Physical and Aquatic Therapy Aid in Recovery from Cancer and Knee Surgery

Ricki Krug of East Greenville, PA, hasn’t had an easy life: She has battled cancer three times, undergone three knee surgeries and also has chronic back pain.  But today she is almost pain-free after discovering the benefits of physical and aquatic therapy at Good Shepherd’s East Greenville outpatient site.

Ricki was first diagnosed with invasive breast cancer 21 years ago. In the past six years, she has had surgery to remove a sarcoma (a large mass) from her abdomen, treat a recurrence of breast cancer (double mastectomy), replace both knees and correct a knee issue after a fall.

 “When meeting Ricki you would never know that she has gone through so much,” says Karen Long, PTA, East Greenville site manager. “She is so upbeat and positive – such a pleasure to work with.”

“Ricki has done rehab with us several times in recent years,” says Karen. “After her knee replacement surgery this past April, we knew she would benefit enormously from therapy in our new warm-water therapy pool.  Exercising in the pool takes the stress off of her joints and allows her to improve her range of motion and strengthen her muscles.”

Ricki came to East Greenville after her knee replacement using a walker.  When the staff first told her about the pool, she was hesitant about donning a bathing suit. But she put her modesty aside and tried out the pool. “I do many of the same exercises that I did on land, such as bicycling, scissor kicks and leg lifts,” she says. “In the pool, I have been totally pain free. The water is heated to 94 degrees, and it’s such a relaxing experience.“ 

Ricki quickly left the walker behind and is now walking without knee pain and has greatly reduced her back pain, which is a result of herniated and bulging disks.

She has returned to work as a legal secretary and enjoys spending time with her husband of 44 years, her two adult children, two grandchildren and a close circle of friends who have supported each other through many personal tragedies.

She attributes a great deal her recovery to the staff at East Greenville. “These are the most patient and compassionate people I have ever met throughout my years of treatment for all of my medical conditions.”

Facing so many life-threatening diagnoses has given her a great appreciation for life and for those who have helped her along the way. “I’ve learned to make the best of each day because life is blessing,” she says. “I have a wonderful support system – family, friends and therapists at Good Shepherd – who I can’t thank enough.”