#PTStar for July – Joan Reil

joan-blogFor July 2016 teacher Joan Reil was the Jersey PT Patient of the Month and gained #PTStar status.


Joan was challenged to complete her second Knee Replacement to gain better mobility for exercise and everyday life. As a teacher that spends a great part of her day standing it was important to provide Joan with a more permanent solution for her knee problems.

What Were Your Expectations Before Your 1st (R) TKR?

Being the goal setter that I am, my ability to recover following knee replacement and wasn’t what I expected. Additionally I really thought I would be able to have greater flexibility immediately. I thought once I was rid of the joint pain I would be able to return to normal activities quickly. (Mind you, I haven’t been able to do my “normal” activities for ten years do to degenerative arthritis.) I didn’t realize how much my muscles and tendons were effected by limited mobility. You might feel great icing and lying on the couch but I learned the hard way that stiffness becomes harder to overcome than the pain. I didn’t realize that it would take time and hard work to get back in the game.

What Challenges Did You Face During Your Recovery?

Getting back to work was important, but with a second bad knee and a teaching job that demands standing most of the day, I had my challenges cut out for me. Finding the time to actually exercise and stretch the knee was difficult during the day. I woke up and quickly stretched and exercised. I had to schedule PT after work when I was exhausted and mentally fatigued. I felt like I rushed to get through the routines. Additionally, my second knee was shot or maybe even worse which also limited the effectiveness of my exercising.

How Was Your Experience In Physical Therapy?

I’ve learned so much from Jersey Physical Therapy about how important exercise is for strengthening, endurance and reducing nerve issues after surgery. I have to say, I couldn’t have gotten through this without all of you. Not only are Marc and Lindsay great at straightening, massaging and working on my flexibility, they are intuitive coaches, that know what is needed in every session. Specifically they gave me mental encouragement when I felt I wasn’t improving. I had a few days when I came in with tears in my eyes. There were days after work that I didn’t want to go, but the warm staff, and comforting words lifted me emotionally. The staff is so warm and knowledgeable.

What Challenges Did You Face During Your Recovery?

So many people have said to me that they wouldn’t go through a second knee replacement after their first. So I was a little worried. Again Marc was instrumental in his encouragement. Since my second knee replacement, my recovery is progressing nicely. Perhaps the time of year has something to do with it (June vs. November). I think it’s more of my attitude. I make the time to exercise and stretch often and well, and I listen to my body when I need to address symptoms that crop up. I definitely try to make each exercise session meaningful.

Closing Thoughts:

“Knee Replacement is an elective surgery for most, and finding the right time to put your life on hold to rehab is hard. Each surgery is different. Ones energy is either up or down depending on the day before. Thank you Jersey Physical therapy for helping me to set goals, be patient, and manage expectations.”

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