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Teacher Rebounds from Knee Replacement Surgery To Get Back in Classroom

Nothing makes Tina Rinker’s face light up quite like the topic of teaching or her students.

So when knee replacement surgery sidelined Tina, 58, from teaching 6th grade English and language arts, she had a difficult time dealing with the change.

“When I was recuperating and not teaching, I was really sad and missed my students,” says Tina, of Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.

Getting around on a day-to-day basis was challenging, too. Driving, household chores, dressing, showering, walking her two mini-daschunds, Luey and Karlie — Tina faced considerable pain each time she attempted daily activities.

Wanting to get back to her life and work, Tina sought help from nearby Good Shepherd Physical Therapy in Fogelsville. When she started physical therapy, Tina’s range of motion in her left knee was good, but she lacked strength.

A customized rehabilitation program helped Tina progress from needing a walker to moving better with a cane — and then, no cane at all.

“I was able to lose the walker and cane in a short period of time,” says Tina. “That was really exciting for me. I kept telling myself I was not old enough to be using a walker and cane. I was extremely determined to work hard and get rid of those items.”

What kept Tina motivated, she says, was the desire to get better, quicker. Site manager Charlie Eberling, PT, DPT, played a significant role in her recovery, according to Tina.

“I doubted myself constantly, but [Charlie] always had this positive outlook that got me through some of the toughest times in rehab,” says Tina. “It wasn’t easy, but he helped me believe I could do it.”

Today, Tina is back in the classroom full-time at Springhouse Middle School in the Parkland Area School District. Outside of work, she can clean her house, wash clothes, grocery shop and drive “without any problems at all.”

“I am so thankful to have my life back,” says Tina.

For more information on how to recover from knee replacement or other joint replacement surgeries, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or request an appointment.