"I can do everything now."
If there’s anyone who “earned” a new knee, it's James Brodzinski. The 60-year-old Chicago resident had joint replacement surgery at Mercy in 2010, after years of running, competitive tennis, kickboxing and a generally active lifestyle took its toll on his knee. Previous knee surgeries and osteo-arthritis caused the cartilage in his right knee joint to wear away and left Brodzinski with severe pain, stiffness and swelling.
Brodzinski, who is dean of the Graham School of Management at Saint Xavier University, and his wife moved to the South Loop a few years ago so they could enjoy a more urban lifestyle. "We love to walk and we really wanted to be able to get out and walk all around this wonderful city," he says.
But Brodzinski's knee pain soon put a damper on their city living. "I'd walk maybe 200 yards and then start feeling a lot of pain," he recalls.
His pain had been worsening over the years, and by fall 2009 he was in constant pain. "I finally said, 'I can't live with this anymore,'" he says.
So Brodzinski consulted with his primary care physician, Jennifer Angeles-Baguisa, M.D., an internist at Mercy Medical at Dearborn Station. Dr. Angeles-Baguisa referred him to another Mercy physician, orthopedic surgeon Dirk Nelson, M.D. "I really liked the idea of having physicians who are connected," Brodzinski says. "When I went to see Dr. Nelson, he already had all information right there on the computer. It's all connected and it made everything very simple for me."
Brodzinski had his surgery in January 2010 and then spent two nights in the hospital "The hospital's staff was fantastic–friendly and so nice. I really couldn't have had a nicer experience in the hospital," he says. He completed several weeks of outpatient physical therapy, and by April, his knee felt good enough to run a 5k race.
But you don't have to be an athlete to benefit from joint surgery, he says. "If you have a lifestyle you really like and that joint makes it impossible to continue that lifestyle, then my thinking is, replace it!" he says. "Now I can walk for miles and miles and I don't even think about it. Thanks to Mercy I can do everything now."
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