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Labor & Delivery: What to Expect

At Welia Health, it’s important to us that you are fully prepared with what to expect during labor and delivery. This information is covered in more detail during our Prenatal Education classes.

Monitoring Mother & Baby during labor and delivery

External monitoring

  • An ultrasound probe is placed over the fetus to check the baby’s fetal heart rate and watch for your baby’s overall well being
  • A monitor is placed over uterus to measure pressure changes that are present during a contraction.
    • This is not an accurate pressure reading and is used to identify timing of contractions, not their strength

Internal monitoring (if needed)

  • Scalp electrode monitoring for your baby’s heart rate
  • Intrauterine pressure catheter (IUPC) for internal contraction monitoring

Scalp Electrode

  • Used when there if difficulty monitoring your baby’s heart rate
  • Not routinely used, as it is more invasive

Intrauterine Pressure Catheter

  • Inserted into the uterus and sits next to the baby
  • Membrane must be ruptured and cervix dilated greater than 3cm
  • Measures contraction strength

Rupture of membranes (water breaking)

Spontaneous rupture of membranes

  • Bag of water breaks on its own
  • Watch for amount and color of amniotic fluid

Artificial Rupture of Membranes

  • Bag of water is ruptured using a small plastic hook and is done during labor

Any time you think that your water has broken, or if you are unsure, you need to come to the hospital.

Group beta strep (GBS)

  • Approximately 25% of pregnant women have GBS
  • This is not a sexually transmitted disease
  • Testing for the presence of GBS is done by conducting a vaginal and rectal swab and is treated with antibiotics when in active labor or with ruptured membranes
  • Can cause severe illness for infant including lung infection, blood infection, meningitis or death without antibiotic treatment


To start labor, induction can be used for a multitude of reasons, including:

  • Large for gestational age infant
  • History of shoulder dystocia and large babies
  • High blood pressure
  • If there are health concerns for mother or baby or if your baby is past his/her projected due date

Cervical Ripening

  1. Cytotec
  • Small pill inserted in the vagina to help prepare cervix for Pitocin induction
  • Can cause cramping and contractions
  • Fetal monitoring for 2 hours after administration
  • Has the potential to put you into labor, but this is not the intended use
  1. Cervidil
  • A vaginal insert that releases medication and is easily removed
  • Used to prepare an unfavorable cervix for Pitocin induction
  • Has a local cervical effect in softening, effacing and dilating the cervix
  • Can be kept in for up to 12 hours or onset of labor
  1. Mechanical cervical ripening
  • Foley bulb
  • Catheter placed in cervical opening to help thin out (efface) the cervix
  1. It applies pressure and you must be dilated to at least 1cm

Pitocin (oxytocin)

  • Used to induce or stimulate labor
  • Requires continuous fetal monitoring if administered
  • Can also be given after delivery for bleeding

Shoulder dystocia

  • Infant’s head is delivered and the shoulders are difficult to deliver
  • This is considered a medical emergency
  • Suprapubic pressure is applied
  • May cause the baby’s clavicle (collarbone) to fracture

Vacuum extraction

  • A vacuum can be applied to aide in delivering the baby’s head
  • Pressure is applied while the provider guides and while mother pushes


  • Surgical cut of perineum to allow for birth of infant
  • Not commonly performed
  • Surgically repaired after delivery by your provider

Placental abruption

  • Happens when placenta detaches from uterus, cutting off food and oxygen to the fetus
  • A medical emergency and requires a STAT cesarean section

Placenta previa

  • Placenta attaches low in the uterus or over the cervix
  • As cervix dilates, that placenta loses the blood flow and decreased oxygen to fetus
  • Diagnosed with a routine ultrasound

Cord prolapse

  • This is considered a medical emergency requiring cesarean section
  • If cord becomes compressed, it loses the ability to send oxygen and nutrients to the fetus

Cesarean section

  • Surgical procedure to deliver baby through the abdominal wall that is done in the operating room
  • Spinal/epidural or general anesthesia used during surgery

Reasons for a Cesarean Section (C-Section)

  • Fetal distress
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Failure to progress
  • Active herpes infection
  • The baby is breech or malpositioned
  • Prolapsed cord
  • Large gestational age (LGA)
  • Severe preeclampsia
  • Uterine dystocia


Learn more about Pain Management during labor & delivery >

Archives: Parent Services

Preparing for your colonoscopy (MiraLAX)

  • Arrange for transportation to and from your procedure. You will not be allowed to drive or walk yourself home.
  • Be sure to take all medication and solution as instructed.
  • It is important to drink extra clear liquids before beginning your prep, as well as after your procedure to avoid dehydration.

