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Feature Article Woman Gets Back to Active After Knee Replacement

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When Kathryn Godfrey’s knee pain became too much for her to thrive in her daily life, she had no question about where to call. What she didn’t expect, though, was which surgeon she would see.

Fifteen years ago, Godfrey, from Independence, received a knee replacement from Stephen Newman, MD, at Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics, and she lived pain-free for years. But in late 2017, her osteoarthritis in her other knee seemed to worsen, and she became frustrated with needed a cane to walk.

“I called the clinic, and the staff asked if I would see a different provider this time since Dr. Newman was retired,” Godfrey recalled. “I already knew I was going to get the surgery, so I agreed.”

In her initial appointment, Orthopedic Surgeon Kelli Baum, DO, asked Godfrey about the types of activities she wanted to do again the outlined what to expect with a total joint replacement.

“She and I just made a connection,” said Godfrey.

“Total joint replacement is an option for patients in severe pain who have failed all other treatment options. When successful, it is very rewarding to be able to give a patient the ability to live their life without pain,” explained Baum.

Shortly after completing the total joint replacement education session at Samaritan Albany General Hospital, Godfrey was checked in and ready for surgery. 

“I liked her (Dr. Baum) and felt safe in her hands, so we did it, and she was there by the time I got back to my room,” remembered Godfrey of surgery day.

After a successful total knee replacement surgery, Godfrey was wheeled by caring nursing staff to the total joint recovery unit at Samaritan Albany General Hospital. Built as part of the hospital’s Joint Replacement Program, it was the first time Godfrey had the chance to use the dedicated recovery space.

“I just didn’t have any fears about it at all; the hospital staff anticipated my every want and desire – it was wonderful,” commented Godfrey.

“Our total joint program is designed to get patients out of bed as soon as possible after surgery,” said Dr. Baum. “Movement plays a key role in the rehabilitation process for total joint replacement patients, so our team is here to encourage that.”

For Godfrey, it was about more than being able to walk without a cane again; it was about her positive experience with both surgeries.

“Dr. Baum was so upbeat, and I’ve already told all my friends about her,” Godfrey laughed. “I guess I just should have done it sooner!”

Samaritan offers joint replacement programs in Albany and Corvallis. For information about Dr. Baum or the Albany program, visit samhealth.org/Orthopedics, or call Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics at 541-812-5820.