OrthoEdge Total Joint Replacement: “This hip isn’t stopping me from doing a darn thing.”

Kris Ulrich is the definition of quality of life.  Everything she does she does with her whole self.

The Pemberton native grew up in a polka music loving family.  Her father, Ernie Coopman, was a band leader with “Ernie Coopman and the Jolly Brewers” for 30 years.  Her childhood revolved around going to dances to hear her dad play.

“It was kind of born into us that we do these things,” she said. “It was mom who taught us to dance.”

Kris Ulrich shares her family history of polka and dancing. Dancing has been a focal point in her life since she was a young girl.

Dancing has been part of Kris’ life ever since. Kris was a regular on KEYC’s Bandwagon since her dad’s band made their first appearance in 1960.

“It was just our thing to go to Bandwagon.  Then when I met my husband, we wend on Mondays to dance on Bandwagon,” she recalled.

When Kris retired in August 2020 after a 31 ½ year career at Aramark (formerly American Linens and Ameripride) in Mankato, she planned to keep busy with projects around her home, helping her family when needed and of course, dancing.

A hip replacement was not part of Kris’ retirement plan. A couple of years ago, Kris pulled “something” in her groin area.  The injury progressively got worse and about a year ago she talked to her primary care provider about it.

The X-rays showed her hip joint was worn out.  Her next step was an appointment with Dr. Jesse Botker at the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic in 2021.

Kris planned her surgery for October 2021.  Dr. Botker performed the surgery using an anterior, or front, approach to the hip joint.  This technique allows for better healing and the potential for faster recovery.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Kris said about her surgery and recovery.

When Kris returned home, she made sure she was up and moving, walking the length of her house several times a day.  Kris recalled that at her two-month check-up, Dr. Botker asked her to walk. She did so well that he told her she did not need to come back for further follow-ups.

“I’ve been so happy with the whole thing.  I thought I’d be laid up all winter. I’ve been active and doing things.  That’s how I do it – you just have to keep going.”


she is going – dancing that is.  On January 13, 2022, Kris danced.  It was her first time since September 2021.

She danced every dance.

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