Stahoviak scheduled for surgery Wednesday

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— Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak is scheduled to undergo knee surgery Wednesday for what she hopes is the final time.

Stahoviak's surgeon has ordered a special implant for her right knee and will install it during the surgery if there are no signs of infection in her knee.

Last Monday, medics tried to take a sample of fluid from her knee to test it for an infection, but there was no fluid. That, Stahoviak said, is a good sign, because it means there is no inflammation or irritation in the joint.

On Wednesday, medics will take a tissue sample. In the case that the infection remains, a temporary spacer will be installed in Stahoviak's knee, and she will be put back on antibiotics.

"I'm pretty confident that's not going to happen," Stahoviak said Monday.

Instead, she said she is hopeful that no infection will be found and her surgeon can install her hinged knee implant.

Stahoviak, who has battled infections in her knee replacements since December 2003, was rushed to the hospital in November with a knee infection in her right knee.

Then, she faced the possibility of having part of her right leg amputated, but ultimately decided to try to replace her knee again.

Just more than a year ago, Stahoviak was flown to Denver because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections. Last spring, she had temporary replacements with antibiotics installed in both knees.

In June, she had a permanent knee replacement installed in her right knee, and in October, after delays because of infection in the joint, had the same procedure on her her left knee.

The most recent infection was discovered in her right knee.

Stahoviak said she is ready to be finished with her surgeries.

"I just want to be able to walk," she said.


-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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