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Total Knee Replacement at New St. Luke’s Orthopedic Hospital Puts Spring Back in Her Step
February 08, 2024

At 75-years-young, Diane Childs needed a little help recently to keep herself on the move. The pain in her left knee had become unbearable: she was sidelined from her daily walks and knew where she needed to go to get back on her feet.

On December 18, she became one of the first patients to undergo total knee replacement surgery at the new St. Luke’s Orthopedic Hospital at the St. Luke’s West End Campus in Allentown.

Choosing St. Luke’s was a no-brainer for the retired St. Luke’s nurse. As the Lehigh Valley’s leader in orthopedic medical education and research, St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care employs the region’s top orthopedic doctors who offer the latest innovations and advances in bone and joint care. St. Luke’s is home to the Lehigh Valley’s largest orthopedic residency training program.

Childs also knew she wanted orthopedic surgeon Patrick Brogle, MD, of St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care to perform her procedure, and she’s glad he did.

“He’s so skilled and thorough at explaining things,” says Childs, who lives in Forks Township with her husband, Alan, and their rescued hound, Cookie. “And he included us in the planning for my surgery and rehab.”

Dr. Brogle used the VELYS robot-assisted technology to remove Childs’ arthritic knee and replace it with a metal and plastic joint, which took less than an hour and will last her 20 years.

“Her total knee arthroplasty was a rather straightforward procedure,” said Dr. Brogle.

He uses robotic-assisted technology exclusively to perform total knee replacement. “It allows for degrees of precision that are not possible with traditional manual instrumentation. I feel that it contributes to an enhanced recovery and outcome.”

“What made Diane an excellent candidate for success was her desire and commitment to improve,” explained Dr. Brogle.  “Patients that recover the best are those that are committed to giving their best effort during all phases of treatment—as she was.”

Childs describes the new hospital as “immaculate and beautiful,” and says the entire staff was professional and pleasant.

“I had an excellent experience there,” she adds.

She’s been a loyal St. Luke’s patient for years: one of her sons and two of her grandchildren were born there, and she’s had other non-orthopedic surgeries there, too. She even volunteers in the OR waiting room at the Bethlehem Campus.

Now’s she’s rehabbing her knee at Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s in Forks Township, making great progress working with Ron Thomas, PT, DPT.

“Diane’s diligent in PT and continues her exercises at home,” Thomas says, who’s giving her range of motion and strengthening exercises and helping her improve her gait so she can get back on her long walks. “She’ll no doubt be able to return to her chosen activities.”

Her goal is to restart her daily, three-mile walks with Cookie, around their neighborhood, which she cherishes. “They’re good for the body and mind.”

And she’s also looking forward to taking her family vacation in Cape Cod this summer, a longtime tradition like her connection to her favorite healthcare providers.

“St. Luke’s makes you feel like a member of the team. That’s why I keep coming back."