Our Patients Say it Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Begin with the End in Mind - Caren Rossow


Nov, 2019

Physicians: Kenneth Edwards, MD

After years of wear and tear on her body, Caren Rossow was knee-deep in pain.

She consulted with her rheumatologist who concluded Lupus, a disease which causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells and tissues, was destroying cartilage in Caren’s knee. She needed to act fast.

Caren connected with orthopedic surgeon, Kenneth Edwards, MD, to discuss a course of treatment for her chronic knee pain and swelling. Dr. Edwards recommended starting with physical therapy to rebuild broken down muscles in her leg.

“Dr. Edwards has great bedside manner,” said Caren. “He has the ability to meet people where they are and communicate without giving medical jargon. He was able to explain everything in detail to my husband and I, including showing pictures and x-rays to make us more comfortable with the procedure.”

As a result of her injured right knee, Caren was walking with a cane and putting added weight on her left leg resulting in pain in both knees. When the pain persisted despite physical therapy, Caren and Dr. Edwards began to discuss other options. She had to make a decision―replace one knee or two.

Caren decided upon a bi-lateral knee replacement, which would replace both knee joints at the same time. Caren was impressed by the communication between both Dr. Edward’s staff and her rheumatologist leading up to, and during her surgery. Dr. Edwards explained how surgery was a partnership. He would perform the procedure and Caren must do her part by following a recovery plan.

“Dr. Edwards is very collaborative,” said Caren. “He listens to his patients, other doctors and the physical therapy team.”

After surgery, Dr. Edwards advised Caren to attend physical therapy at Lakeland Rehabilitation. Upon arriving at the Longmeadow facility, she met with physical therapist, Shanti Dalson, PT. Shanti was familiar with Caren’s limitations caused by Lupus and fibromyalgia having worked with her prior to surgery. She pushed Caren, keeping her goals in mind, and knew when to modify the exercises due to her chronic illnesses.

“Shanti deserves a medal,” said Caren. “She encouraged me to stick to the recovery plan and said if I worked hard, I would reach my goals.”

Within six months of a successful surgery, Caren accomplished her first goal by biking 8.2 miles around Mackinac Island with her family.

“You have to begin with the end in mind,” said Caren. “I only wish I had the surgery sooner. I am now living my life to the fullest.”

Her next goal? Hiking Tahquamenon Falls with her granddaughters in 2020.

The specially-trained orthopedic surgeons at Lakeland are here to help relieve your pain, restore your mobility and independence, and get you back to work and other normal activities. To find an orthopedic surgeon near you, call 888.313.9167 or click here.


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