Wilbur Stöen receives a knee replacement at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Wilbur Stoen of Decorah had a minimally invasive (MIS) partial knee replacement at Winneshiek Medical Center. He is pictured with his surgeon, Glenn Johnson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System orthopedic surgeon at Winneshiek Medical Center .

Walking pain-free through life: Wilbur Stöen’s knee replacement journey.

Ten years ago Wilbur Stöen had full replacement surgery on his right knee with full knowledge that his left would soon follow. Through the use of glucosamine tablets, a natural supplement, Wilbur prolonged his second surgery for 10 years. He came into Winneshiek Medical Center after it became hard to walk or stand for any length of time. “I just knew that the time had come to have something done” says Wilbur.

Glenn Johnson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System orthopedic surgeon at Winneshiek Medical Center, came highly recommended to the Stöens. “Everyone we talked to said he was wonderful,” says Euny, Wilbur’s wife. Wilbur scheduled a consultation to discuss his situation with Dr. Johnson at Winneshiek Medical Center. When Dr. Johnson examined him, he discovered that in Wilbur’s left knee, the right side cartilage was worn half an inch. He told Wilbur that he was an excellent candidate for a minimally invasive (MIS) partial knee replacement. Dr. Johnson explains, “MIS partial knee replacement is when we make a 2- 2 ½” incision in the side of the knee and insert the implant. This causes minimal muscle and tendon damage and a smaller amount of blood loss by the patient.” After his consultation, Wilbur scheduled his surgery.

Before Wilbur had surgery he needed to have a physical check up. During his exam the Winneshiek Medical Center team found that Wilbur had a heart mummer. They preformed an EKG, and upon further investigation, were able to fix this problem by prescribing Wilbur with a medication. “I ended up having three physicals by the time my surgery rolled around, but I am glad because otherwise my heart may have gotten worse.”

Wilbur was cleared to have surgery and it was completed without any complications. He stayed two nights at Winneshiek Medical Center and by the third day was preparing to head for home. Wilbur and Euny were both in agreement when they said, “All of the accommodations and the staff here at WMC are remarkable! They all really know what they are doing and we are just overall, really impressed.” Euny made sure to add that “Wilbur has been spoiled rotten here; he won’t know what to do when he gets home.” They also commented on the handiness of being able to have this procedure preformed right here in Decorah, their hometown. “It was handy to come here for the surgery. We really appreciated being able to stay close to home.”

At WMC, care is provided by a team of people. After Wilbur’s surgery, Dr. Johnson monitored the follow up care administered by Jesse Butler PA-C, physician assistant in orthopedics and Wilbur was able to complete his initial two weeks of therapy in the comfort of his own home. “Rehab staff members from WMC were a Godsend,” says Euny, “They came to our house so that Wilbur and I didn’t have to go out in bad weather.” Once he was able to move around again and weather permitting, he started coming to the medial center for routine physical therapy. “I can walk on my leg and do whatever I would like, as long as I am careful. That is a lot different than if I had my entire knee replaced.” Two months after surgery Wilbur has regained full mobility and is once again, enjoying life.

“I know I shouldn’t say this but my surgery has been great! The experience with all of the people here at WMC has been remarkable. I try to avoid surgery when I can, but because I couldn’t, I am glad it happened at WMC.”

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