Dee's Knee Replacement Story

Jun 6, 2019

After 54 years on her feet as a nurse, Dee Thompson had arthritis in both knees. She needed a cane to get around. And when her worn-out knees kept her from climbing steps and being able to swim with dolphins during a vacation, she knew they would have to be replaced.

From Dr. Michael Temnyk’s point of view, Dee was the perfect candidate for knee-replacement surgery.

“She’s a very vibrant, vigorous person who was unable to do the things she wanted to do,” says the orthopedic surgeon. “We tried various nonsurgical options and they didn’t work. Joint replacement is really one of the most effective procedures as far as improving quality of life, reducing pain and increasing mobility.”

He operated on Dee’s first knee in December 2013 and her second six months later — both at Emanuel Medical Center.

“Joint replacement is really a team approach that involves anesthesia care, nursing care, surgical care and therapy care — and all of those services result in good outcomes for the patient,” says Dr. Temnyk. “Emanuel is able to provide that.”

But the most important member of the team is the patient. If you’re choosing teams for a double knee replacement, pick Dee She immediately threw herself into rehab while still at the hospital and continued with home therapy afterward.

“I pushed myself as hard as I could,” she says. “My husband says I’m hard-headed, but it was good in this case. Dr. Temnyk told me I was a dream patient.”

Just before her second surgery, she and her husband, Frank, flew to Tahiti for their 25th wedding anniversary. There, she got to swim with the dolphins. Now she’s working on her balance; years walking with a cane created muscle imbalances she is trying to overcome. She’s also planning her next big trip.

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