Don’t Let Joint Pain Slow You Down

If you have debilitating hip or knee pain that hasn’t responded to medications or physical therapy, you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery. At Lutheran Medical Center, we offer a comprehensive joint replacement program that will help you prepare for the procedure and get you back on your feet faster than you might think.

Getting Ready

Patients who know what surgery entails and what to expect do much better overall, says Ian Weber, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Lutheran. “Once we’ve decided that surgery is the best option, we discuss exactly what happens during the procedure and how we control pain and help facilitate a rapid recovery,” he says.

The education continues at Lutheran’s “Joint Camp,” a two-hour seminar held at the hospital. An orthopedic nurse and a rehabilitation specialist present information on pre-admission procedures and how to prepare the home for recovery.

“Our goal is to send patients directly home upon discharge,” says Kendra Casson, RN, Director of Care Management. “Patients heal the fastest at home, and that is truly where they desire to recover. We believe the best way to support our patents is a collaborative approach. We work closely with our patients, their families, our physician partners, the care team at Lutheran Medical Center and the community in order to coordinate the needed support systems and resources to set our patients up for success upon discharge.”

Lutheran also cares for patients who require joint replacement as a result of a fracture sustained by a fall or other injury.

“Our goal in these cases is to complete the surgery within 24 hours after patients arrive in the emergency room,” says orthopedic hospitalist Michelle Henderson, MD. “After that, they go through the same rehabilitation process as elective patients, although they may need to go to a skilled nursing facility before returning home.”

Experience Matters

Joint replacement is never a one-size-fits-all procedure. Surgical approach, type of implant and the recovery plan are carefully customized based on the patient’s condition.

Dr. Weber notes that these decisions depend on surgical experience, as well. “It’s important for the surgeon to choose an approach that he or she is comfortable with and has done repeatedly,” he says.

Pain control is key to a fast recovery. The surgical team uses multiple forms of pain control during and immediately after the procedure to minimize the need for narcotic medications.

Patients are usually on their feet and walking with support within hours after surgery to help prevent blood clots and stiffness, and most are able to leave the hospital in 24 to 36 hours.

Life-Changing Event

The long-term effects of joint replacement are life-changing. “Patients love being back on their feet, but they realize some of the biggest benefits when they go to bed,” Dr. Weber says. “That grinding pain that used to keep them up is gone, and they often report that they’re sleeping better than they have in years.”

Get Back to Your Life

Stiff and painful joints can rob you of your normal life. Whether joint pain is keeping you from everyday comfort or a more active lifestyle, our staff can get you to where you want to be. Lutheran offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options that are safe and private. Thanks to advanced technology, and surgical and rehab techniques, most total hip and knee replacements require a hospital stay of fewer than two days. Learn more at

Grateful Patient Reunites with Staff That Saved Her Life

Last week, staff and physicians from Mom/Baby, ICU, Surgery and more had a chance to experience the great outcome that they helped provide to a local family. Angela and her family wanted to come back and thank everyone for their care and compassion during her stay.

Here is her story:

When Angela had her baby girl in July, she began hemorrhaging badly during the C-section, and ended up needing more than 20 gallons of blood to survive.

After her first-hand experience, Angela has given of her time with Bonfils Blood Center to encourage blood donation. She and her family continued to be gracious with their time this week, returning to thank Dr. Rachel Stacey and many others on our Lutheran team who worked tirelessly to save her life and help baby Olivia begin hers. It was a great privilege to see their smiling faces again!

This story was posted on the Lutheran Medical Center Facebook and Twitter.

The Surprising Secret to a Happier, Healthier Pregnancy

Your jeans size, your appetite, turning the spare bedroom into a nursery—lots of things change during pregnancy. But one thing remains the same: Physical activity pays dividends for your health.

A new study confirms that moving more and sitting less reduces the risk for pregnancy complications like high blood pressure. Other recent findings show that staying active can lift your mood and ward off fatigue when you’re expecting.

Doctors recommend pregnant women aim for the same 30 minutes of daily moderate activity that all adults need. Check in with yours about a suitable program.

Safe Ways to Move for 2

Pregnancy does alter your body in ways that affect movement. Your ligaments relax, causing back and pelvic pain. The extra weight in front changes your center of gravity, stresses your joints and makes your heart and muscles work harder.

But don’t let these facts confine you to the couch. After all, exercise doesn’t have to be intense or complicated. Simply spending less time reclining can pay off in better health. Try:

■  Taking walks around the block or at the park or mall.

■  Getting up from your chair, whether you’re working or watching TV, at least once an hour to walk around.

■  Adding low-impact workouts, such as cycling, swimming or aerobics. Or sign up for prenatal yoga—look for details in Classes & Events under Bridges Health & Wellness.

Avoid These Activities

While almost everybody can keep moving during pregnancy, there are a few workouts moms-to-be should avoid. These include:

■  Sports with a high risk of falling or impact

■  Scuba diving

■  Moves that involve lying on your stomach or flat on your back after the first trimester

Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workouts. And stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath or nauseous.

