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Back on Her Feet

NorthShore Orthopaedic Expertise Restores Woman's Mobility and Vitality

Patricia Persaud, 69, loves to stay active and travel. But during a trip to Rome in 2009, the Evanston woman was in so much pain from arthritis in her hip and knees that she began to dread, rather than look forward to, her impending retirement and taking even more trips.

Persaud had been diagnosed with arthritis in her late 60s and experienced periodic episodes when her knees would buckle. Still working full-time in university administration, she received cortisone injections to provide temporary pain relief as a short-term alternative to surgery. Eventually, the pain began to worsen. “There were days when I would think very hard about whether to go out and get my mail,” she said. “I began to think this might be the rest of my life—on medications and in constant pain.”

Things changed for Persaud when her primary care physician referred her to NorthShore-affiliated orthopaedic surgeon Michael O’Rourke, MD. She and Dr. O’Rourke discussed her options, deciding on hip replacement surgery, with staged replacement surgery to follow on each of her knees. “Dr. O’Rourke explained the procedures in language I could understand, and he patiently answered all of my questions,” Persaud said. “Then I looked him up on the Internet, and I was convinced he would do a good job.”

NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Total Joint Replacement Center (TJRC), with locations at Glenbrook, Skokie and Highland Park Hospitals, guides patients through the entire process, from preparation to surgery through completion of rehabilitation. The Center’s highly trained nurses and staff work with orthopaedic surgeons to ensure that each patient has a comprehensive understanding of both the surgery and rehabilitation that follows.

Leading-edge technology helps surgeons optimize each patient’s own body mechanics, as well as use shorter incisions to minimize surgical trauma to muscles and tissues surrounding the replaced joints, said Dr. O’Rourke, who is on faculty at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. “The patient education at the TJRC helps prepare patients for surgery and minimizes potential complications,” he added. Persaud underwent her first surgery to replace her hip in September 2009. Her right knee was replaced four months later, followed by her left knee in March 2010.

Each of her surgeries was followed by physical therapy. Her friends and family were impressed by her progress after surgery, walking and climbing stairs. “The best part of all is that I can now walk without pain, thanks to Dr. O’Rourke’s expertise,” she said.

“From our innovative treatment options, education and partnership with our patients, the Total Joint Replacement Center strives to make the surgical experience better and allow reproducible successful outcomes,” said Dr. O’Rourke. “Patricia is a perfect example of this. The surgery dramatically changed her life.”

Persaud retired in November 2010 and has lots of plans. She recently attended a full-day symposium at the Art Institute of Chicago that had her perusing the galleries and traipsing through the city’s downtown. She also would like to do more traveling. “I want to go back to Rome and really enjoy it, now that I’m pain-free,” she said.

To learn more about the capabilities at NorthShore’s Total Joint Replacement Center, please call 855.929.0100 or request a consultation online..