Therapy Helps Linda Richardson Recover Faster After Knee Replacement
When the arthritis in Linda Richardson’s left leg worsened in 2013, she decided she was not going to let it keep her from doing the things she loved. After knee replacement surgery, she came to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, where she received intense physical and occupational therapy. Following her inpatient stay, she continued her recovery as an outpatient at Good Shepherd’s Health & Technology Center - Allentown
“When I went to Good Shepherd, I honestly did not think I was going to walk again,” says Linda. “I was using a walker, and even the simplest things required such effort. Thanks to my therapists, I left Good Shepherd not only smiling, but walking as well.”
Linda thought her knee troubles were behind her, until arthritis reared its ugly head again in 2016. This time, it was the right knee. The pain was so intense that she ended up dragging her leg to avoid putting pressure on the joint. Linda knew she had to do something when her faithful canine companion, Miss Diva, was frightened by how she was moving. Another knee replacement was in her future.
“I guess the right knee wanted its fair share of attention,” she says.
Linda had been seeing Good Shepherd Physiatrist Asare Christian, MD, MPH, for ultrasound-guided injections to quell the pain. Because Linda’s leg and knee joint were weakened, Dr. Christian suggested she have physical therapy before surgery so she would recover more easily. Therapists started Linda on a program to strengthen her legs that included cycling, stepping, leg lifts and a host of other exercises.
After surgery, Linda again came to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital to recover. There, she benefitted from daily physical and occupational therapy sessions. Thanks to Good Shepherd’s In-Home Outpatient Program (IHOP), she was able to continue therapy at home. A Good Shepherd therapist visited her several times a week and worked in the comfort of Linda’s home to build her strength and endurance until she was ready for the next phase of recovery, outpatient therapy.
“Every patient has goals they want to achieve,” said Judy Christman, PTA, who worked with Linda during her outpatient therapy sessions. “We create therapy programs to help patients reach those goals. Linda worked very hard at every challenge we put in front of her, and it shows in her recovery.”
Linda feels that Dr. Christian’s suggestion to do therapy before the surgery was wise advice.
“Thanks to Dr. Christian, the recovery for my second knee went much faster than it would have otherwise,” says Linda. “The therapy I received beforehand reduced the therapy I needed afterward.”
Throughout both recoveries, Linda said her Good Shepherd therapists encouraged her to give it her all. She says life is much better now and that she has absolutely no pain. She is back to doing the things that are important to her, including baking her famous sweet potato pie, walking Miss Diva and taking Zumba classes.
“Good Shepherd does amazing work,” says Linda. “I would tell anyone to go there.”