High School Basketball Players Give to LMC Cancer Patients

Basketball players from Dakota Ridge and Columbine High School paid a visit to Lutheran Cancer Services in advance of their “Fight Together” Breast Cancer Awareness basketball game on Jan. 27.

The students visited with patients in the Infusion Center, gave gift bags to both patients and support staff, and more importantly, shared a smile.  Students learned about many other cancers and realized the importance of supporting those going through any type of illness.

Our patients appreciated the gifts and enjoyed sharing stories of their high school days with the students. Every group of students that visits the patients leaves with a new appreciation of what “going through treatment” really looks like.  We hope they carry that with them as they meet others battling cancer.

This is one of many ways our local high school students support the Cancer Centers of Colorado at Lutheran!


3 New Screenings Your Kids and Teens Need

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised the schedule of preventive care all kids should receive. Now, it advises, doctors should check kids for three grown-up-sounding health problems. Here’s why.

  1. HIV

Teens and young adults account for about one-fourth of all new HIV cases. Symptoms may not develop until 10 or 11 years later. Meanwhile an infected young person can spread HIV to others without knowing it.

Health experts suggest young people ages 16 to 18 be screened. Blood tests can spot antibodies to the virus or the virus itself. Though there’s no cure, medications can lower blood levels of the virus and also treat related health problems.

  1. Cholesterol

As obesity spreads, more youth than ever score high on cholesterol tests. Children with high cholesterol often turn into adults with the same problem—and a high risk for heart disease.

The new guidelines advise that kids between ages 9 and 11 undergo cholesterol screening. If one blood test comes back high, the doctor will do another at least two weeks later to confirm. A healthy diet—including lots of fruits and vegetables—and regular exercise can help bring down your child’s numbers.

  1. Depression

Suicide now ranks as a leading cause of death among teens. Doctors hope they can reverse this trend by finding depression early. Treatment includes medications, counseling or both.

Once a year from ages 11 to 21, the pediatrician may ask your child questions to uncover mood issues. Don’t wait for the next checkup to discuss warning signs with your child’s healthcare team, however. These include not enjoying things that used to bring happiness, lack of energy, changes in sleep and eating habits, and trouble focusing.

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In early April of 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led a series of marches and sit-ins protesting racism and segregation in Birmingham, Ala. A judge issued a blanket injunction against any demonstrating, marching or boycotting (which was patently an unconstitutional ruling). The non-violent protests continued, however, and on April 12, Dr. King was arrested in brutal fashion, and put in jail in deplorable conditions, as a nation watched.

I also watched, as an 11-year-old boy living in Mississippi, and despite my location and the cultural vagaries of the times, I was deeply disturbed over the treatment of Dr. King and the others, who were protesting conditions that were right in front of me every day, and clearly deplorable. I marveled at their courage, their discipline and beliefs that made it possible for them to remain non-violent in the face of such terrible institutionalized unfairness.

However, there was much positive in the aftermath of this piece of American history, and one of the positives was the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which Dr. King wrote while incarcerated. I found it, then and now, brilliant and inspiring. Here are some quotes from it:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

“The early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days, the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”

On Monday our nation recognizes the man that led a cultural revolution in this country with persistence, eloquence and the ultimate personal sacrifice. He led a journey that is not complete, but certainly he paved the way for the journey with his courage and sacrifice. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is an historical notation well worth the time it takes to read, and I recommend you do. Take some time on Monday to give thought to this man, one of my personal heroes, who gave all to improve the very fabric of our nation. Thank you, Reverend King.

Two Out of Three

Congratulations to last week’s contest winners, who were able to name three of Lutheran’s hospitalists. Only two people entered, so there’s one fancy Lutheran water bottle available if someone still wants to try.

Erika Bendele – HMI/Surgery

Dana Stankevitz – ICU

Here’s your chance for two complimentary tickets to any Arvada Center Theatre Season performance. This contest is about the Blue House, which is in the front of the hospital. Guess the year it opened as a restaurant, and if you’re the first to get it right, the tickets are yours. Please send your answers to One winner this time – Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors and senior leaders aren’t eligible to win. 

Have a great week,


Everybody Knows Bobby Boone

Recently, we published a Day in the Life of Bobby Boone on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to people at Lutheran talk about how it feels to work here and many of them say there is a sense of family. Bobby Boone is an astonishing example of keeping it in the family.

After volunteering at Lutheran during high school, Bobby started his career here in 1978. His mother worked in the OR. He met and married his wife here (they got married in the Lutheran chapel) and their son was born here. And guess who recently started working at Lutheran? Their little boy — he’s all grown up now! Bobby’s wife still works at Lutheran too, and their family lives just a few blocks away.

Join us on a tour through one of Bobby’s days with us in our ongoing series, #LutheranDayInTheLife.

You can follow along on the LutheranMedicalCenter Facebook or click here on Facebook to see all of our DITL stories. #lutherandayinthelife

Music is a Gift

For more than two decades, two of our most notable volunteers, Hal and Geri Gloystein have given the Lutheran staff, volunteers, patients and visitors the pleasure of being able to enjoy the harmonious hymns of many talented pianists. The beautiful, white, treasured Weber piano in the heart of the Main Lobby was donated by the Gloysteins in 1995 in memory of one of their daughters.

