For ten years, Sharon Kleypas suffered from severe joint pain.
“I’ve had several autoimmune diseases which led to bad joint pain,” Kleypas explained. “I was getting injections in my knees for osteoarthritis for about 10 years.”
Pain in both knees began to interfere with daily activities for the 66-year-old.
“I would dread walking from one end of the house to the other, or even walking from the car to the house,” Kleypas said. “I was miserable and could barely play with my grandkids.”
Sharon’s knee pain was at an all-time high during a trip to New Mexico with her husband in 2018.
“We went to Albuquerque and I could not walk very far at all,” Kleypas shared. “I had to sit down a lot. My husband wanted to walk around Red River and I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t walk.”
When she returned home, Kleypas discussed her options with her primary care provider. Her doctor recommended she look into knee replacement surgery at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.
Kleypas was quickly introduced to Wellstone Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Erik Lovria.
“Dr. Lovria told me that if I didn’t have surgery, I would soon be in a wheel chair. I said I’d have the surgery,” Kleypas said.
Kleypas was scheduled for her first replacement on January 22, 2019 and her second on March 11, 2019.
Prior to her surgeries, Kleypas was enrolled in the Active Again Total Joint Replacement Program. The program aims to prepare patients for joint replacement surgery.
“Joint Camp was extremely helpful. It prepares you for everything that is going to happen,” Kleypas said.
“They teach you how to take care of yourself after surgery, and you also learn the recommended exercises for before and after surgery. It really helped to know what to do when I made it to recovery.”
In a three month span, Kleypas had successful right and left knee replacement surgeries performed at Seton Harker Heights. “I couldn’t believe how well both surgeries went,” Kleypas shared. “I was on a walker for a week and then didn’t need anything.”
“Women at church didn’t know I had knee surgery because I hadn’t missed many days at church,” Kleypas laughed.
A good surgeon makes all the difference, according to Kleypas.
“Dr. Lovria is very professional,” Kleypas said. “I loved him to death! He has great bedside manner, he is skilled in his work and really knew what he was doing.”
Kleypas was also pleased with the attentive care she received from staff after both surgeries.
“I had very good care with the nurses and physical therapists during both my stays.” Kleypas only spent one night at Seton Harker Heights for both surgeries.
Kleypas immediately began physical therapy at the Armed Services YMCA Rehabilitation Clinic with Orlando Campbell, PT.
“Orlando is fantastic,” Kleypas shared. “We had a great relationship. He made me feel like I was important and that I counted. He didn’t make me feel that just because I am an older woman, I needed to go crawl into the bed and forget living.”
Kleypas was impressed with the communication between Dr. Lovria and Campbell.
“Both my doctor and physical therapist were always in communication and definitely on the same page. Together they planned my treatment. It impressed me.”
Kleypas finished physical therapy on May 22, 2019.
“I started walking around the mall right after I finished physical therapy. I knew I couldn’t just sit. I started at one lap and now up to three now.” Kleypas is also cycling 20 minutes each day.
Kleypas is thrilled with her results, and continues to strengthen her lower body with the exercises provided by her physical therapy team.
“I’m doing so well. You really get your life back,” Kleypas said. “It takes time to recover and I’m still recovering. It’s really up to the patient to take responsibility.”
“I tell everyone who is getting replacement surgery to do your exercises and do exactly what they tell you to do at Joint Camp.”
If you have joint pain or stiffness that doesn't go away, make an appointment with your doctor. To find a provider, click here.
Seton Medical Center Harker Heights is the first hospital in the area to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. Click here to learn more.