Bilateral Total Knee Replacement Patient Finds Compassion and Care at Good Shepherd

Lori Geiger, a dental assistant with a passion for ice hockey, has had knee troubles for years. When she was 16 years old, she tore her knee cap loose during gym class. Reconstructive surgery repaired the damage, but years of osteoarthritis and wear and tear eventually took their toll. With bone on bone contact, she had extreme pain in both knees, making it difficult for her to get through the work day.

Looking for a solution that would not take her away from work, Lori tried steroid injections in both knees. The injections relieved the pain for a while, but it was becoming increasingly clear that she needed a permanent solution – bilateral knee replacement.

One of Lori’s first priorities was to plan for rehabilitation. A single knee replacement is difficult, so with both knees, Lori knew she had to have solid plans in place to help her recover. She asked a number of people for recommendations, and Good Shepherd was the consistent answer. Two days after her surgery, Lori transferred to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital for an inpatient stay and was immediately struck by the passion of Good Shepherd’s entire team.

“A lot of people are good at their jobs,” says Lori. “One of the things that you can’t help but notice is how much everyone at Good Shepherd loves their jobs. Every single person I met – from the nurses to the doctors to the cleaning staff - clearly loves where they work and what they do.”

Lori planned her surgery over the holidays to minimize the impact on her office. Although she was entitled to up to eight weeks off, she was determined to go back to work in four. She had three hours of physical and occupational therapy every day, and she says that while her therapists encouraged her, they constantly monitored her for pain and fatigue to make sure she did not overdo it.

At one point during her stay, she spoke with her siblings, who were together baking cookies for the holidays. She said it was difficult being in the hospital and missing her family’s traditions but her therapists knew just what to do.

“My physical therapist saw that I was upset about it,” says Lori. “So she and I went into Good Shepherd’s therapy kitchen and baked Christmas cookies as my therapy that day. We even had carols playing in the background, and it made me feel so much better.”

Lori’s function and pain levels improved every day, and after a week, it was time for her to go home and continue rehabilitation as an outpatient. She had the option to go elsewhere, but insisted on finishing her rehabilitation at Good Shepherd because she knew she could get better outcomes in less time.

“Lori was really motivated,” says therapist Judy Christman, PTA. “She was using a walker when she started outpatient rehabilitation. Lori was younger than the typical knee replacement patient, so we focused on higher function activities such as squatting, kneeling and transfers from multiple surfaces. After 14 therapy sessions, she left not needing additional support of any kind.”

Twice a week, Lori visits Good Shepherd’s public gym, Optimal Fitness, where she continues to build her strength using a routine developed by the exercise physiology staff.

Today, Lori feels great and says Good Shepherd was there to support her every step of the way. When her insurance company wanted to shorten her stay, Good Shepherd went to bat to ensure she received the care she needed. When she was discharged to go home, Good Shepherd arranged transportation for her.

“I can’t say enough about Good Shepherd,” says Lori. “It wasn’t just therapy; it was the extra time they took to get to know me and treat me like a friend. I’m so glad I insisted on Good Shepherd.”

To learn more about Orthopedic Rehabilitation Programs at Good Shepherd, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us online today.