly what they would be doing and how the day was going. Already started some of the conversations as to what would happen when I came out of surgery and how that would be handled. Went through the surgery, come out of the surgery. Again, they had me up and walking the very first time, very, very soon. And then at that point, rest and then just really actually starting into just the very, very early stages of the rehab process and a great experience. I was able to stay in the hospital for two nights. So really was able to get educated a lot over the course of those two days and just how to pain management and movement and everything. And so when I did go home, I was really prepared to be able to go home and handle it on my own.

How did the staff treat you?

From my experience, not only with this procedure but in Brookings, in general, just my regular doctor all the way through Dr. Mayer and then the nursing staff here at Brookings Hospital System just been excellent. Every individual really seems like they actually care and they take an interest in you as a patient. They understand what you're going through. They take the time to listen. They take the time to educate you on exactly what they're doing and that's the part that I find the most impressive. They want you to have knowledge of what they're doing and why they are doing it.

How is your recovery?

It's amazing what happens from day one through in the progression you see each and every day. You have to work hard at it, though. You can't just go home. You have to work every single day at helping improve it, move it along. Within the first week, I already noticed that the actual pain in the actual knee joint doesn't exist anymore. So when I'm doing work now, because I'm preparing my right knee so I'm doing everything I do for my left knee I do for my right knee at this point, there's significant pain on some of the exercises of my right knee, completely gone in the left knee. The only real issue with the surgery knee now is just still working through the stiffness. Still a little bit of swelling in that you just have to work through all the time. And your ligaments they're now having to work longer because they had shortened over the many years of just deterioration, having to relearn how to work that. And even that every day just gets better and better.

How has this surgery changed your day-to-day life?

Right now I already know I could go for a long walk on this leg, even at eight weeks I already know that I could. I already know that I could go up an incline on a hill without feeling pain within the knee. And when I'm looking at what I was trying to get out of it is just, it felt I was too young to be in the type of pain that I was in. And I was looking ahead at golfing 10 years from now, or going for hikes, or going for walks and everything where all of that was starting to be limited or if I did it there was discomfort throughout the process. Even I love to golf, but walking up a tee box or up incline on a green actually hurt to do, which takes a little bit out of what's supposed to be a really fun time for you.

Why would you recommend Brookings Health System for joint replacement?

Especially locally or within the local area, being close to home makes a big difference for your family members and for you, because there's a comfort to it. And it just felt to me much more intimate in that respect. I just felt like each person through the process took a vested interest in you. And not saying that that doesn't happen at other facilities, but I know it happens here. And so I don't see any reason why a person would choose to go someplace else if they could be local.

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