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Rozet rancher has success with outpatient total knee surgery

  • Author: Debbie Harris
  • Date Submitted: Apr 22, 2021

This surgery seemed to go more smoothly than my first one”, said Debbie. “I went in at 6 am and was home by 1 pm. It was amazing.”

Debbie Harris had her first knee replacement surgery in 2017, and like many patients before this year, she spent a night in the hospital before going home. For her second knee replacement on February 2, 2021, Debbie was able to go home the day of her surgery.

“This surgery seemed to go more smoothly than my first one”, said Debbie. “I went in at 6 am and was home by 1 pm. It was amazing.”

Debbie’s surgery was performed by Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Stanford Israelsen at Powder River Surgery Center, where an accelerated recovery program includes total and partial knee replacements, and hip replacement surgery.

Debbie has regular physical therapy sessions at Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services. One of the keys to being able to go home the same day as their surgery is the patient’s ability to maneuver around their home; skills like getting in and out of the car, going up a set of stairs, and walking short distances.

Brittany Johnson, DPT, Physical Therapy Gillette Wyoming“Same-day total joint patients have a therapy visit with us before their surgery,” said Brittany Johnson, PT, DPT. “We educate them on what it will be like and give them a chance to practice the things they may not have thought about, like getting on and off the toilet. The patient also sees their therapist shortly after surgery to make sure they will be safe to go home that day. It really relieves any anxiety they have, and we can also help them better manage their pain.”

As Debbie’s physical therapist, Brittany makes sure that the therapy sessions help Debbie reach her specific goals and expectations.

Not everyone is able to have outpatient joint replacement surgery. It’s always best to talk with your surgeon about your risks and options.

Powder River Orthopedics & Spine Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Stanford Israelsen“Debbie was a good candidate for an outpatient procedure like this,” said Dr. Israelsen. “We discussed the alternatives she had, and the differences between a more traditional inpatient surgery and a same-day option. She is doing very well.”

Debbie agrees. At six weeks out from her surgery, Debbie could straighten her leg and had good flexion (ability to bend). That’s good, because her 11 grandchildren keep her on the go, as well as her life on the ranch east and south of Rozet, Wyoming.

“Honestly, the hardest part was having to have someone drive me to physical therapy three times a week,” said Debbie. “I’m looking forward to getting back to going camping and four-wheeling this summer.”

Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services provides complete physical and occupational rehabilitation care to people with musculoskeletal problems caused by disease or injury. Our compassionate and experienced staff strives to help you reach your rehabilitation goals and function at your optimal level, whether you are at home or at work. Learn more at

The orthopedic surgeons at Wyoming Orthopedics & Spine (WYOS) have been performing outpatient hip and knee replacements at Powder River Surgery Center in Gillette, Wyoming since the beginning of 2021. If you’re experiencing joint pain, the doctors at WYOS can help you decide on the treatment option that is best for you. Call the WYOS at 307-686-1413 or