Story Feature

Blowing out a knee in the ’70s eventually led Janet Dann to a total knee replacement and rehabilitation at Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands in Friday Harbor, Washington.


“I was told that, in time, all the remaining cartilage would be worn down and I would need knee replacement surgery,” Dann explained. “Over the years, the pain and decreased mobility became more evident, and in spite of several ‘remedies’ which delayed the inevitable, it finally became clear that there was no other option than a total knee replacement.”


Dann, a retired nurse, considered coming home directly after surgery and doing physical therapy sessions through home health. However, when she thought about the burden that would place on her husband, she decided to stay at Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands for inpatient rehabilitation until she was confident of her ability to take care of herself at home.


She came to the rehab and skilled nursing center on Sept. 3, 2015.


“When I arrived, the physical therapy team was waiting for me at the door with a wheelchair and expertly helped me into it and to my room and into my bed,” Dann shared. “At this point, I was unable to lift my leg by myself, and someone was right there who knew just what to do.”


Dann worked with physical and occupational therapists six days a week. They helped her exercise her knee using the Biodex BioStep® semi-recumbent machine, which allows patients to exercise their upper and lower bodies while seated. That helped Dann practice range of motion without putting too much weight on her new knee.


The Biodex Balance System™ helped Dann improve her balance, and therapists used electrical stimulation and manual therapy to help reduce her pain and swelling.


“Janet worked very hard with PT and OT to get the best possible outcome from her total knee replacement,” said Julia Thompson, director of rehab services. “She had some issues with pain and resolved those with nursing support and physical therapy.”


Dann returned home on Sept. 19, much more able to get around and take care of herself. She is continuing physical therapy as an outpatient to further improve her walking skills.


“I am sharing my experience because I firmly believe that coming to a facility such as Life Care Center [of the San Juan Islands] is unquestionably the way to go after any surgery that requires a prolonged period of rehabilitation and skilled services,” said Dann.


For more information about inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation at Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands, please call Julia Thompson, director of rehab services, at (360) 378-2117.

Story Tagged: Rehabilitation