Purchase from a pharmacy

  • 4 Dulcolax (bisacodyl) 5mg tablets
  • One bottle (238-gram) of MiraLAX® (polyethylene glycol 3350)
  • 64 ounces of any clear liquid of your choice (no red or purple)

One week prior to your procedure (special medication instructions)

  • Stop iron and fish oil supplements. Multivitamins that contain iron are okay to continue.
  • Diabetic medications should be managed by your primary care provider. This includes oral medications as well as insulin.
  • Contact your provider if you are taking blood-thinning medications such as:
    • Coumadin (warfarin)
    • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
    • Eliquis (apixaban)
    • Plavix (clopidogrel)
    • Lovenox (enoxaparin)
    • Pradaxa (dabigatran)
    • Heparin
  • Your family physician or cardiologist will provide guidance about when and if you can discontinue these medications prior to your procedure.

Two days prior to procedure

  • Mix the 238-gram bottle of MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol 3350) in 64 ounces of clear liquid.
  • Shake the solution until the MiraLAX is dissolved and refrigerate.
  • This is recommended, but can mix day of prep.

One day prior to procedure

  • Drink clear liquids* only today, no solid foods.
    See list of clear liquids below.
  • Remain close to toilet facilities once you start the prep.
    • At 3pm, take 2 Dulcolax (bisacodyl) 5mg tablets with 8 ounces of clear liquids.
    • Beginning at 5pm, drink 64 ounces of the MiraLAX in your clear liquid solution.
    • Drink 8 ounces of the solution every 15 minutes until you have consumed all 64 ounces.
    • After completing the solution, take 2 Dulcolax (bisacodyl) 5mg tablets with 8 ounces
      of clear liquids.
  • Be sure to stay well-hydrated. Drink extra clear liquids, but none after midnight.
  • NOTHING TO DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT (Remember, no food all day today.)
  • Note: Your prep results should be yellow/green/watery without any solid stool or brown in the toilet when you have a bowel movement.
    • Not having a clear prep prior to your procedure may result in needing an enema the
      day of your procedure or possible cancellation.

Day of procedure

  • Continue with nothing to eat or drink today until after your procedure.
  • You may take the following medications in the morning with a small sip of water:
    • blood pressure
    • seizure
    • anti-anxiety
    • thyroid medications


*Clear liquid diet

When on a clear liquid diet, avoid the following:

  • Any liquid that is either red or purple
  • Any alcohol

You may drink or eat any of the following:

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Plain coffee (no cream)
  • Clear juices such as apple or white grape
  • Lemonade from a powdered mix
  • Fruit-flavored drinks such as Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, etc. (no red or purple)
  • Sports drinks such as Gatorade, All-Sport, Powerade, etc. (no red or purple)
  • Carbonated beverages or soda
  • Fat free broth, bouillon, consommé
  • Plain or flavored gelatins (avoid red and purple)
  • Fruit ices or Italian ices
  • Sorbet
  • Popsicles
  • Clear liquid nutritional supplements
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Hard candy (not red or purple)

A nurse will call you 1 to 2 days prior to your appointment with your arrival time.


If you have any questions, please contact scheduling in the Welia Health Surgery department at 320.225.3416.

Archives: Parent Services


A colonoscopy is the most effective and commonly scheduled screening to prevent colorectal cancer.

During this exam, your doctor uses a colonoscope, a flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end, to examine the entire length of the colon and rectum. If, during the exam, your doctor finds possible precancerous clusters of cells, called polyps, special instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to either biopsy or remove any suspicious-looking areas. In most cases, polyps can be removed before becoming cancer, thus preventing colorectal cancer.

