​​UPMC Rehabilitation Institute - Patient Stories​​​​​

Janet's Story

The Challenge

Janet, 69, from Seneca, Pa., has always maintained an active lifestyle but didn’t participate in aggressive sports, so she was surprised to have so much pain in her knees. She saw an orthopaedic surgeon who told her that the bones in both of her knees were rubbing together and would need to be replaced.

“When I walked across a room, I felt like I’d crumble,” recalls Janet. “A lady at church asked if I was in pain. I thought I was hiding it well but I wasn’t. I wanted to get both of my knees fixed at the same time and be done with it.”

The Path to UPMC

Her surgery took place on September 30 and her nurses and therapists had her up and walking that same day. Four days later, she was admitted to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC Northwest ​for inpatient physical therapy, where she’d stay for ten days.

The Solution

During her time at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, Janet worked hard to push through the pain and get her knees working again. Her physical therapists had her stretch and flex her ankles, squeeze an exercise ball with her knees, walk up and down stairs, and do a lot of walking in general.

“At first, I couldn’t get up in the morning unless I used my arms to move my legs out of the bed,” says Janet. “By the end of my stay, I could move my legs on my own and get out of bed much more easily.”

A mother of three grown children, Janet now has two young grandchildren who provided her with inspiration to get better and be able to walk again. She is now able to go outside for long walks with her husband, ride her bike, and play with the newest members of her family.

“My physical therapists were wonderful,” exclaims Janet. “I can’t say enough nice things about them. They’d make me do exercises I didn’t want to do, but they were kind about it. They’d remind me that I had to push through and work hard in order to get better.”

The Results

After being discharged from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, Janet continued with outpatient physical therapy for two months at the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services’ Seneca location. Janet and her husband, both retired, now travel around the country to visit their children who live in various states, and they spend their winters in Tucson, Arizona.

“I’m doing as well as I am, and am able to do so much traveling, because of my inpatient and outpatient physical therapy at UPMC.”​

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