Be in the Know: Knee Replacement

January 15, 2019

Jim Reefer (left) was tired of hobbling around.

“Both my knees were aching, popping and banging when I walked,” says Jim, a retired truck driver who lives in Algona. “I couldn’t even bend down to work on my ’55 Chevy Bel Air.”

Jim decided to see Dr. Alexander Pruitt (right), an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopaedics, P.C. and Palo Alto County Health System, and become the first patient ever to have total knee replacement surgery in Emmetsburg.

“I can’t say enough about Dr. Pruitt and his staff,” Jim says. “They’re just very nice people, as were the PACHS staff.”

Jim had both of his knees replaced in one operation and his recovery has been remarkable.

“Two hours after the surgery, I walked about 25 feet, and the next day, I was climbing up stairs,” he says. “Everybody was really impressed with how well I did.”

Then Jim started physical therapy at Palo Alto County Health System.

“I needed only about five sessions before I started doing my exercises at home, and after a month, I threw away my cane.”

Two months after his surgery, Jim was using a walk-behind mower to cut the grass on his 5,000-square-foot lawn.

“It’s been a remarkable experience,” Jim says. “Thanks to Dr. Pruitt and Palo Alto County Health System, I can walk upstairs to be with my grandchildren and get back to work on my Chevy!”

Be in the Know: Plantar Fasciitis

November 21, 2018

Plantar fasciitis is a pain felt on the bottom of your foot, most commonly on the first step you take out of bed or after you have been resting a while and get up. There are many things that can cause this pain but there are several treatment options.

The plantar fascia is a dense band of tissue deep below the skin that attaches from your heel bone out to each of your toes. If you point your toes up, you can actually feel the thick band more prominently on the bottom of your foot. Pain associated with plantar fasciitis can occur at the heel bone, the middle of the foot or can just feel like tightness in your foot.

To prevent the onset of plantar fasciitis, be sure to warm up well before all kinds of exercise, even if it is just a short walk. Also remember to wear good, supportive shoes at all times, but especially while being active.

If plantar fasciitis does occur, there are simple things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. Stretching your calf muscles by pulling your toes toward you, both with your knee bent and your knee straight can help alleviate the pulling of the fascia. Roll the bottom of your foot on a frozen water bottle or a golf ball. This can help to stretch all structures on the bottom of your foot while giving you the benefits of icing to decrease the inflammation.

If you continue to have symptoms that aren’t relieved by stretching, icing and massaging, make an appointment with a physician to take a more in-depth look into your symptoms.

Be in the Know: Exercise and Arthritis

October 24, 2018

In the United States alone, nearly 40 million people suffer from arthritis. For many of those people, the thought of getting out and exercising can be daunting. Many fear exercise will increase joint pain and stiffness; however, it is actually one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to relieve joint pain caused from arthritis.

Exercise not only improves overall health, it also helps to maintain a healthy weight, strengthens the muscles surrounding joints, improves and maintains bone strength and improves balance. A well-rounded exercise routine should include range-of-motion stretches, strengthening activities and aerobic activities. Even daily activities such as walking your dog, raking leaves and house cleaning count as exercise.

Before starting a new exercise routine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider. Once they have cleared you for starting a new program, be sure to start slowly in order to ease your joints and muscles into activities. Initially start with low-impact exercises and progress as your body tolerates. Your healthcare provider, athletic trainer or physical therapist can give you some ideas of what exercises may be best for you. Icing joints for 20 minutes after exercise can help keep pain and swelling at bay.

You should seek care from an orthopedic provider if your joint pain is too severe to do low-impact exercises. There are surgical and non-surgical options to relieve your pain.

Fall health tips: Preventing injuries while raking

September 12, 2018

Warm up. As with any physical activity, you should warm up your muscles before you start working them. Raking uses muscles in your arms, chest, shoulders, legs and upper and lower back — almost all the muscles in your body. Try walking around the yard, doing some circular arm movements, bending forward, backward and to each side. You can follow that with some gentle stretches.

Stand and move correctly. Pay attention to your raking posture. Form a wide base with your feet and hold the rake slightly toward the end of the handle with one hand and three-quarters of the way down the handle with the other. Be careful not to twist your spine. Instead, move your whole body (think of a rotating chair), not going farther than your feet will allow. Keep your back naturally aligned — try to stand as straight as you comfortably can.

Switch sides. People tend to rake on one side of their body, which increases the risk of injury since raking uses the same muscles to do the same movement over and over. To avoid overuse injury, try switching sides every few minutes. Try raking 10 minutes left-handed and another 10 minutes right-handed. This will help balance out the stress and strain to the lower back that happens from pulling off to the side instead of directly in front of you. It also distributes the strain on your arms and shoulders evenly on both sides.

Cool down. When you’re done raking, do some more stretching to help relax tense muscles.

HIGH-TECH Orthopedic Care

August 31, 2018

Orthopedic Care in Estherville is backed by physician expertise and state-of-the-art technology. Patients undergoing hip or knee surgeries have access to OrthAlign®, which provides accurate feedback to surgeons performing procedures such as direct anterior hip replacement or knee arthroplasty.

When your care is enhanced with minimally-invasive technology, you often experience less pain, a speedier recovery time and a faster return to the activities you love.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 712-580-2022.

Knee Replacement Close to Home!

July 25, 2018

PALO ALTO COUNTY HEALTH SYSTEM and Dr. Alexander Pruitt are proud to offer total knee replacement surgery. Using revolutionary OrthAlign® technology for more accuracy and precision, our expert orthopedic team provides each patient with the advanced technology and compassionate hometown care that makes our hospital your first choice for orthopedic surgery.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 712-580-2022.


Orthopaedics, P.C. to schedule your consultation