Knee replacement surgery at Huntley hospital gives writer her world back


Arthritis made Dana McKenna’s world smaller.

The pain in her knee kept her from wearing heels, from working out and even from taking a walk around the block with her dog.

At 53, the Crystal Lake freelance writer’s arthritis had progressed to the point where a knee replacement was her best option. She met with Brian P. Flanagan, MD, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with Centegra Physician Care-McHenry County Orthopedics, who specializes in hip and knee replacement including the latest minimally invasive techniques.

Throughout that first meeting, McKenna was impressed with Dr. Flanagan’s attentiveness.

“I felt heard. I felt listened to when I first started talking to him,” she said. “Just right away when I met him he was making eye contact, he was leaning in and really paying attention to me.”

Trusting that Dr. Flanagan could help her, McKenna decided to undergo knee replacement surgery at Centegra Hospital-Huntley.

“He walked me through what happens next, then my joint navigator, Vivian Lenski, called me right away to walk me through the joint replacement process,” McKenna said. “Right away everyone was on the same page and telling me how to get through this.”

On the day of her surgery, she arrived at the Centegra Hospital-Huntley at 5:15 a.m. and was pleasantly surprised to find smiling faces greeting her.

“Everybody smiled from the front desk to surgery,” McKenna said. “No matter what kind of day they were having, when they came in to take care of me, they put that aside and took great care of me.”

Dr. Flanagan completed the knee replacement and McKenna woke up in recovery to her nurse’s soothing voice telling her everything went well. The nurses made sure her pain was well managed and that McKenna was as comfortable as possible.

The day after her surgery, McKenna was doing steps in the physical therapy gym and walking with a walker.

She continued her rehabilitation with home health care for two weeks then transitioned to outpatient physical therapy with Elizabeth Bushnell, PT. McKenna had worked with Bushnell before her surgery while undergoing rehabilitation on her back, and McKenna requested her again for her knee rehab.

“Liz listened. She formulated plans to resolve any challenge I came across,” McKenna said.

McKenna was driving six weeks after her surgery and two months after her knee replacement she met her initial goal: taking her 60-pound dog around the block without crying.

Four months after surgery, she was walking all over New York City with her son, and five months post-surgery, she was wearing heels in Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. She even began going to the gym once she completed physical therapy, doing low-impact activities on the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike.

“It had been so long since I had been able to do those activities pain-free,” McKenna said. “My world had been shrinking, and, suddenly, I was able to have everything back.

“Because of Dr. Flanagan’s good hands and his knowledge and the staff taking such good care of me, I was fine. The other knee will have to be done eventually, but as long as I can get it done in Huntley with Dr. Flanagan, I won’t hesitate.”

Schedule an appointment with the fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at Centegra Physician Care-McHenry County Orthopedics by calling 815-356-5200.

Centegra Physician Care-McHenry County Orthopedics : 420 N. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60012 & 10370 Haligus Road, Huntley, IL 60142 : 815.356.5200 :

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