About 10 years ago, while crossing a street in New Braunfels, TX, Susan Seipp felt a sudden, severe pain in her leg. She had had knee pain before, but this was different.
“It felt like someone had driven a stake into my lower leg from my knee,” Susan said.
For 10 years, her pain gradually increased, and with it, her limitations. Susan and her husband enjoy traveling – they’ve been to all seven continents – but her pain began to get in the way of that. Susan knew she would probably be a candidate for knee replacement at some point, but not being able to do the things she really enjoyed prompted her to reach out for help sooner.
“I started asking my retired teacher friends who had knee replacements or shoulder work about their surgeons,” she said. “Three or four of them, hands-down, recommended Dr. [Aaron] Rupp.”
Susan, a resident of Warrensburg for 48 years, said she watched Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) grow over the years. She recalls it maturing from a smaller hospital with a few Kansas City connections to a larger, more modern facility, attracting specialists who offered more robust services across the state. Seeing these enhancements along with the stellar reviews of Dr. Rupp, Susan knew she wanted to have her surgery at WMMC, her local trusted healthcare partner.
Dr. Rupp is an example of a specialist who has elevated WMMC’s services. After having the opportunity to see the community and meet with WMMC’s leadership, Dr. Rupp knew WMMC was the right fit for him and his family.
“There’s a lot of reasons why I chose to come here,” he said. “It started with the community. I love the blue-collar, hard-working people that live in this town. But, really, the administration here at WMMC truly cares about the patients. We really do rival anywhere else in Kansas City or otherwise.”
Susan said her comfort with Dr. Rupp grew even further after her first appointment with him.
“Dr. Rupp, from my initial visit, was informative. He answered all of my questions. He has a calm demeanor; he has a sense of humor,” she said. “So I left that initial visit very confident, [and] I went into surgery confident.”
The positive effects for Susan after surgery were almost immediate.
“I have had no pain in my surgical knee from, probably, four weeks on,” she said. “I’m more mobile. I have more energy. I can be more active and [can] actually go shopping and not have to sit down every 10 minutes,” she said.
In fact, she’s already making plans for her other knee.
“Within an hour or two of coming out of surgery, I had decided I’m having the second one done as soon as I can. [Dr. Rupp] said we have to wait a few months, so we will do that,” she said with a laugh.
After listing several of Susan’s knee issues, Dr. Rupp smiled while recalling her approach to her surgery and her determination during her recovery.
“Susan is a very special person,” he said. “Her outlook on life is very positive, and I think that has helped her recover as fast as she did. She did her therapy; a huge role in your outcome is being diligent, doing your exercises, and she just had a smile on her face the whole way, which was pleasant to see.”
What successful operations mean for patients like Susan is what Dr. Rupp said he likes best about his field.
“A lot of times, patients come to you with a problem,” he said. “I like seeing these patients that are kind of broken, and you walk with them as you fix them, and then you get to see them go out and their lives are changed.”
Having a successful surgery without having to leave Warrensburg made Susan’s experience even better.
“I was very glad to be able to choose a hometown hospital,” she said.
Beyond looking forward to her next knee replacement with Dr. Rupp, Susan said she’s ready to resume traveling with her husband again, and she is excited about doing so without knee pain.