Betty’s story: 'Normal again' after knee replacement

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By: Femi Cole

Betty during her interview about her knee replacement


Betty Maher hasn’t let much slow her down. She's in her early 80s, and she wakes up at 6 every morning, ready to face the day.


“I usually have something planned for the morning,” she says. “I just get out of bed, do my routine, and get out the door. I’ll either go bowling or golfing or meet friends for lunch.”


Sudden knee pain, however, threatened to end her daily routine.


When she first noticed knee pain about a year ago, she scheduled an appointment with her primary care physician.


“I had got out of bed and it was hard to walk,” Betty says. “There was no pain at all before this. It hit me by surprise.”


Betty’s physician sent her home without much resolution.


“She didn’t give me any medications and didn’t do hardly anything. But why would they? I never really had any problems,” Betty says.


Her knee pain worsened. After waking up one morning unable to walk, her daughter rushed her to the emergency room.


“They took X-rays on both knees and saw that it was bone on bone,” Betty says.


She was referred to Dr. Michael Schnaubelt, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic. Schnaubelt recommended surgery. Betty had a left knee arthroplasty – or replacement – done in February 2018.


During surgery, Schnaubelt cut away damaged bone and cartilage from around Betty’s knee and replaced her damaged knee joint with an artificial implant. The implant helps restore function in the knee.


Betty was hospitalized for one night and was walking the next day.


“I’m really tough,” Betty says. “They’d take you down the hall and I could do that just fine. The pain wasn’t that bad.”


She describes her whole experience with Dr. Schnaubelt as “comfortable.”


“He thought I was doing good for my age and this was something that just happened,” Betty says. “I had an excellent experience with him and his staff. They were all very supportive.”


Recovery and getting back to normal is going well for Betty.


”I don’t even think about that leg anymore,” she says. “For a while I did, but now I can do everything again. It’s just normal again.”


Dr. Michael Schnaubelt sees patients at Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic in Green Bay and Shawano. To request an appointment, call 920-288-5555 or do so online.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.