A referral from your primary provider is needed to schedule a colonoscopy. To make an appointment with one of our Family Medicine providers, call 320.679.1313 or log onto MyChart.

FAQs about colorectal cancer screenings

I’m curious. How does the exam work?

During a colonoscopy, the patient is given a sedation medication to help them relax and prevent discomfort during the procedure. The colonoscope is then inserted through the rectum and guided along, examining the lining inside the colon. If polyps (group or clump of cells) or abnormalities (inflammation, infections or ulcers) are found, they are removed or biopsied during the procedure.

When should I get my first colonoscopy?

Regularly scheduled colonoscopies are recommended by the American Cancer Society starting at age 45* for those at average risk for colon cancer or earlier if there is a strong family history or other risk factors determined by your provider.

Depending on the results, follow-up colonoscopies may be recommended every three to ten years. If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, discussing with your provider when you should begin screening is essential.

*The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 45. Most insurance covers screenings beginning at age 50. Contact your insurance carrier for more information about your coverage.

What is the difference between a screening and a diagnostic colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy screening is done for individuals with no symptoms of colon cancer or other diseases. It is a preventative measure to detect early-stage cancers or precancerous lesions (polyps) that can be removed before they turn cancerous. On the other hand, a diagnostic colonoscopy is performed when a patient has symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, or anemia and is used to identify the underlying cause of these symptoms.

What are the risks associated with a screening or diagnostic colonoscopy?

As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks. The most common risks associated with colonoscopies include bleeding, bowel perforation, and infection. However, the likelihood of these complications occurring is relatively low, ranging from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000. Patients should discuss these risks with their provider before undergoing a colonoscopy.

Does insurance cover a colonoscopy?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover colonoscopies as a preventative measure for colon cancer screening. Still, patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage.

What can I eat or drink before a colonoscopy?

The colon must be thoroughly cleaned before a colonoscopy to ensure the doctor has a clear view of the colon’s lining. Follow these step-by-step instructions about how to prepare for a colonoscopy.

Read Welia Health’s colonoscopy prep instructions

What should I expect after a colonoscopy?

After the procedure, patients are typically monitored in a recovery room for a short period to ensure no immediate complications. It is common to experience cramping or bloating after the procedure, and patients are advised to rest and avoid heavy physical activity for the rest of the day. You must have someone available to drive you home after the exam. The medication you receive for your procedure will make it unsafe for you to drive.

How will I receive my results?

After the procedure, the surgeon will discuss the results with the patient and provide any necessary recommendations or follow-up procedures. The results take several days to return if any biopsies or polyps are removed. The physician will call you with the results, followed by a message in MyChart or a letter.

Scheduling your colonoscopy

You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider to schedule a colonoscopy. To make an appointment with one of our Family Medicine providers, call Welia Health at 1.800.245.5671 or log onto MyChart.


Archives: Parent Services

Occupational therapy for vision

Occupational therapy (OT) can help with functional vision issues that prescription glasses alone can’t correct. It’s common to experience visual deficits after a concussion, neurological event, or due to vestibular dysfunction. Children with learning difficulties or developmental delays may also face these issues, as well as those with chronic diseases like diabetes. Welia Health’s occupational therapist can help address these challenges.


Common symptoms of visual impairments include:

  • Double, blurred or jumpy vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Dizziness or motion sensitivity while watching TV or using computers or mobile devices
  • Feeling of overwhelm in busy environments
  • Difficulty with change in visual distance
  • Tunnel vision or loss of central, peripheral or side vision
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating
  • Eye strain and fatigue

Working with OT specialists

For those experiencing vision impairments, OT treatment encompasses physical, psychological, and social aspects of an individual’s life.  Treatment often incorporates techniques to improve eye movements, visual scanning, and spatial awareness. Our ultimate goal is to enhance daily functioning and improve the overall quality of life for patients with vision impairments.

Collaboration with eye specialists

While many would first consider optometrists or ophthalmologists when vision issues arise, they focus primarily on the clinical aspects of eye diseases and work to provide vision correction with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses or, in some cases, surgery. On the other hand, occupational therapists approach vision impairments more holistically and consider the impact of an individual’s environment and daily activities on their quality of life.

