Posted: Oct. 22, 2003

DOVER -- Governor Ruth Ann Minner will undergo routine knee replacement surgery on Monday to replace the joint in her left knee. 

Gov. Minner will have the surgery performed at Bayhealth Medical Center-Kent General Hospital in Dover. After a few days at Kent General, she will move to a rehabilitation center in Milford, where she is expected to stay for a few more days. After that, Gov. Minner expects to take part in regular physical therapy sessions for several weeks. 

Dr. Steven Tooze of Dover, Gov. Minner’s surgeon, said the surgery is very common and Gov. Minner is in good health overall. 

“The Governor has a good overall medical condition and a positive attitude and I expect a straightforward procedure, followed by a course of rehabilitation,” Dr. Tooze said.  

Gov. Minner said she plans to resume conducting state business by phone and with staff the day after the surgery. Once she leaves the rehabilitation center, she will likely be walking with assistance, such as a cane, for a period of time. 

“My doctor says that I must be very diligent about my therapy as my new knee and I get used to each other, but I can expect to be back to meetings and events in a week or two,” Gov. Minner said. 

According to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 267,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year. During the surgery, worn cartilage and bone in the knee are replaced with plastic and metal components, restoring function to the knee and reducing pain. 

“Unfortunately for some of us, our joints wear out before we do. But modern medicine has some amazing ways to replace them,” Gov. Minner said. “I expect my knee – which has given me some trouble in the last few months – to feel as good as new after this surgery and I’m certainly looking forward to that.” 

Gov. Minner previously had surgery to repair her left knee in 1998. The plan is for Gov. Minner to receive regional anesthesia during the surgery Monday, which is expected to take a few hours. 

Gov. Minner leaves Thursday morning for a Council of State Governments Executive Committee meeting in Pittsburgh and will return Sunday, the day before her surgery.