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Doubling Down on Knee Replacement: Augusta Health Joint Center Patient

March 29, 2017 | By Lisa Schwenk
Published in: Joint, Patient

Thomas Glover in physical therapy after bilateral knee replacement.

When faced with the need to have both of his knees replaced, Tom Glover of Augusta County went with an efficient strategy with a kind of 'get 'er done' attitude: He had both replaced at the same time.

"I knew both knees needed to be done," explained Mr. Glover. "I'm basically healthy, but my knee pain was pretty constant, I was bowlegged and I'd even shrunk a bit. But it just seemed that we were always busy, and it was never the right time. I like to hunt in the fall and garden in the summer. Our eight grandchildren have many activities, and we like to be a part of all that. It just seemed like I had too many things to get done to take the time out for surgeries."

So when his physician, Dr. Tom Pereles, asked, 'why don't you do both at the same time?'—it was a good suggestion. Dr. Pereles of Augusta Health Joint Center and Mr. Glover had a long-standing relationship; Mr. Glover was Dr. Pereles' first arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery patient many years before. So he trusted Dr. Pereles' recommendations, and had bilateral knee replacement on February 6.

Before the surgery, Mr. Glover participated in about four weeks of pre-surgery therapy to strengthen his legs and prepare for the operation. The exercises were essentially the same as those done in post-surgery therapy. The day after his surgery, he was up and moving with the aid of a walker and therapist.

"I had excellent care while I was at the Joint Center," said Mr. Glover. "The doctors, the nurses, the therapists—they were all very nice and treated me well. The food was excellent, too." He also enjoyed working with two other knee replacement patients who'd had surgery at the same time in group therapy sessions. He was discharged two days after surgery, after a detailed Lunch and Learn class to help him, his 'coach' (his wife, Eda) and other patients know what to expect over the coming weeks, what is 'normal' and just as importantly, when to seek professional help and care.

Within the Joint Center Program at Augusta Health, the Coach is a key participant in the patient's preparation for surgery, surgery and recovery. Coaches are family members, friends or partners who go through education to understand the replacement surgery and its impact, and to encourage and guide the patient after he or she is discharged.

"The Coach idea was good for me," joked Mr. Glover, "but I'm not sure how well it worked out for Eda."

"You're in charge of keeping the schedule," said Mrs. Glover. "I would fix ice so he could ice his knees and encourage him to walk, although he was good about doing that himself. I would set an alarm to help with timing the medications."

Six weeks after surgery, Mr. Glover continues with physical therapy twice a week, and the therapists evaluate each week what he should do the next. He's noticed he's gained about an inch and a half in height since his knees were replaced; he's just able to stand a little taller. He appreciates how nicely he was treated by the staff at the Joint Center and the work they do.

"I appreciated being well-informed ahead of time about what to expect and to know what was ahead," added Mr. Glover, "and the entire staff was very pleasant to deal with."

For more information on the Joint Center, please visit https://www.augustahealth.com/joint-center.