First Orthopedic Surgery

Palmer Lutheran Health Center Announces New Service- Orthopedics

For the past six years, PLHC has been recruiting for an orthopedic surgeon since the resignation of Dr. James Mueller. That wait ended with the beginning of outreach services from Gundersen Lutheran’s orthopedic department.

Recently, Betty Larson became the first orthopedic surgery patient to benefit from this new service at Palmer Lutheran Health Center when she had a total knee replacement surgery. “I choose Palmer Lutheran Health Center because of its staff of doctors and nurses and an excellent rehab department,” says Larson.

Dr. Ted Riley, orthopedic surgeon from Gundersen Lutheran, performed the surgery in Palmer Lutheran Health Center’s surgery suite, which was designed specifically for orthopedic use during the building project completed two years ago.

PLHC CEO Deb Chensvold says, “We are very excited to be able to offer this service right here in our local community. We know there is a need for orthopedics services in our area as many people have traveled to La Crosse and other areas for orthopedic procedures. Dr. Riley is the department chair of the orthopedic department at Gundersen and comes highly recommended by his patients and colleagues.”

Palmer Lutheran Health Center ensures patients are well educated before surgery and that their house is easily accessible when they return home. Meeting with patients numerous times prior to the surgery, Palmer ensures the patient is fully informed and comfortable with the surgery. In addition, all pre-operation labs, x-rays, education, and physical therapy training was performed at Palmer to prepare patients for surgery. The day after surgery, each patient at Palmer Lutheran Health Center receives a thorough evaluation by the physical and occupational therapists. The goal of the evaluation is to determine the best course of rehabilitative therapy for the patient based on his/her needs, lifestyle and comfort level. Once discharged, the patient follows up with Palmer and, at times, will have home health in his/her home for assistance until the patient is fully functional again.

“Having the opportunity to meet the orthopedic needs of our community is very rewarding to those of us on the surgical team,” says Rebecca Niel, Surgery Supervisor. “Patients are a priority at PLHC. Our surgical team has a long history of excellence in providing orthopedic services and are enthusiastic about offering them again. We’ve worked very hard at training and ensuring our skills and the services we provide our patients and community are second to none.”

“My recovery is going great,” states Larson the day after her surgery. “I am going to work as hard as possible to get home as quickly as possible. It’s amazing, but a day after surgery, I’m am already up trying to walk up stairs!”

For more information regarding Palmer’s Orthopedic Surgeries, contact the Surgery Department at 563-422-9738.