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'A+' care helps Linda Belote get back to being active in the great outdoors

Linda Belote

Linda Belote loves being active, especially in the great outdoors. She takes full advantage of the Upper Peninsula’s four seasons – adventuring on long nature hikes, snowshoeing, and until 2007, cross-country skiing the Maasto Hiihto trails in Hancock that are right in her backyard.

While skiing that year, Linda twisted her knee; completely damaging two ligaments. She underwent surgery (at a different facility) and ultimately suffered a longtime injury. Over time she eased her way back into walking and snowshoeing, but the pain she endured just a couple miles in would be too much to bear. Although a cortisone shot helped somewhat, Linda longed to cover greater distances than her knee permitted. Osteoarthritis eventually set in. Chronic pain and swelling worsened over the years and it simply wasn’t going to go away.

Linda had a lot of questions, so she made an appointment with Aspirus Keweenaw Orthopedic Surgeon Mark Kelley, MD. Dr. Kelley addressed all of her questions and concerns “thoroughly and completely.” Together they discussed her care options, weighing the pros and cons of knee replacement surgery. Linda was a prime candidate for the procedure and scheduled it for November 2017.

“The nursing staff was excellent. They had me up and walking that day,” Linda said. “At the end of the hall there was a huge photo of the northern end of the Keweenaw Peninsula so I always said I was hiking to the Montreal River at the tip of the Keweenaw. It made it fun to be there.”

Between the careful instruction from Dr. Kelley, and the outstanding outpatient therapy team at Aspirus Houghton Clinic, Linda was back on her feet, getting stronger and more active by the day.

“I set a goal of going snowshoeing on my 77th birthday, January 1, just eight weeks after my surgery, and I did it,” she said. “Aspirus has a really fine physical therapy crew. I worked with Derek Bustos, Wendy Chynoweth and Jeff Baril. They’re fun, good-humored, yet all the while were very knowledgeable and professional.”

Since knee replacement surgery, Linda’s greatest distance hiking in one day has now, at six months, passed seven miles. It’s the farthest she’s hiked in 10 years! She now has a new goal of 10 miles, to be “earned” this summer.

Linda said her care at Aspirus was “A+” and couldn’t be happier with her speedy recovery.

Want to know more about Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Kelley?

Watch his video bio

Pictured: Linda Belote of Hancock stands near the top of Mont Ripley ski hill. The pictures were taken by Linda's husband Jim on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 18.