Welia Health’s occupational therapists frequently collaborate with optometrists in the Eye Care Center to create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the individual’s unique needs.

Occupational therapy services are available in Mora. To learn more, call Rehabilitation Services at 320.225.3356. A referral may be required for occupational therapy services. Please check with your primary care provider and your insurance carrier.

Welia Health’s rehabilitation team offers a wide range of services from sports medicine and athletic training, physical and occupational therapy, specialty care for cardiovascular and respiratory patients, pediatric therapy, hand therapy, speech-language pathology, wound care, and sleep medicine.

Archives: Parent Services

Food resources

Last reviewed March 2023

Welia Health encourages our patients to consume a well-balanced diet as an important part of their healthy lifestyles. We are fortunate to have many wonderful food resources available to our communities – from local farms and farmer’s markets to food shelves and Meals on Wheels. Please use this directory to help you locate them.

Farmers’ markets

Pine City Farmers’ Market
Mora Area Farmer’s Markets

Local farms and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Ben’s Berry Farm
Cider Flats Apple Orchard
Davy Jones’ Garden
Honey Hill Farms
Nelson Grass Farm
Rolling Thunder Farms
Sapsucker Farms Organics

Food pantries

Mora Food Pantry
  • Serves residents of Kanabec County
  • 214 NW Railroad Ave #2
    PO Box 101
    Mora, MN 55051
  • Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:30am-12pm
  • First Tuesday of the month, 5pm-6pm
  • 320.679.5513
  • morafoodpantry@gmail.com
Family Pathways Food Shelf
  • Serves residents of Hinckley and Sandstone
  • 312 Main St
    Sandstone, MN 55072
  • Monday-Thursday, 9am-6pm
  • Saturdays, 9am-12pm
  • 320.245.2485
Pine Community Food Shelf
  • Serves residents of Pine County
  • 220 7th St SW
    Pine City, MN 55063
  • Mondays, 9am-5pm
    Wednesday, 11am-5pm
    Thursdays, 9am-5pm
  • 320.629.0128
Ogilvie Food Shelf
  • Serves residents of Ogilvie school district
  • Quality Disposal Building
    225 E George St
    Ogilvie, MN 56358
  • Second and fourth Saturdays of every month, 8am-10:30am
  • 320.556.3430

Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels

Senior Dining
Meals on Wheels
Senior Dining/Meals on Wheels

Other resources

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Angels of Hope
  • Serves Kanabec and Pine Counties providing food, appliances, and cookware.
  • Angel Boxes are available once a month to seniors in Pine City
  • Baskets of Hope are available to families at Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • 56395 Forest Blvd
    Pine City, MN 55063
    Mon-Thurs 9am-1pm
  • 320.336.9191
  • angelofhope2011@yahoo.com
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Archives: Parent Services

Wellness resources

Last reviewed May 2023

Your healthcare providers at Welia Health invite you to check out the many wellness resources our communities have to offer:


Welia Center
  • $25 annual fee; sign up for key fobs at Mora Schools district office
  • Indoor walking track, Wellbeats virtual classes
  • Hours: 5:00am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week
  • Info@welia.org
  • 320.679.6220 ext. 5500
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities often available
Yoga Classes
Betabfit Group Fitness
Anytime Fitness
  • Machine and free weights, cardio equipment, personal and group training
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 901 Forest Ave E
  • 320.679.6970
Mora Aquatic Center
  • Seasonal outdoor swimming
  • Open to the public; passes available
  • 611 S Union Street
  • 320.679.6970


Grantsburg Fitness and Performance
  • Machine and free weights, cardio equipment, personal and group training
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 705 Hwy 70
  • 715.463.3800


Hinckley-Finlayson Pool
  • Adult swim classes and open swim, ADA lift available
  • 201 Main Street E
  • 320.384.7325 (Community Ed office)
Hinckley Finlayson Fitness Center
  • Hours: 5:00am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week
  • Indoor walking track, cardio equipment, machine and free weights; membership required
  • 320.384.7325 (Community Ed office)
Community Education
  • Yoga classes taught by Charrie VanVleet
  • 320.384.7325 (Community Ed office)
Meshakwad Community Center

