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Knee replacement, rehab returns Metropolis woman to active life

Sandy Robbins now wishes she hadn’t put off total knee replacement on her right knee for so long.  

“I love to get out walking, but I couldn’t,” said Robbins, 49, of Metropolis, Ill. “I injured it in high school, and it was never the same. It was time do something.”

Baptist Health orthopedic surgeon Ted Jefferson, D.O., performed Robbins’ surgery in October. She returned to work in the hospital’s environmental services department three months later.

"The current minimally-invasive computer-assisted total knee replacements are excellent procedures,” Dr. Jefferson said, “that really help people suffering with arthritis to return to an active lifestyle with a shorter recovery period."

Baptist Health Paducah is one of 363 hospitals out of 4,000 nationwide to be recognized by WomenCertified® as the “Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Orthopedics.” Baptist was recognized by the same organization earlier this year for obstetrics and in 2011 and 2012 among “America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience. 

Robbins said she has no regrets for her surgery or her follow-up treatment through Baptist Health Home Care and Baptist Health Rehabilitation.

“The therapists got me up hopping around and doing exercises that really helped me,” she said. “You shouldn’t put it off.”

Physical therapist Tony Bohannon said rehab can make the difference between a successful surgical outcome and one not so successful. 

“It’s important after a total knee replacement to work on the whole body, not just the knee,” Bohannon said. “Getting the range of motion back is an early goal. After that, the goal should be about restoring normal walking and function, which will include the rest of the body. The rehab is a short-term investment for a long-term goal. By putting in the time and effort after surgery, it will pay off for a lifetime.”