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Linda Bure of Austin, Minnesota, knew it was time to take care of her aching knee when she noticed her dog started to gain weight due to her inability to take him for a daily walk.
For over 10 years, Bure lived with, and learned to adapt to, pain in her left knee. Eventually, it became so excruciating that she started walking with a cane. At first, it was just to help her get in and out of her car, but when she started using it continuously and her preschool students started to ask questions, she knew she couldn’t continue living the life of an 80-year-old when she was only 52.
In May 2016, Bure made an appointment with her regular provider for an annual physical exam. During this visit, the provider asked Bure about the cane. Before Bure knew it, X-rays were scheduled, and she had an appointment to see Michael Eckstrom, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.
“Within the first few minutes of my appointment with Dr. Eckstrom, he said I needed a new knee,” says Bure. “The only words I could get out at the time were ‘thank you,’ as I was crying tears of joy thinking relief was in sight.”
Surgery was scheduled for August 2016. Meanwhile, in June, Bure had emergency surgery to remove her gall bladder.
“I was so worried my knee surgery was going to get pushed back due to the unexpected gall bladder surgery, but I healed well and was able to keep the knee surgery as scheduled,” says Bure. “I was somewhat concerned with the thought of going through a second major surgery in less than two months. But, I have a very strong faith base, and with help and encouragement from my amazing friends and co-workers, I knew it would all work out in the end.”
Just hours after coming out of surgery, Bure already felt relief from the pain she had been living with for so long. “I was so impressed with Dr. Eckstrom and the entire team,” says Bure. “I was not viewed as just another surgical case, but was cared for as a whole person.”
Bure says that having a bit of Norwegian stubbornness in her genes, she went back to work part time after only seven weeks and full time after just 10 weeks, compared to the normal 10 to 12 weeks expected recovery time.
“I was finally able to do the simple things in life that I enjoy without the pain,” says Bure. “I’m able to hop on one foot and dance with my preschoolers.”
Bure also is able to vacuum without having to take breaks, make dinner for her friends and enjoy it without being too exhausted, and, of course, take her dog for his daily walk.
“I feel so different. I have a newfound energy, and everyone around me can see it,” says Bure. “As my preschoolers would say: It’s like magic.”