Pine City

Anytime Fitness
  • Machine and free weights, cardio equipment, personal and group training
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 925 Main Street S
  • 320.629.8987
West Side Park & Beach
  • Swimming beach open during summer months, Red Cross swimming lessons
  • Playground areas, skateboard park, beach volleyball, basketball court, paddleboats, fishing pier, horseshoes
  • 1305 6th Ave SW
Community Education
  • Walking in Pine City Elementary School: Weekdays, 4pm – 6:30pm
  • FREE to public, registration required
Moms on the Run
  • Outdoor walking and running group
  • Year-round; membership required
  • Find us on Facebook: @pinecitymomsontherun


Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available

Rush City

Snap Fitness
  • Personal training, weights, cardio equipment
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 1170 W 4th Street
  • 320.358.0091
Aquatic Center
  • Seasonal outdoor swimming
  • Open to the public; passes available
  • 305 S Eliot Ave
  • 320.358.3074
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available


Snap Fitness
  • Personal training, weights, cardio equipment
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 900 State Hwy 23 W
  • 320.983.2300
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available
Recreation Park
  • Softball fields, pickleball courts, splash pad, skateboard ramp, rock climbing boulder, zip line, playground, ice skating, hockey rink, campsites, access to trail system
  • 435 2nd St NW

Finlayson / Sandstone

Anytime Fitness
  • Machine and free weights, cardio equipment, personal and group training
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 418 Main Street, Sandstone
  • 320.245.3191
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available
East Central Public Pool
  • Lap swim, open swim, passes available
  • 61085 State Hwy 23, Finlayson
Finlayson Fitness
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 2213 Finland Ave, Finlayson

Cambridge / Isanti

Anytime Fitness
  • Machine and free weights, cardio equipment, personal and group training
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
Snap Fitness
  • Personal training, weights, cardio equipment
  • Open 24 hours; membership required
  • 234 Main Street NE, Cambridge
  • 763.552.7627
Total Fitness
  • Classes, personal training, boot camp, yoga, nutrition, spin
  • Yoga; sign up for classes on MindBody App
  • Membership or drop-in class fees
  • 4 Enterprise Avenue NE, #1, Isanti
  • 763.552.6161
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available


Ogilvie Community Pool
  • Call about fees; punch card available
  • Hours vary
  • 333 School Drive
  • 320.272.5003
Community Education
  • Wellness opportunities are often available
Yoga Classes

Archives: Parent Services

Opioid overdose

Recognizing an opioid overdose

When a person overdoses, breathing will slow dangerously and may stop altogether, eventually leading to brain damage or death.

Look for these potential signs and symptoms.

Opioid overdose symptoms: Blue or purple fingernails and lips
Blue or purple fingernails and lips
Opioid overdose symptoms: Unresponsiveness to voice or touch
Unresponsive to voice or touch
Opioid overdose symptoms: Pinpoint-sized pupils
Pinpoint-sized pupils
Opioid overdose symptoms: Slow heartbeat or low blood pressure
Slow heartbeat or low blood pressure
Opioid overdose symptoms: Slow, irregular or stopped breathing
Slow, irregular or stopped breathing
Opioid overdose symptoms: Pale, clammy skin
Pale, clammy skin

If you suspect an opioid overdose, dial 911 and get emergency medical help immediately!

Emergency response for opioid overdose

With Narcan nasal spray

Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 1: Identify opiate overdose
1. Identify opiate overdose
Try to wake the person up
  • Shake them and shout
  • If no response, grind your knuckles into their breastbone for 5 to 10 seconds
Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 2: Call 911
2. Call 911
If you report an overdose, Minnesota state law protects you and the overdosed person from being charged with drug possession, even if drugs were shared.
Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 3: Give Narcan
3. Give Narcan
  • Lay the person on their back
  • Hold applicator as shown
  • Tilt the person’s head back
  • Insert tip into one nostril and press plunger firmly.
  • After giving the dose, remove applicator from nostril.
Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 4: Rescue breathing and recovery position
4. Rescue breathing and recovery position
If patient is breathing, roll person onto their side into recovery position. (see illustration 6) If patient is not breathing, give CPR if you’ve been trained, or do rescue breathing:
  • Tilt head back, open mouth and pinch nose
  • Start with 2 breaths into the mouth; then 1 breath every 5 seconds
Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 5: Repeat Narcan if needed
5. Repeat Narcan if needed
If no response after 2 to 3 minutes, give another dose
  • Repeat Step 3 using a new Narcan Nasal Spray
Emergency response for opioid overdose: Step 6: Stay with person until help arrives
6. Stay with person until help arrives
  • Watch the person closely
  • Narcan can be given every 2 to 3 minutes if additional doses are available

