After suffering for more than a year with pain caused by osteoarthritis in her left knee, and not being able to do what she loved, Wendy Langhans decided it was time for surgery. Wendy, a resident of Valencia since 2001, had tried various strategies at the advice of her doctor such as cortisone injections to avoid surgery, but the pain persisted. “The pain level prevented me from doing something I loved—leading hikes through our local parks and canyons,” Wendy said. “My doctor, Dr. Charles Young, and I decided it was time for knee replacement surgery.”
Fortunately, Wendy would not need to travel far from home. Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Spine Surgery and Joint Replacement Services Centers of Excellence were available a few miles away. Wendy had the surgery in January 2015. Prior to the surgery, there were several sessions where staff explained to her about the surgery and what to expect. “Knowing what to expect helped put my mind at ease because I knew how to prepare for it,” she said. “I knew I would need help. For an independent person like me, asking for and accepting help is difficult.”
Her husband, Hugh, has been very supportive. He is the rock. Friends from her church, local friends and neighbors have provided prayers, visits, home-cooked meals, transportation and words of encouragement. “I discovered that recovery goes a lot easier when you are part of a supportive community.”
Henry Mayo has been part of that community too. Wendy remembers the excellent treatment she received from the nurses and physical therapists at Henry Mayo, who got her standing up and moving around right away. “I knew that was important to my recovery.”
“There was never a time when I felt my needs were not being met,” she said. “They even called me after I was discharged, to make sure everything was OK.”
Wendy, 63, enjoys telling the story of how, early in her recovery, as she walked with her cane along a nearby paseo, she spotted two turkey vultures circling overhead. “Seeing those birds encouraged me pick up the pace and walk faster,” she said.
“Now I’m feeling stronger every day and am no longer taking pain medication. My goal is to lead a full-moon hike at Towsley Canyon in October.”