Dean Korts Makes History as Maple Grove Hospital's First Total Joint Replacement
by Adrienne Foley
When Dean Korts scheduled his knee replacement, he had no idea he was making history. Dean’s fifteen minutes of fame are cemented as the first patient to undergo total joint replacement surgery at the new Maple Grove Hospital.
At 52, Dean, who works in contract sales for a building supply company, laughs as he attributes his years-long knee pain on an “old high school football injury.” Years of wear and tear made simple motions like going up and down stairs difficult. When the pain began to interfere with hunting season, Dean decided it was time to take his doctor’s advice and have his damaged joint replaced with a new one.
Because the hospital was convenient to his home and his wife’s work, and because his physician, Brian O’Neill, MD was on staff at the hospital, Dean chose to schedule his surgery at Maple Grove Hospital.
He and his wife, Renee, met with Chuck Lister, RN, joint replacement educator and care provider for a two-hour overview of his upcoming surgery, including what to expect before, during and after surgery, along with a tour of the hospital.
“At first, I thought two hours would be too long but I can say that everything Chuck talked about during that two hours did happen,” says Dean. “There were no surprises whatsoever. Chuck reassured me that if I had any questions once I was in the hospital, that I could call him. He really put me at ease. He didn’t scare me, but he told me things that would or could happen. It was very informative and my wife and I found it very helpful.”
When surgery day arrived, Dean and his wife were greeted in the lobby by a Care Coordinator named Kari.
“From the time I got there, they had someone with me the entire time,” he recalls. “From registration, to pre-op, even when I walked into my room, I saw my nurse right away.”
Dean’s knee replacement went well, and he spent the next three days in the hospital.
“My stay was super,” he says. “It was almost like being in a five-star hotel. The rooms were very big, had flat panel TV’s with movies, remote control shades, and it was a single room, which was a plus. I had three different nurses and they would come in to see how I was doing through the course of my stay.”
One of the nurses he remembers in particular was Jackie, who cared for Dean during his hospital stay. “She came in pretty regularly to check on me and ask about my pain, and she was just really good,” he says. “It felt like everyone really cared about me, asked how I was doing and constantly asking about my pain, which was virtually non-existent throughout my stay.” After he was discharged from the hospital, Dean began physical therapy which he says is key to the success he’s had with his new knee.
“I live in a four-level home and on my second day in the hospital, when they told me I was going to be going up and down stairs with crutches, I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “It wasn’t long before I was all over my house! It was surprising how quickly I was walking all over the place again.”
Months after his knee replacement surgery, Dean is doing lots of things he hasn’t done in a while, and is looking forward to hunting season again.
As for his place in history: “I’m proud to be the first patient here at Maple Grove Hospital for total knee replacement. I’d do it again in a heart beat.”
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