Archives: Parent Services

Drug disposal resources

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. If your medicine cabinet needs cleaning out, you can safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medications – anonymously and without harming the environment– at local drop-off locations.

Accepted items
  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications
  • Prescription patches
  • Vitamins
  • Pet medications
Not accepted at this time
  • Needles
  • Inhalers
  • Thermometers
  • Aerosol cans
  • Lotions
  • Liquids

Drop-off locations

Pine County
Kanabec County
  • Mora
    Kanabec County Jail
    100 N Vine St, Mora, MN 55051-1419
    Accepts collections twice a year during National Prescription Drug Take Back Days held in April and October.
    Watch Welia Health’s social media channels for reminders.

Archives: Parent Services

Prepare for joint surgery in mind and body

While Welia Health’s robot-assisted joint surgery speeds recovery, there are also a number of tried-and-true steps you can take to prepare yourself physically and mentally for knee or hip surgery. Read on for our top tips on getting ready for joint replacement, and make sure to talk with your doctor about what strategies are right for you.

Your mind makes a difference

When it comes to surgery and recovery, preparing yourself emotionally is as important as preparing yourself physically. Here are a few doctor-recommended strategies that can make a big difference:

  • Learn about the surgery. Get familiar with the procedure as well as risks and recovery timelines, talking about any concerns with your doctor.
  • Talk to people who’ve gone through joint replacement surgery, whether in person or through an online forum. Those who are further along in recovery can help you understand the process.
  • Practice mindfulness strategies. Working on a regular practice of focus, prayer, or meditation can help you manage anxiety about the upcoming surgery and deal with any pain afterward. Check out this resource from SeniorsMatter on how to begin.
  • Ask others for help. Having a “community” is one of the most important factors in a successful joint replacement. Talk to your family and friends about your recovery plan and ask for help when you need it.
  • Make a plan for controlling pain. Talk with your doctors and nurses about what non-drug and drug treatments are right for you. Common options include mental techniques and medication, but each person’s recovery is different.

Getting your body ready

Before your surgery, work on your health and lifestyle habits. The healthier you are, the easier recovery will be. Your doctor may recommend the following common measures:

  • Exercise key muscles to strengthen areas like the thighs and even the upper body (as these muscles will help support you post-surgery). A physical therapist will work with you before your surgery to help you get comfortable with a series of recommended exercises you’ll use in recovery. To speak with a physical therapist in our rehabilitation services department, call 320.225.3356.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. Healthy foods with plenty of vitamins and nutrients can help your body recover more quickly. Welia Health’s dietitians recommend using Nutrition.gov for nutrition tips, recipes, and more
  • Quit or cut back on smoking, as it can affect blood circulation and slow healing. To discuss how to quit with our Tobacco Cessation specialist Aaron Korte, call 320.225.3356.
  • Lose a few pounds. Your doctor may advise you to reduce pressure on the new joint. Our registered dietitians can help—to make an appointment, call 320.679.1313.

By preparing mentally and physically, you help yourself recover quickly and fully. Talk to your doctor about what strategies are right for you. And know you’re not alone: our community inside and outside of Welia Health is here to make sure you have everything you need.

Learn more

Questions about hip or knee replacement? Talk with your primary care provider about joint replacement surgery. Your provider will be able to refer you to Dr. Chad Holien at Welia Health, our surgeon in charge of orthopedic procedures using the Stryker Mako robot-assisted technology. Call 320.679.1313 to schedule.

Archives: Parent Services

Is it time for joint surgery?

Here’s how to know.

