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Published on November 17, 2017

Robin Schwab

Ms. Schwab benefits from total knee replacement

Robin Schwab, an early education teacher in New Lisbon, Wis., had experienced knee pain for over two years. Her condition was due to arthritis, and Robin had been told nothing could be done to ease her pain.

"I couldn't walk without limping, and my knee would lock up. It was hard for me to walk one block down the street to the library with my students," laments Robin.

Her preschool classroom is a busy place with 15 four year-olds in one session and 14 in another session. "I just wanted to be able to sit down on the floor with the kids and get in and out of the little chairs in the room."

Aaron Butler, MD

Aaron Butler, MD

When joint injections did not bring relief, Robin made an appointment with Aaron Butler, MD, orthopedic surgeon, at the Gundersen Tomah Clinic, to discuss surgery. "There is just something so good mannered about Dr. Butler. He is confident, yet very personable. He listens to you and gives you options."

Robin's surgery took place on June 6. "Going into surgery, I was intimidated because I hadn't spent a night in the hospital since I was a young child," recalls Robin. "Then I thought: 'If I do this right, I'm going to be able to walk without pain. I will be able to walk my dog.' I was just looking forward to feeling better again."

This was Robin's first experience at the Gundersen Tomah Clinic. "It was nice to stay local," says Robin.

Gundersen Health System makes it convenient for patients throughout the Tri-state Region to access orthopedic care close to home. With new clinicians and an ever-growing list of primary, outreach and telemedicine locations, patients can avoid making a special trip to La Crosse to receive specialized care.

"I treat all types of orthopedic conditions but have a special interest in total hip and knee replacements, shoulder arthroscopies including rotator cuff repair, and knee arthroscopy," Dr. Butler says. "It's wonderful to be right here in Tomah treating patients."

Robin found that post-surgery was not intimidating. "After surgery, Dr. Butler cheered me on throughout my time in physical therapy," she says. "I had physical therapy a couple of times a week. It was right in my hometown, and very convenient."

When the new school year began in September, Robin's coworkers were surprised by her successful recovery. "They keep telling me how great it is to see me walking so well," says Robin.

"Sometimes, I still get tired, but that is to be expected until I'm fully recovered," Robin says. "Now I can do all the things I want to, and it doesn't hurt. I can go bowling and golfing. I can carry a laundry basket up the stairs without having to set it down. I feel fantastic. "

For more information about orthopedic surgery in Tomah, call (608) 372-4111.

Gundersen has orthopedic services in the following locations:

  • Boscobel
  • Cresco
  • Decorah
  • Friendship
  • Hillsboro
  • La Crosse
  • Onalaska
  • Sparta
  • Tomah
  • Viroqua
  • Wabasha
  • Boscobel
  • Whitehall
  • West Union