Karen Salutric has undergone not one, but two total knee replacement surgeries completed by Dr. S. Stulberg of Northwestern University, just one year apart. Karen’s left total knee replacement was done on June 21, 2018, and her right knee was replaced on June 13, 2019. In both cases, she was pain-free and ready to begin physical therapy within several days following the procedures. Each therapist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Oak Brook Terrace, IL. did a phenomenal job helping her recuperate and return to a normal gait in a timely manner, however, Karen had two very different experiences with each of her procedures.
Karen’s First Total Knee Replacement
Karen’s first physical therapy sessions for her left knee were completed without utilizing TracPatch. Each time she met with her therapist during the week she worked on flexion and extension of her left knee along with other exercises to strengthen it. However, Karen noticed that there was no set course for which exercises were completed on any given day throughout the therapy period. During each visit, the flexion and extension of her knee were measured with an instrument, manually. She recalls always wondering exactly how accurate that manual measuring mechanism truly was. After each therapy session, she was given verbal directions as well as paper instructions to remind her of the exercises she was to work on in order to accomplish her goal.
Karen recalled that the problem with her goal is that it was never set by her. Her goals changed according to what new exercises the physical therapist assigned. She understood that the overall goal was to walk again with a steady, strong gait, yet it was never clear which of the many exercises were most important for her to work on in order to achieve it. Unable to truly see or measure improvements, she found herself lacking the motivation to do any of the exercises at home. Instead, she managed to schedule physical therapy sessions three days a week in hope of the best outcome.
Karen’s Second Total Knee Replacement
On June 14, 2019, the day after her second total knee replacement, Karen was introduced to TracPatch Field Specialist, Sondra Vujovich working with Dr. Stulberg. Sondra asked Karen if she would like to test the TracPatch technology and after Sondra explained a few of the benefits of utilizing TracPatch, Karen was thrilled to take her up on the offer. She was excited that many of her goals would now be able to be measured even when she was not at physical therapy.
Before Karen knew it, two small adhesive patches were placed on her right leg, one below the knee on the outer side of her calf and the other above her knee on the outer side of her thigh. With Karen’s cell phone, Sondra was able to calibrate the TracPatch devices so Karen could see for herself everything about her recovery process through the TracPatch patient application. Karen shared that “I thoroughly enjoyed that I had the ability to check my TracPatch app as many times a day as I liked to see things like my greatest degree of flexion and extension.” TracPatch records the best range of motion daily and because of that Karen was able to see her graph and compare her day-to-day progress. Not only did Karen like that she was able to track her progress, but she was glad that Dr. Stulberg also had the ability to monitor her and check to see if she was finishing her assigned exercises each day through the TracPatch healthcare provider application and web portal. When she would complete the exercises, she found herself trying to beat her last numbers from the day before. “If I could bend my leg 87 degrees, I aimed for 88 degrees or 90 degrees the next time. I’ve never had so much fun exercising as I did when I was able to see my accomplishments in real-time with TracPatch,” shared Karen.
Karen also enjoyed using TracPatch to see how many steps she had taken each day. One of her favorite things about using TracPatch is that she had the ability to look back at everything she has accomplished over a day, a week and a month. “I truly enjoyed tracking my progress and it made me want to work that much harder,” Karen shared. For more information about how TracPatch can help you take control of your recovery process contact us today.