If you’re wondering when (and if) to get hip or knee replacement surgery, you’re not alone. That’s the number one question our doctors at Welia Health hear when a joint starts to influence what someone can do comfortably.

The question’s a good one. There are lot of things you can do before surgery—maybe even to avoid surgery all together. At the same time, wait too long and you might not get the full benefit of a new joint. Gradual inactivity and bone wear can actually make surgery less effective.

The great thing is, the first step is easy: it’s just a conversation.

A chat is a great place to start.

The key to finding the perfect timing for surgery is to talk with an expert. A conversation isn’t a commitment, it’s just an easy way to get peace of mind and have a view of what’s coming.

At Welia Health, you can lean on our doctors to help you find—and plan for—a well-timed joint replacement so you can continue to live life well. (That’s important: it’s about maintaining and extending your quality of life.) Believe it or not, chronic pain, stiffness and lack of mobility isn’t a natural part of aging, so don’t think you just need to tough it out, especially when “toughing it out” can make you miss out on the great things in life.

With knees and hips, there are many great options to get you feeling your best—and we’ll help you discover the plan that’s right for you.

Doctor evaluating knee joint pain
Specialists at Welia Health are here to help you evaluate your joint pain.

Let’s start with the big picture.

There are a few things Welia Health doctors consider when advising on when to do surgery.

First: “How are you doing?” We really want to know, because well-functioning joints can be at the very center of your quality of life and all the things that make you happy. So tell us.

The challenges with a joint could be something as simple as not being able to get on the floor with grandkids and easily get up again. Do you have pain or stiffness, even while relaxing? Does it take you longer to dress? Or maybe it’s uncomfortable to get in and out of a car. Are you seeing swelling or deformity? Are you feeling a lack of confidence about the joint in question? Sometimes, the pain simply becomes unbearable.

(Yes, there are a million things that could be happening that make you wonder if you might need surgery.)

Man experiencing joint pain
Don’t let joint pain hold you back from doing things you love.

Then let’s fill in the blanks.

Second, give us a history. How long has your joint been affecting you? A good timeline with specific memories allows us to consider progression. (Pro-tip: keep a notebook handy, and write down when daily activities have been hard, or when your flexibility or pain changes.) Have you tried other things like exercise, massage or medication?

Third, we might take a look at what’s happening within the joint with x-ray or an MRI. We’ll be able to see where there’s degradation and how much. We’ll add in factors like your age and your health, as both give us insight into whether to act sooner or later.

Adding up all the elements, we come to a thoughtful and shared decision on when to act.

Is surgery always the answer?

Surgery isn’t the goal—it’s just one good solution to keep you active. As we consider whether and when surgery is needed, we also explore the non-surgical options that can make a world of difference.

Unless you’ve had previous injury to a joint, exercise, physical therapy and modifying activities are tried and true ways of staying at the top of your game. The simple act of being active can actually reduce pain; in the long winter months, consider Welia Center or Hinckley Fitness Center where we have a walking track, fitness rooms, and wellness education programs.

Strengthening your muscles alone can sometimes relieve the pain you’re feeling, and Welia Health has physical therapists that can put you on a good course. Weight loss can also be helpful if it’s causing joint stress; losing single pound of weight takes 4-5 pounds of pressure off a joint. Joint injections may also provide relief, as well as smart use of anti-inflammatory medications.

Bottom line, Welia Health will help you consider the many good options to keep you up and about.

Northern MN man outside in a winter field
When you decide it’s time for joint surgery, Welia Health is here for you.

Finding the moment that’s right for you.

As you might have already guessed, everyone has a different timeline for when surgery is right. If you’re wondering about your own timeline, the key is to ask.

At Welia Health, we are experienced in helping patients find the ideal time for your situation, not to mention having some of the most experienced doctors and leading technology in Minnesota when surgery is the best course forward.

As common as knee and hip replacements are, with over a million surgeries each year according to the National Institutes of Health, finding the ideal window for you can make a big difference. The right timing will let you keep doing those things that bring you joy.

Learn more

Questions about hip or knee replacement? Talk with your primary care provider about joint replacement surgery. Your provider will be able to refer you to Welia Health. Call 320.679.1313 to schedule.

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