Joint Replacement “Graduates” Celebrate at Dance

For people who are receiving treatment at Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Center for Joint Replacement and Revision (CJRR), dancing seems like an almost impossible feat. Yet through hard work and with the help of skilled surgeons and therapists, many of those patients go on to keep dancing for many years to come.

On June 10, CJRR celebrated patients’ progress with its seventh annual dance at The Plaza Conference Center in Cape Girardeau. More than 300 attendees enjoyed getting together with other “graduates,” dancing, hors d’oeuvres, door prizes and portrait photography at the event.

Brian C. Schafer, MD

Brian C. Schafer, MD

“It is very gratifying to see so many former patients at this event,” says Brian C. Schafer, MD, orthopedic surgeon who practices at Saint Francis. “We have many people who come back year after year to catch up with old friends and show off their new joints. Some of them were at the Center at the same time, and others have met at subsequent dances. They have become like a family for each other.”

Patients who undergo joint surgery at CJRR experience a unique approach to joint replacement: The surgeons and staff recognize that they are not sick, but rather are healthy adults working to return to an active life.

CJRR patients have many opportunities to connect with other patients and their families through group educational and therapy sessions. “In a way, it is like our patients are graduating together,” says Schafer. “They have all these shared experiences, and are very interested in each other’s lives after they leave the Center.”

Before surgery and during recovery and rehabilitation, Saint Francis staff members involve loved ones in the process. Family members and friends act as “coaches” and cheer their loved ones on by participating in patient education alongside the patient.

For more information about joint replacement at Saint Francis, call 573-331-3996.