Doing a Double Take on Knee Surgery
A North Potomac woman replaced both knees at once to quickly gain back her active life
Climbing stairs, even walking, was becoming too painful for Marilyn Candler, 77, of North Potomac. Arthritis in her knees was also keeping her from one of her most cherished hobbies: playing music.
“When knee pain keeps you from participating in life, it’s time to consider knee replacement,” says Andrew Bender, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
Dr. Bender says it’s also time to consult with an orthopedist if your knee pain keeps you awake at night or if it persists despite nonsurgical treatments.
Cortisone shots no longer eased Candler’s arthritis pain, and her mobility was limited: “My right knee was so bad and my left was starting to worsen,” she says. “I didn’t want to spend the next two years recovering from two knee surgeries.”
Dr. Bender supported her request to replace both knees at once, with a procedure called bilateral knee replacement, at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s Joint Replacement Center, which has been awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval. This national certification recognizes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital’s rigorous commitment to quality standards and patient-centered care.
The surgery was performed in October. “They take very good care of you at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, from beginning to end,” Candler says. “Before surgery, there is a joint replacement workshop, led by Judy [Mardirossian], who’s specially trained in joint replacement. My daughter and husband also attended; it was great education for all three of us.”
In the total joint replacement class, which is required for all joint patients prior to surgery, Mardirossian—the joint replacement program coordinator at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital—prepares patients for what to expect during and after the procedure.
Candler was up and walking, using her new knees, the day after surgery. Three days later, she moved to Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, which is next door to the hospital, for a week of therapy as an inpatient.
“The recovery period is three to six months, whether it’s one knee or both knees,” Dr. Bender explains. “If both knees inevitably have to be replaced, it’s a tremendous benefit for the patient to go through that recovery period just once.”
Candler has continued outpatient rehabilitation three times a week, feeling stronger with each session.
“I’m more mobile than I’ve been in the last year or so,” she says. “I can continue playing the harpsichord and I am back to playing the organ!”