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MyMPO™ patient experience

Mr Freddy Welewijns

MyMPO™ is a digital application designed to help patients throughout their hip or knee replacement journey. The first European surgeon to embrace this platform and implement it within his practice has been Dr Joost Lagast from Belgium. Dr Lagast believes that this tool can enhance the patient experience around joint replacement surgery and increase patient’s compliance and motivation. The MicroPort team had the pleasure and opportunity to interview one of Dr Lagast patients, Freddy Welewijns, who was willing to share his experience with MyMPO™.

"I had a bit of fear after being confronted with the message that I would need a prosthesis, but now I am absolutely satisfied."

Mr Freddy Welewijns

Dear Freddy, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your personal experience with MyMPO™. If you do not mind, I would like to start with some questions related to your surgery. How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking? Freddy: I’m 63 years old.

You have been suffering of knee pain and you ultimately were advised to undergo a total knee replacement surgery by Dr Lagast. What did Dr Lagast explain to you about the surgery you decided to have? Freddy: To be brief and very clear, my knee was totally damaged. I could not do any kind of activities anymore and had a lot of pain. Dr Lagast showed me the prosthesis and told me that this would be the only solution and it would be best not to wait too long anymore before getting the surgery done.

How many times did you see Dr Lagast before surgery and how long have you spend with him? Freddy: I only went once to his outpatient clinic. I’ve spent about 10 minutes with him, but the conclusion was very clear! He did some tests with my leg and looked at the X-rays, the decision was made very quickly.

Did you meet anybody else in Dr Lagast’s team before surgery?
Freddy: Yes, I had a good conversation with Dr Lagast’s nurse immediately after Dr Lagast examined my knee. His nurse explained the complete journey and treatment to me. Before going into the operating room, I also spoke with the anesthesiologist who visited me at the ward.

Did you feel overwhelmed by all the information provided to you? Did you think they were sufficient and clear in light of a life changing event, like a total knee replacement?
Freddy: It was clear to me that I could no longer use my native knee. During the examination, it was clear I needed a prosthesis since I had a lot of pain and I could not do anymore what I loved to do. But I left after the consultation with a bit of fear and hesitation. When driving home after the consultation with Dr Lagast, I realized I forgot to ask some questions. My main concerns were: “What will it be like after surgery?” “Will I be able to do again all the things I did before?” Another unanswered question was, how long will the entire journey take before I will be back to “normal” (laughs)?

How was the MyMPO™ Application proposed to you and what was your first reaction to it? Where you intimidated by the idea to use an app on top of knowing you were going to have a major surgery? Freddy: The app was explained to me by the nurse of Dr Lagast. He showed me the app on his phone and briefly explained the goal of it and that it would help me during my treatment. He also helped me install the application on my phone when I was at the consultation. After the explanation, it looked very promising to me, but I still was questioning how my phone would help me dealing with my knee surgery. I was immediately curious to go ahead with it and start reading the articles and watching the movies.

How was your overall knee replacement experience? How long did you stay in the hospital?
Freddy: I stayed for 2 days in the hospital. The first night was a night without sleep and with lots of pain, but I was totally surprised that the day after, I could already start walking. Now after 3 months, I am almost used to my prosthesis.

When were you allowed to walk after surgery? Was it painful?
Freddy: As just said, I could walk immediately the next morning. It was not painful at all, but since it was stiff and swollen, it was rather a strange feeling.

What could you do after leaving the hospital and what was the major difference you felt compared to having surgery before? Freddy: A bit a difficult question, immediately after leaving the hospital, I could walk very well but it felt stiff and weird. But the pain was gone. In the end, I only felt pain during the first night. Now after 3 months, I am surprised to about the results. Even the people in my neighborhood and my physiotherapist are surprised I returned that quick back to my normal activities. I am a big fan of road cycling and already 3 weeks after my surgery, I was back on my racing bike. Now I already did a couple of hundreds of kilometers. I feel great on my bike like before surgery, I was doubtful if I could ever do this again.

Going back to MyMPO™, did you find it difficult to start using the app?
Freddy: No, not at all, the app was very easy to use. I got a good explanation by the nurse and the notifications came in very clear.

How was your overall experience with MyMPO™? Freddy: It was very pleasant to use. I was looking forward to the notifications that were popping up. Now after 3 months though, the app became a bit more silent. I still open it regularly to see if there’s nothing new to read.

What did you like the most about it? Freddy: The movies to get prepared and the fact that you are really using the info to go through the entire treatment. The exercises were very helpful and I was looking forward to receive more. Also the text messages I received from the app reminded me not to forget to take my medication (laughs). Sometimes, “he” even congratulated me with my progress (laughs again).

Did you start using it before surgery? Do you believe it provided you with sufficient information about knee replacement? Freddy: Yes, I started to use the app an hour after I left the outpatient clinic with Dr Lagast. I was curious and wanted to read everything. It contains a lot of good information and after every page, I wanted to read more. I wanted to view all videos at once but I was only allowed to look at them during my journey.

Do you think the videos, checklists and information were clear and easy to understand?
Freddy: Absolutely! Short, understandable and nice to look at. The checklists were very useful.

Did anybody in your family help you with the MyMPO™ app setup and usage?
Freddy: Well, to be honest, my nephew who’s also a nurse. He looked at it more out of curiosity how it was working. You know, sometimes we are afraid on clicking on something. It was very easy to start using it and since it was installed with the nurse, I never had issues.

Did you use the “exercise tracking” function for post-operative rehabilitation?
Freddy: Yes, as of the moment I could, since I was already discharged before the first exercises appeared to pop-up.

How long has it been now since you had the surgery? Freddy: Looking at the app… Now exactly 92 days.

Do you still use MyMPO™? Freddy: Yes, together with my physiotherapist who I am consulting 2 times a week and just yesterday, I’ve received a notification to complete a questionnaire.

Why do you still use it?
Freddy: To track my activities and to check if I am doing everything I need to do. Since my surgery and rehabilitation, I am tracking all my activities, my kilometers on the racing bike and my steps.

Have your expectations been met?
Freddy: Very clear, Yes, Absolutely! I had a bit of fear after being confronted with the message that I would need a prosthesis, but now I am absolutely satisfied. Also my physiotherapist is surprised about my progress. He is even questioning why I am already at this high activity level. He told me he is treating a lot of patients after knee replacements and he is wondering why it feels completely different with my knee.

Mr Freddy Welewijns

Do you think that made your MyMPO™ knee replacement experience different than it would have been without? Freddy: I felt more confident with the app since I received a lot of information. By reading through the information and watching the movies before surgery, I felt immediately engaged and involved. Without, I would have been anxious until after surgery. Now I was prepared and aware of what was going to happen.

Would you recommend MyMPO™ to friends or family? Freddy: For sure, and also Dr Lagast.

What has been the biggest benefit to you of having knee surgery with the MyMPO™ support?
Freddy: Being informed about everything what was going to happen. It was my partner after surgery.

Is there anything else you want to add or suggest?
Freddy: In case you suffer from knee pain, don’t wait to long before consulting a surgeon!

It has really been a pleasure chatting with you, Freddy.
Thank you for your time!