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On the Move After Knee Replacement

Dottie Wiencek picked up the sport of tennis after relocating to Bradenton in 2001.

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  • | 12:00 a.m. February 15, 2024
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“I did not start playing tennis until I moved here,” she says. “When I was younger and raising six kids, I never had the time.”

Now a retiree, Dottie enjoys playing tennis year-round.

Even after her first knee replacement, she was playing an average of five days a week, but started to deal with a lot of pain. Eventually, she recognized she would need another knee replacement.

“I’ll be 78, and I wanted to continue enjoying what I love,” says Wiencek.

Wiencek had her right knee replacement surgery at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center (LWRMC), in April 2023. She had her left knee replaced four years earlier at another facility.

A long-lasting solution

“You just know when it is time. Some people continue to get cortisone shots. But to me, that is only temporary,” she said. Wiencek wanted a long-lasting solution.

“My first knee replacement went well, but now that I have the comparison four years later, I had better care and patient education at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center,” says Wiencek.

This time, Wiencek chose to have the procedure performed by orthopedic surgeon John Harkess, MD, at LWRMC. She says Dr. Harkess made her feel comfortable and confident with his abilities from the first appointment.

“Dr. Harkess was excellent and so was his assistant, Zoe,” says Wiencek.

Comprehensive education

Wiencek credits LWRMC for being more thorough with its preoperative education in the orthopedic preoperative classes and postoperative recovery program, compared to her first knee replacement surgery.

“There is strong evidence which demonstrates that preoperative education leads to superior outcomes. It adequately prepares the patient and family for surgery, helps to reduce anxiety levels, fosters greater engagement in the process and increases adherence to postoperative instructions,” says Caroline McGrath, APRN, care coordinator for the orthopedic program at LWRMC.

Wiencek describes feeling supported and encouraged during the rehabilitation process. She credits the physical therapy team for providing thorough instructions and helping her recover more quickly this time, even though she was older. Wiencek is grateful to have returned to her active lifestyle after surgery at LWRMC.

Award-winning care

The Orthopaedic Spine and Joint Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center has achieved core certification by The Joint Commission for Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement and is proud to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a High Performing Hospital for Knee Replacement care.

“These awards hold us accountable to the highest standards of quality orthopedic care,” says McGrath.

“I had better care and patient education at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.” -Dottie Wiencek, Knee replacement patient

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