WELLSBORO - It isn't always easy getting back on your feet - just ask Gene VanGorden, who had a bilateral knee replacement in January.
VanGorden, of Middlebury Center, tore the meniscus (cartilage) in his knee during a fall in 1979 and although he had corrective surgery after the injury, his knees have gotten progressively worse over the years. Eventually, it got to a point where the treatments just weren't enough, and he had bi-lateral (double) knee replacement surgery.
"After my in-hospital therapy, it was determined I needed additional therapy, so I was going to be admitted to a rehab program," VanGorden said. "I asked, 'Who's got the best therapy in the area? That's where I want to go.' And the staff told me that as far as they were concerned, The Green Home's therapy department had the best, so I came to Wellsboro."
VanGorden was admitted to The Green Home for a week of additional physical and occupational therapy.
"When I arrived at The Green Home, I couldn't do anything for myself. I needed help with everything. By the end of my four days, I could dress myself, get in and out of bed by myself - it helped me immensely."
Physical therapy worked on rebuilding his range of motion, strength and flexibility while occupational therapy focused on helping him return to independence using training in a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom suite. Patients practice activities such as making the bed, showering, preparing a meal and retrieving items from kitchen cabinets.
During his stay, VanGorden worked with multiple therapists through each aspect of his treatment.
"Our physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologist therapists work well together to ensure the patient is discharged to home at their safest and most independent level as soon as possible," said occupational therapist Destiny Bates.
The therapy area features a gym, neuromuscular re-education equipment, semi-reclined and upper body bikes, electric stimulation and Activities of Daily Living suites.
"I could see a real difference - real progress - every day," VanGorden said. "I can't even describe how wonderful that was.
"We take a very hands-on approach to patient wellness and recovery,"?Bates said. "Our staff constantly evaluates the correct level of resistance, how the muscles are healing and determines the problem areas each patient must overcome."
VanGorden loved the treatment he received so much that he wanted to return to do his outpatient therapy there.
"I had some reservations as a 49-year-old man entering a therapy program at a nursing home but having gone through the experience, I'm so glad we have that type of care close to home," he said. "If I hadn't had those four days, I wouldn't have been back at work so quickly or be as far along as I am in my therapy. It made a huge difference in my ability to return to work.
"I couldn't have gotten better care anywhere else and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The Green Home's therapy department to anyone," VanGorden added.
The Green Home offers therapy to people of all ages for a wide variety of surgical procedures and conditions, such as joint replacement, stroke recovery, fractures, dementia and fixated bones, as well as post-surgical wound care.
For more information on The Green Home, call 724-3131 or visit www.laurelhs.org.