Here at Lutheran, we enjoy the vibrant sounds so much that we have recently introduced a program that will offer the healing power of music to our patients, visitors and staff. The Music is a Gift program will play a significant role in reducing stress, enhancing the healing process and renewing the spirit. We hope to complement existing performers as well as welcome new faces from the Lutheran community.

We invite guests of all ages to come and showcase their talents; from grade school children to our beloved senior citizens. From the historical composer Beethoven to the renowned compositions of Johnny Cash, you will be sure to recognize a musical beat! So, please, if you are passing by, take a minute and enjoy these individuals’ gifted abilities!

Pictured below: Judy Bandimere, who has played piano for nearly 60 years, regularly plays in the Lutheran lobby on Tuesdays between 2 and 3 p.m. On Sundays, she plays during services at Tri-City Baptist Church.




New Program Launch – Bariatrics!

We’ve been planning to develop a program that will bring both surgical and non-surgical weight-loss options that work to our community and our associates. Today, the Lutheran Weight Loss Center officially opens under the direction of our new bariatric surgeon, Dr. Katy Irani.

Many people know how difficult weight loss is to attain and maintain. And for some, diet and exercise simply aren’t enough. This program was designed to provide education, coaching, support and interventions for the growing number of patients who have struggled to lose weight.

The center offers a variety of weight-loss options based on a patient’s Body Mass Index and any existing co-morbidities, such as diabetes. Those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered clinically obese and, according to Dr. Irani, should consider an intervention program, which at the Center includes:

  • Weight-loss surgery: gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or adjustable gastric banding
  • ReShape™, an FDA-approved, outpatient procedure that calls for two connected, saline-filled balloons to be placed in the patient’s stomach to promote a feeling of fullness and reduce hunger, for a period of six months.
  • Weight-loss medication.
  • Nutritional supplements to replace meals or snacks.
  • Professional coaching for healthy eating and active living long-term

Until the Center reaches CMS Center of Excellence status, most commercial insurers won’t cover the surgery. However, Cigna will cover procedures for SCL Health-insured associates. Medicare and Medicaid will cover procedures as well.

If you’d like to refer your patients, friends or family or even yourself, here’s how:

Lutheran Weight Loss Center

3455 Lutheran Parkway, Suite 220

Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Phone: 303-403-3030

Website: (sign up for online or in-person classes here too)


We have winners!

Congratulations to last week’s contest winners, who knew to look on the right hand side of the Lutheran Landing page, below the buttons for Lawson, Kronos, etc., to find notes of patient gratitude:

Jennifer Arellano – Call Center

Stuart Field – RN, ICU

Mark Bishard – Pharmacy

Are you ready for another one? Can you name three of the hospitalists that work at Lutheran?

Please send your answers to and you’ll be eligible to win a Lutheran water bottle. The first three with a correct answer are winners! Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors and senior leaders aren’t eligible to win. 

Have a great week,


A Little Goes a Long Way with These 5 Decadent Foods

It’s that time of year when most of us are resolving to eat healthier. Think healthy eating requires giving up your favorite treats? Think again. Small quantities of these seemingly indulgent dishes may actually improve your health.

1. Dark Chocolate

A little bit: Cocoa contains disease-fighting antioxidants that can lower blood pressure. It may even increase blood flow to the brain, reducing stroke risk.

Too much: Most chocolate products come packed with sugar and calories. You might have to cut back on other treats to fit it into your diet.

2. Lean Beef

A little bit: Beef and other lean red meats provide protein—critical to muscle, bone and skin health. Eating more could help older adults stay healthy while shedding pounds, one study suggests.

Too much: Fatty red meat contains artery-clogging saturated fat and has been linked to some cancers. Choose lean cuts—look for words like round, loin or sirloin. And alternate with chicken, fish and plant-based proteins.

3. Avocado

A little bit: Beyond its good-for-you fats, avocados help improve heart health, thanks to other nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Too much: About a half-avocado per day provides significant nutrients. Healthy fats contain the same number of calories as saturated fats, and eating too much can pack on pounds.

4. Nuts and Nut Butters

A little bit: Walnuts, among others, contain heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nearly half the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated, which improves cholesterol levels.

Too much: A 1-ounce—or 1/3-cup—serving of nuts contains about 160 to 180 calories. It’s easy to go overboard and gain weight.

5. Red Wine

A little bit: Drinking small quantities of alcohol has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease. Red wine specifically may contain some compounds that boost HDL, or “good,” cholesterol levels.

Too much: Healthy drinking stops at one alcoholic beverage per day for women, two for men. More could contribute to weight gain and increase your risk for heart problems and cancer.

For information about weight loss program options and nutrition workshops being offered here at Lutheran, check the On the Calendar and Good to Know sections of the newsletter. 

story7-2resizedFor a recipe for this yummy, healthy Orange-Walnut salad, click here.