Updated: 11/04/2013 4:31 PM
Created: 10/31/2013 7:39 AM KSTP.com
By: St. Croix Orthopaedics
Anita Limbach didn't realize the extent of the degeneration of her knees until after her bilateral knee replacements were complete. A six-year battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis had left her nearly crippled and in severe pain. The beginning of her journey back to the life she had once enjoyed started with a simple conversation with her neighbor.
With encouragement from friends who had new knees, she sought the advice of Dr. Andrea Saterbak at St. Croix Orthopaedics.
Dr. Saterbak's thorough explanation of a minimally invasive technique provided all the encouragement Anita needed. "Dr. Saterbak was very patient and answered all of my questions," she explained. "I was very impressed with her."
Anita decided to undergo knee-replacement surgery in December with hopes of having the second knee replaced in four or five months. By the time Anita went in for her surgery, she was "so ready to have the surgery done."
Anita recalls the whole experience as a good one and she said she felt exceptionally well taken care of. Following the surgery, she couldn't believe how wonderful it was to stand on her now-straight leg. That feeling surpassed her expectations.
Anita was able to stay with her daughter and have help during her recovery process. She healed very quickly and was delighted with the results. At her two-month appointment with Dr. Saterbak, Anita expressed eagerness to have the second knee replaced as soon as possible. Dr. Saterbak was "so positive and encouraging," Anita recalls.
They scheduled her second knee replacement for April... but that time couldn't come soon enough for Anita. Her second knee replacement was just as successful as the first, and at the two-month appointment following her second surgery, Anita was so excited to stand straight and tall in front of the x-ray machine. No more crooked knees to hobble around on for her! Anita described her two knee-replacement surgeries as "miracles performed for me."
Today, Anita is living life with a renewed appreciation for the simple things in life: walking up and down stairs, no more chronic pain and easily tolerating the cold Minnesota winters.
She said she used to love to cook, but gave it up when the pain became too great to stand in the kitchen. "My new knees have given me back a life I had forgotten about," she said. "I didn't realize until I had my new knees how much I had really given up." Anita is once again enjoying cooking - and her friends say they can't believe the difference it has made in her appearance and her outlook. Anita is able to stand up straight again.
Anita is busy making new memories instead of just wishing she could. She had given up traveling; but now, with her new knees, she'll be able to visit her son in Colorado. And after years of not being able to walk on the beach at Madeline Island, Anita is able to once again enjoy her morning stroll.