Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 10:23 am
Back in the game after double knee replacement
Paul has always led an active life, and had been enjoying his retirement, regularly fishing, kayaking, cycling and playing golf. When the 67-year-old developed severe arthritis in his knees and was advised he would need a bilateral knee replacement Paul put off the surgery as long as possible until constant pain and mobility issues took hold. By early 2019, he could no longer cycle, often needed a walking stick and found getting in and out of his beloved boat increasingly difficult.
In March, Paul underwent surgery and after just six days, he was admitted to Royal Rehab Private Hospital (RRPH) for an intensive week long orthopaedic rehabilitation program. Under the direction of Rehabilitation Specialist Dr Grace Leong, Paul was treated by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, with the aim of improving his mobility, strength and function.
“My goal for the rehabilitation program was to leave hospital walking and pain free,” says Paul.
Throughout the weeks, he attended daily orthopaedic clinics, hydrotherapy, gym sessions, walking groups, physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions. He learnt a variety of specific exercises, including muscle strengthening, range of motion, proprioceptive and balance exercises as well as gait retraining.
Functional task practise, such as standing, walking up and down stairs and car transfers were incorporated into the program. Nurses attended to his wound care, medication and pain management. By the end of his stay at RRPH, Paul could walk 1.2km around the local park unassisted.
“The therapy was brilliant. The physiotherapists were so wonderful, patient and experienced. Their care, commitment, encouragement and knowledge have been central to my terrific results.”
Paul returned home armed with a range of knee strengthening exercises and a plan to continue his program with his local physiotherapist and gym trainer.
Eight weeks after surgery, Paul says he is forever grateful to RRPH for helping him get his life back. “I can now walk up to five kilometres quite easily. I can cycle, kayak, play golf and go fishing in my boat. Stairs are not my enemy anymore; I am mobile and completely pain-free.”