Jun 11, 2008

When giving your best is expected.

So I promised in my last post to explain the anger about PT. So let me explain. When you go to a professional in any line of business specially in the medical field you expect to get the best treatment possible. So when in Oct of last year I was referred to a certain physical therapy center associated with my orthopedic surgeon I was under the assumption that I was getting the best care. Then when after my knee surgery on my right knee I was sent home with home health care and Physical therapy at home I thought the same.
Now at the time I really thought I was getting the best treatment. UNTIL after this surgery. Due to insurance I was limited to going to the physical therapy center through the hospital. I AM SO GLAD INSURANCE LIMITED ME! And here's why.
On Thursday the day after my surgery I was scheduled for PT. I had no ambition to go but I went. I knew the first visit would only be evaluation anyway...or so I thought. So in that hour I found out that my previous physical therapists had not been as thorough as they could have been nor had they been as attentive as they should have been. How did I find this out...by listening to the Director of Physical Therapy who evaluated my knee and what needs to be done to get it back to a good healthy knee.
So the first things noticed were: my crutches were to short for my height, the remedy: new crutches....made a "HUGE" difference in my walking and on my back strain. Also noticed 3 of 5 exercises I have been doing since Oct have not been done mechanically correct. Jay, my PT, stated, "You can do a 100 reps of a exercise and if not done correctly is a waste of time, do that same exercise 10 times and do it mechanically correctly and you will see a HUGE difference!" Let me express that this statement is so true! I had no idea I was not doing the exercises correctly, I had never been corrected!
This is not to say the PT's I have had are terrible it just says they were not attentive to me their client. They did not pay attention to the details, they did not give 100% to their job of helping me strengthen vital muscles to walk. They definitely did not do their job in excellence!
So what does this mean to me....well it means there is a reason why my right knee, which had surgery in Jan. is not as strong as it should be 5 months later. It means I am actually behind in healing and strength. All due to poor technique when doing the exercises that were suppose to strengthen vital muscles! The fact that the PT's never noticed that my crutches were too small is a huge deal also. I am now standing up and not bent over when walking with the crutches. Why is that a big deal...let me explain it this way....it's like using a screw driver instead of using a hammer to put a nail in the wall. A hammer is what you need to get the job done efficiently. Well for my legs and knees to function properly I need to be able to stand up correctly.
One consequence of not having the correct tools (right size crutches) is that in my left knee which I just had surgery on, has an acute situation with extension of that leg. Let me explain, when you straighten your leg the back of your knee is suppose to be against the surface under it. Mine is not and can not do this. I have a 35-40 degree bend and will not extend fully. I have a bent knee at all times which is partly due to the cartilage problems I had but from what I was told today is largely due to not having the correct tools to walk with the last 10 months. I have a right to be upset. I am going through some intense therapy now.
The stretching of those knee muscles to get that extension is EXTREMELY painful! The PT places a hard plastic tube under my ankle and I am to relax my leg so the knee basically dangles with gravity pulling it down. Getting that slow burning stretch. Then my knee is pushed downwards, forcing my leg to extend. Another stretching exercise....in that same position I have 2 lbs placed on either side of the knee and another I have all 4 lbs placed on top of my knee. Now this may not sound painful or hard to do but let me tell you when you have the problem with extension that I have it HURTS! Thank goodness for pain medication!
So that is why I was angered. I am also blessed! Blessed with a new PT that is very attentive to my needs, listens to my complaints, struggles or questions. I am so thankful that God knew I needed a different PT and knew what I needed to get my knees healthy again! Thank you Jesus for taking care of all the details!

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