Joint replacement surgery helps a Bowie mom return to an active life

After suffering with knee pain for several years, Rita Heywood, 55, of Bowie, reached her tipping point. “Medication wasn’t working anymore. I knew surgery was the next step,” Heywood says.

Taking the recommendation of a friend, Heywood went to see Christopher Magee, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Joint Replacement Center at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

Replacement Knee Surgery patient out walking

Active since her knee replacement surgery in March 2013, Rita Heywood enjoys walking with her two children, Mary and Benjamin.

“When I met Rita, it was clear conservative measures were no longer managing her intense knee pain,” Dr. Magee says. “She’s still young with two teenage kids to look after. Total knee replacement surgery was the best option to improve her quality of life and provide long-term relief.”

The Joint Replacement Center at Washington Adventist Hospital and the Joint Center at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, both part of the Gaithersburg-based Adventist HealthCare system, offer comprehensive approaches to joint care including a pre-surgery class where patients, like Heywood, meet with an orthopedic clinical nurse specialist to discuss what to expect before, during and after surgery.

“The pre-surgery class was incredible,” Heywood says. “All my questions were answered, and I started doing exercises that later helped during rehabilitation.”

Heywood was amazed at how quickly she was out of bed following her March 2013 surgery.

“Joint replacement patients are up and rehabbing the day after surgery,” says Sridhar Durbhakula, MD, co-chair of the Joint Replacement Program at Shady Grove Medical Center. “It’s critical for our team to get patients moving, and on a path to healing, as soon as possible following their surgery.”

The Washington Adventist Hospital and Shady Grove Medical Center Joint Centers are staffed by coordinated care teams made up of specially trained orthopedic nurses, patient care techs, physical therapists, occupational therapists and a patient educator. Both hospitals provide dedicated rehabilitation areas within their joint units to help patients quickly hit the road to recovery following their surgery. Additionally, as part of the Adventist HealthCare system, patients at Shady Grove Medical Center and Washington Adventist Hospital have access to a comprehensive system of joint care that includes inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation as well as in-home nursing care and physical therapy.

For Heywood, the comprehensive team helped her move through her surgery and recovery.

“My care team anticipated my every need; they really set the tone for my recovery,” says Heywood, who has already lost 20 pounds since surgery and has been able to enjoy her favorite activities, such as walking with her kids. “They strike the perfect balance of compassionate care and understanding with a ‘get up and let’s work’ attitude to motivate you.”

Award-Winning Joint Care

Whether you have questions about joint replacement or are looking for a physician for joint replacement surgery, the experts at Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville and Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park provide expert, coordinated care.

This year, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center was recognized with the Gold Seal of Approval for quality joint care from The Joint Commission.