No Pain, All Gain: Emilia’s Story

December 15, 2021

Emilia is one of many SKiP patients at Humber River Hospital who overall had a wonderful post-surgery experience.

Since Humber River Hospital started offering the SKiP program, we have had great success stories like Anita and Barbara.

Today, we are shining a light on Humber patient Emilia. It has only been a month and a half since her knee replacement surgery, but Emilia is recovering exceptionally well.

It all started four years ago when Emilia was experiencing minimal pain in her right knee. But when the pandemic hit, Emilia’s pain got worse. As a former frontline worker, she found herself moving all day and working overtime due to a shortage in staff. Because of this, Emilia’s knee was in so much pain that she ultimately made the decision to retire in August.

During this time, Emilia went to her family doctor who scheduled an MRI.

“When the results came back, my family doctor called me and said that I had a tear in my ligament and that there was something wrong with the bone in my right knee. She said that she was going to look for a knee specialist for me and after two weeks of waiting, she found Dr. Mara Jones from Humber River Hospital,” Emilia said.

Emilia’s Journey at Humber River Hospital

In September, Emilia met with Dr. Jones and together, they went through her MRI results. Dr. Jones originally suggested giving Emilia an injection but she quickly declined. Dr. Jones then suggested the SKiP program, a same-day knee replacement program that uses a safe and highly effective nerve-block system to block pain sensation.

Emilia agreed to the SKiP program and was booked for her surgery within a month. She came to the Hospital for her surgery on October 18th and spoke with Dr. Jones and anaesthesiologist, Dr. Sinziana Avramescu, who shared more information about the surgery and the proposed anesthesia plan. Emilia felt safe and ready to go!

When Emilia woke up in the recovery room, she was in good spirits and went home that same day. Dr. Avramescu told Emilia that she would call her daily for the next three days to check up on her pain post-surgery.

Daily Post-Surgery Check Ups

On the first day post-surgery, Dr. Avramescu called Emilia to check in. She was surprised when Emilia told her that she didn’t take any anti-inflammatory medication that was prescribed to her or even Tylenol. She called Emilia the next day for an update and was surprised yet again that she didn’t take any oral medication.

Dr. Avramescu said that although they can minimize the amount of opioid medication patients take, most of them still need at least Tylenol and the anti-inflammatory medication every six hours for the first few days after surgery to keep their pain at a manageable level. However, in Emilia’s case, she didn’t feel any pain until after five days post-surgery, but on a scale of one to 10 for pain, Emilia said she was only at a maximum of two.

“Emilia was one of those wonderful patients who managed to go through this surgery and take almost no oral medication in the first two days that are the most painful ones. She recovered very fast and had a great experience,” Dr. Avramescu said.

Emilia’s Quick Road to Recovery

Emilia is so happy with the outcome of her surgery. “Now, the little amount of pain that I had after my surgery is nothing like the pain I had before and I’m so thankful,” she said.

Now, Emilia is feeling much better, walking on her own and even driving again. She is also going to physiotherapy twice a week at the Hospital.

“On my first day of therapy, my physiotherapists wanted to make sure that I could bend my knee, which I could. They were shocked to see that I was able to do it so quickly after surgery,” Emilia said. “I even told them that when I came home from surgery that night, I walked up my stairs with my sister’s help and got to sleep in my own bed!”

Emilia is so happy with the outcome of her surgery that she would do it again on her other knee. “If that’s the only pain I’ll have post-surgery, then it will be worth it,” she said.

As for her overall experience at Humber River Hospital, Emilia said, “It was amazing! Everything was very good. All the staff, doctors, everybody was very good. Everyone at the hospital made me feel safe. Now, the little amount of pain that I had after my surgery is nothing like the pain I had before and I’m so thankful.”