How old is too old to have major elective surgery? Doctors say that all depends on the patient. We met a 93 year old woman from Highmore who just had her second total knee replacement and is bound and determined to be riding horse back in 2 months. Those who know Lucille Gibson, know she will.
Two things you would probably never guess about Lucille Gibson: first off, this silver haired smooth skinned beauty is 93 years old. Secondly, two weeks ago she had major surgery at Avera McKennan to replace her left knee.
Lucille says, "This was swelling up and hurting me so bad that I was dragging it with the other leg. It would swell up the size of a balloon. I had to do something."
Lucille has worked hard her whole life. Sharon Wilson, one of Lucille's 6 children, can attest to that. Especially on the family farm Lucille still lives on in Highmore.
Lucille says, "I like to be able to do my work and chores. I lamb my sheep and I like to do those things. I also feed the boys, my two sons and grandson, who work on the farm."
Sharon says, "She has a busy life. She volunteers at the nursing home too. She is really diversified. She is an inspiration to all of us."
Lucille knew what to expect with total joint replacement. She had her right knee done in April 02004. Both times she recovered in Sioux Falls at Sharon's house with Sharon's help.
Certified Nurse Practitioner Eric Noyes with Avera Gutnik and Associates says, "The primary predictor of how well a patient will do with elective surgery, like hip or knee, is how well they were doing before surgery. If they have good functional status, they're out in the yard working and are able to tolerate that work without shortness of breathe, chances are they will recover well from surgery. It also depends on how hard they work in rehab."
Sharon says, "She works very hard to get these joints back in working order so she can move. She always has a goal and hers is the 3rd week of June to get on the horse and ride behind the Queen and King."
Lucille is a lifelong avid horse lover. She's not going to let knee surgery stop her from riding horseback in her 41st Highmore Old Settler's Day Parade. I suspect at 93 she will probably have even more giddy-up and go than that horse.
Lucille goes to physical therapy at Avera McKennan 3 times a week. Otherwise, her daughter works with her twice a day to get her range of motion back to normal. Although Lucille's "normal" is better than most folks her age!