June 2015

Being active is something that is important to Debbie Behnke of Lake Crystal.   Exercise and a healthy lifestyle helped her lose more than 100 pounds.  And, at the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center she is the corporate manager, a water aerobics instructor and lifeguard.

Something happened to Debbie three years ago that altered her active lifestyle.  She was bringing a chair up from her basement when her leg suddenly got “stuck” and she fell forward.  She thought she pulled a muscle.

Debbie got to a point where she could not do the things she had been able to do.

“I had so much pain I would literally cry,” she said.

Not being able to exercise led to some weight gain.  Debbie said her husband suggested she see a chiropractor.  She also tried acupuncture but neither was providing any relief.

Debbie next went to The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in Mankato to see Dr. Steven Curtis.  An MRI showed arthritis in her hip.  Cortisone injections were done but Debbie still did not have any relief from the pain in her hip.

Dr. Stevens then referred Debbie to his colleague, Dr. Kyle Swanson.  After an exam he determined Debbie needed hip surgery.

Through the OrthoEdge program Debbie had her hip replacement surgery at River’s Edge Hospital in St. Peter in March 2015.  Debbie recalled something Dr. Swanson said to her husband post -surgery, “I can see why she was in so much pain.  The ball joint inside the socket was flat and was bone-on-bone.”    Debbie said this was not picked up on the MRI and was seen during her surgery.

Debbie had her surgery on a Tuesday and was discharged on Friday.   “It was awesome,” she said about her stay at River’s Edge Hospital.  “The staff communicated well to each other and was very caring.”

Debbie’s OrthoEdge care team consisted of Dr. Swanson, a physician’s assistant, the hospitalist, nurses and physical therapists.

“I speak highly of it,” Debbie says when asked about OrthoEdge, the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic and River’s Edge Hospital’s orthopedic program.

Today Debbie says she is at about 80 percent.  She is working, teaching water aerobics and lifeguarding.  While she knows there are some things she will not be able to do – like cross her legs or ankles when sitting and jogging, she is looking forward to continuing her healthy lifestyle without pain in her hip.





“I tell all my friends, ‘go to St. Peter,’” says Irene Lord of North Mankato.

Irene Lord’s first visit to River’s Edge Hospital was in 2008.  She was a swing bed patient following a knee replacement surgery at another local hospital.

She remembered the high level of care she received at River’s Edge so when it came time to have her other knee replaced in 2013 and Dr. Steven Curtis from the Orthopaedic  & Fracture Clinic suggested she have her surgery at River’s Edge she was thrilled.

“It was wonderful,” she said about having her knee replacement at River’s Edge Hospital and about the care she received.

“I was well taken care of,” Lord said.

Some of the things that stood out for Lord was how she was shown how to get in and out of the shower, the size of her private room and how kind and caring the nurses are.

Now, two years later, Lord and her husband are moving toward a healthier lifestyle.  “I feel more active with no pain in my knees,” she said.

They eat healthier and watch their calorie intake.  She is proud to say they have each lost more than 20 pounds.

When Irene Lord tells people about River’s Edge, she tells them how nice it is.

“I hope they would have the same experience I did.”