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A Pilgrim’s Progress

Posted on August 9, 2018 in Patient Stories

Physical therapy helps Holy Land traveler regain strength after knee replacement

Mary Josvai was baptized in the Jordan River, and she stood where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Her pilgrimage to the Holy Land was an incredible adventure, but also one that left her in pain.

“We did all kinds of walking uphill and downhill, climbing through ruins,” Josvai says. While she says that going to the Holy Land was the best thing she had ever done, the painful impact on her knee made her rethink some things. “It was a turning point,” Josvai says. “I wanted to get it taken care of.”

Pain at Work and at Play

As a certified respiratory therapist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Josvai has to be on her feet for hours at a time. “We’re on the floor for stretches of at least three hours, sometimes longer, and we’re pushing a 100-plus pound cart with a computer,” Josvai says.

After work, Josvai would take ibuprofen and prop her foot up. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but the pain was manageable.

When she got back from her big vacation, the usual methods of pain relief weren’t helping anymore. Relying on her faith, the prayers of her friends, and the qualifications of orthopedic surgeon John Reynolds, MD, Josvai underwent total knee replacement last April at Fort Sanders Regional. Her first appointment at Fort Sanders Therapy Center was the very next day.

Strength and Flexibility

Physical therapist Erin McCallum says the sooner PT can begin, the better the odds are for a complete recovery.

“Initially we are working on trying to get pain and swelling under control, and also encouraging early knee mobility and range of motion,” McCallum says. “This helps the patient return to independence in simple tasks like walking up and down stairs, or getting shoes on and off.”

Josvai appreciated the way the therapists cared about her safety and comfort, but were always challenging her to do more. They wanted her to gain strength and reach her full potential for healing.

It wasn’t long before she got rid of her walker and her cane. Today she’s practically unstoppable.

“I don’t even feel like I had a major operation,” Josvai says. “There’s no pain in my knee, I can bend it, I can go up the stairs, and I can walk fast. It’s just a whole lot better!”

For more information about Fort Sanders Therapy Center call (865) 331-1300.