One retired teacher is (almost) ready to dance again, now that she has a new knee. Janel Fortney, New Rockford, N.D., said she didn’t want to miss out on special life moments like dancing at her son’s wedding and holding her grandbabies. That’s why she scheduled her knee replacement now, rather than waiting until later.

“I want to feel comfortable carrying my grandchildren,” she said. “I want to do more and I want to do it now.”

Her knee bothered her, not because of injury or trauma, but because of normal wear and tear. As a teacher, Fortney said she stood on her feet most of the day, usually on concrete floors.

She laughs because her husband, an electrician, “has great knees.”

Fortney scheduled her surgery with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael T. Dean.

“People with osteoarthritis of the knee generally have increasing pain with weight bearing activity,” Dr. Dean said. “Troubles with activities of daily living such as kneeling, squatting, or pivoting are common. I’m honored to have cared for Mrs. Fortney.”

Dr. Dean offers outreach care at Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s Carrington Clinic. He also replaced Fortney’s other knee six years ago.

“I knew he did a good job, so why would I go anywhere else?” she said.

After surgery, the JRMC team gave Fortney a care kit with a fuzzy blanket and special zippered pants for easy recovery. The pants zipper up the side to make it easier to access the wound without undressing – a benefit especially for post-op visits. The care kit aids in the healing process because it ensures a patient feels cared for and comfortable. Care kits are one reason JRMC is a destination for care in the region. Another reason is the hospital’s award-winning team of providers, nurses and support staff.

“Everyone was so great,” Fortney said. “I don’t know how I could pick just one to recognize.”

As she recovers, Fortney looks forward to warmer days with her eight grandchildren as well as simple things like morning walks. Before surgery, she said she could only walk six blocks or so without it hurting.

“I really miss that,” she said.

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