Barbara Kosinski - Midland, MI
"Therapy will not always feel good, but you need to do it to get your mobility back. You can even be better than before."
Determination and Discipline Helped One Woman Graduate Early from Physical Therapy
Barbara Kosinski of Midland knew physical therapy would be crucial to her recovery from total knee replacement surgery. Before she had the procedure, she had already arranged for her first physical therapy session. “I wanted to get into therapy as soon as possible after surgery,” Barb said.
Barb said her knee was in very bad shape. “People don’t undergo knee replacement for a joint that hurts once in a while,” she said. “Mine was bone on bone and would give out occasionally.” Orthopedic Surgeon David Bortel, M.D., who had twice repaired her torn meniscus, replaced the joint. “From check in to surgery to the nursing staff, my whole experience couldn’t have been better,” Barb said. “If it’s possible to have a great experience with a knee replacement, I had one.”
The day after surgery, Barb started Joint Camp. “This was not my first experience at Joint Camp,” she said. Her husband, Jim, had undergone knee replacement three years earlier and her mother had a hip replaced. Barb had accompanied both of them to Joint Camp and was familiar with the process. “Observing and participating are two different things,” she laughed. “I liked the observing part better.”
“Joint Camp is challenging as far as the exercise is concerned however, the faster you get moving, the better off you are,” Barb said. She had surgery on Monday, went to Joint Camp on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and then went home to recuperate. “I took Thursday off and had my first physical therapy session on Friday.”
Although she had been prescribed six weeks of physical therapy, Barb was finished in four. “I was discharged early because I had accomplished everything I needed to do,” she said. “They sent me home with a list of exercises to continue doing. I also started water aerobics at the Midland Community Center. My husband had gone there after his surgery and it helped him. I still go.” Barb also uses the fitness center at The Dow Chemical Company. “I use the elliptical machine, a bike and some other equipment.”
Barb said Dr. Bortel and physical therapy, along with her own determination and discipline, were essential to her quick recovery. “Part of it is your own attitude,” she said. “I wanted to get better and I didn’t want to be limited. I want to do what I did before the knee replacement.”
For 66-year-old Barb, that means being on her feet and moving around – a lot. “We’re travelling to Alaska in June and we travel to see our daughters,” she said. She also helps care for her mother, decorates pastries out of her home, and works as a township trustee.
She believes that physical therapy helped her regain her mobility – and quality of life – faster. Barb encourages others who could benefit from physical therapy to make the effort. “Therapy will not always feel good, but you need to do it to get your mobility back. You can even be better than before,” she said.
“Therapy is work but you won’t get the results if you don’t expend the effort,” she said. “It’s worth 45 minutes of exercise and stretching to get your mobility and muscle control back.”
Rehabilitation at MidMichigan has one goal – to help patients achieve the highest possible degree of independence after an injury, illness or disability. We help most people through convenient appointments at one of our twelve outpatient locations. We also offer inpatient rehabilitation for more complex conditions such as stroke, head injuries and spinal cord injuries. For more information about MidMichigan's Rehabilitation Services visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation.