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Teeing up a total knee recovery

Skip Surbaugh is no stranger to competition. From fishing professionally on the rough waters of the pro circuit to playing the glimmering greens of Meadow Lake Acres, Surbaugh's passion is the win.

"I've spent much of my life competing," says Surbaugh. "Forty years of golfing, fishing and hunting put a lot of abuse on my knee."

That abuse forced Surbaugh to seek orthopaedic care so he could "stay as competitive as possible even in [his] old age."

Surbaugh's active lifestyle had already required two meniscus surgeries, but as arthritis set in, he knew he would have to undergo a total knee replacement on his right knee to keep doing what he loved.

Surbaugh turned to the highly skilled team at Capital Region Joint Replacement Center to find his next win.

Early patient mobility

When compared to national averages, the Capital Region Joint Replacement Center outperforms other hospitals on standards of early patient mobility, range of motion and post-op strength, according to longtime orthopaedic surgeon and physician champion Timothy Galbraith, MD.

"Our statistics compare every hospital in the nation," says Dr. Galbraith. "We're monitoring how many steps our patients are walking…They're performing well-above national averages on early patient mobility."

Early mobility is certainly what Surbaugh sought as he considered his options for a total knee replacement.

"The main thing I wanted to know is how long it was going to take to get back on the golf course and into my corvette," says Surbaugh. "I pushed myself…it wasn't always easy, but I played golf 21 days after my surgery."

Four weeks after surgery, Surbaugh was also back to cruising in his much-loved corvette.

The dedicated joint unit

Surbaugh credits his surgeon and therapy team at the Joint Replacement Center for helping him get back to the greens so quickly.

"They got me up on a walker the first day, and I've been up every day since."

Lauren Cook, DO, a surgeon with MOI at Capital Region Medical Center and champion of the Joint Replacement Center, performed his surgery.

"We're always working to give patients the best outcome possible," Dr. Cook says. "People are surprised to hear just how quickly you can get back to the basics after a total joint replacement."

Surbaugh certainly benefited from the center's approach to early mobility. Dr. Cook saw him two weeks and six days after surgery and released him to golf whenever he felt he was capable.

"I was back on the golf course the very next day," says Surbaugh.

The total joint experience

Having been through two prior surgeries, Surbaugh noted that the pre-op education and post-op support he received from Capital Region Joint Replacement Center was phenomenal.

"I knew going in what to expect, and the calls and daily texts after surgery really helped keep me on track."

The pain protocols used by Dr. Cook also helped to keep Surbaugh's pain in check after surgery.

"The nerve block she used really helped numb any pain in my knee for almost a week after surgery," Surbaugh says. "That was good because it allowed me to get up more quickly and avoid stiffness."

When Surbaugh considers his accelerated recovery, he remains clear on one thing: "I'm very impressed with Capital Region. The orthopaedic staff is great to work with, and they offer clear support all along the way."

Note: Individual patient results will vary based on health conditions and physical capabilities.

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