Accept No Substitutes: Cosby woman finds excellent care close to home

It’s been said that walking is good therapy. Edye Flora believes it. “It’s fresh air and it’s just seeing what’s going on in nature,” Edye says. “If I walk by myself I get inspiration.” With one step after another, Edye enjoyed strolling up hill and down, around the curves of her Cosby neighborhood – until the pain in her knees forced her to stop.

Parkwest Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Herman Botero, DO, sees many patients who have similar stories. “When they’re living with arthritis and pain, they
kind of feel like they’re hostage to their knees,” Dr. Botero says. When she was at her worst, Edye’s knee problems were obvious to her husband.

“She was bowlegged, and when she would step out, her knee would go to the outside of her body,” George Flora says. The Chicago Connection, George’s brother-in-law had already undergone knee replacement and highly recommended the Chicago surgeon who performed his procedure.

Patient Edye Flora with Dr. Herman Botero
“I feel blessed.” Edye Flora proudly shares a print of her X-ray, showing her straight legs and new knees. Her joint replacement surgery was performed by
orthopedic surgeon Herman Botero, DO, at Parkwest Medical Center.

She couldn’t travel to Chicago, but Edye was hopeful there might be a qualified surgeon closer to home with the same skill. Her sister-in-law helped in the search. “I told her I could go as far as Asheville or maybe Nashville,” Edye says. It came as a pleasant surprise that help wasn’t two hours to the east or four hours to the west. Dr. Botero was performing the same minimally invasive joint replacement procedure in Knoxville.

Dr. Botero completed a fellowship in adult reconstruction and joint
replacement at Midwest Orthopaedics/Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He trained under world-renowned surgeons who pioneered minimally invasive knee replacement. In addition to his credentials, Edye was encouraged by Dr. Botero’s online reviews. She also crossed paths with people who had personal knowledge of his skill and compassion. By the time Edye saw Dr. Botero for the first time, she had tried medications, injections, supplements and a brace from a discount store pharmacy. Nothing had worked, and she knew it was time to take the next step.

A Big Difference

Edye underwent her first knee replacement at Parkwest Medical Center
in January of 2019. Her second knee replacement was a year later in January 2020.
George says all the great things they had heard about Parkwest and Dr. Botero were true. It wasn’t just the surgery that was a success. They felt the recovery was better, too. Pulling a cell phone from his pocket, George shares messages that came from Dr. Botero’s office.

“They sent us messages along the way to let us know what to expect,” George says. Edye says she received timely texts that addressed exactly what she was going through during the various stages of recovery. It was a personal touch that made the process more comfortable, both physically and emotionally. Today, Edye is walking straight ahead, and she’s taking on life. She is one of many patients who has found relief from unrelenting knee pain by undergoing joint replacement surgery at Parkwest Medical Center.

“It’s scary, because no one wants to have surgery, and it’s not something that people line up for like getting ice cream,” Dr. Botero says. “But we have techniques and protocols that help guide you through this process that make it a little bit easier than what it used to be.” Instead of living their lives around what their knees will let them do, patients like Edye are able to get back on their feet and take command of their activities. Dr. Botero says ultimately, his patients are happy to get their lives back.

The Floras believe that good health is a gift from above and taking care of
oneself is not to be taken lightly. “It’s a sacred duty because it affects other
people in your life,” says George. “I feel blessed,” Edye says. To learn more about
joint replacement at Parkwest Medical Center, visit orthopedic-services/ or call 865-374-PARK (7275).

Considering Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery removes and replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint. It’s usually considered after other treatment options haven’t worked to ease pain or restore movement. People considering joint replacement should learn as much as possible about the procedure and how they can prepare for a successful recovery. Here are some important points to consider:
Before the surgery, talk with your doctor about steps to prepare for surgery. For example, your surgeon may recommend specific exercises to strengthen your muscles prior to surgery. You’ll also need to tell your surgeon about any
medicines you are currently taking. Some may need to be temporarily discontinued until after surgery.

Therapist working with patient

Be sure to discuss discharge planning with your doctor beforehand. Your discharge plan may include instructions on care of the incision, pain medicines, activities, follow-up exercises, and other home care instructions. People who have a total joint replacement can lead functional, active lifestyles. One major component of many rehabilitation programs is exercise to restore function, mobility, and strength to the affected joint and surrounding muscles. Discuss with your doctor what an appropriate post-operative rehabilitation program should include. As is the case with any surgery, there are some risks associated with joint replacement. It’s important to make sure the procedure is performed by an experienced surgeon in a hospital that has a great track record, like Parkwest Medical Center.

The Parkwest Joint Replacement Center has a specially designed program for total knee and total hip replacement patients. Patients become a part of their medical care team by being involved in education about their procedure. A special joint replacement class teaches patients everything they need to know in order to help manage expectations about their surgery experience and prepare their home for when they leave the hospital.

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