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  •  Grandma playing hop scotch again thanks to partial knee replacement at Rome Memorial Hospital

    For the past three years, Shari Rizio had been dealing with pain in her left knee. The knee pain was making her job more difficult and was keeping her from living the active lifestyle she was used to.
    “I have six grandchildren and I love to play with them,” Shari said. “The kids didn’t understand why I couldn’t play hop scotch with them anymore. I hated not being able to do the things I love to do.”
    “It was getting progressively worse,” Shari continued. “I was going to the doctor and he kept draining it, but it got to the point where that wasn’t helping anymore. My knee would swell to the size of a cantaloupe.”
    “One night I was reading the newspaper and my knee was hurting so much I was in tears,” Shari said. “That’s when I saw the advertisement for Dr. Mike and I called his office the next day.”
    Mihail Radulescu, M.D., FRCSC, or “Dr. Mike” as his patients know him, is an orthopedic surgeon with Rome Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, located in Chestnut Commons, 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome. With extensive training in joint reconstruction, Dr. Radulescu offers patients who have become limited because of joint pain, like Shari, the opportunity to get back to the active life they love.
    When Shari called Rome Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, she was able to get an appointment promptly. After her first office visit with Dr. Radulescu, Shari said she started feeling better right away because relief was in sight.
    “He was so nice and sweet,” Shari said of Dr. Radulescu. “He really listened and took all the time needed to explain everything to me about the surgery I would need. Although I was a bit nervous about having surgery, Dr. Mike made me feel confident that this was what I needed to relieve my constant pain.”
    Dr. Radulescu told Shari she would need partial knee replacement surgery. He performed the surgical procedure at Rome Memorial Hospital on April 18.
    “We addressed the diseased part of Shari’s knee while keeping the other healthy components of her knee joint,” Dr. Radulescu explained. “When possible, partial knee replacement is the best option because we can preserve the native ligaments which allows for more natural knee motion, it involves less surgery, less pain and has a faster rehabilitation with great outcomes.”
    After her surgery, Shari needed physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility in her knee, but she was not at all enthusiastic about the rehabilitation aspect of her recovery.
    “I went into it with a very negative attitude,” Shari said. “I never really believed in physical therapy before this, I didn’t think it could really make that much difference. Boy, was I wrong.”
    Shari met with Physical Therapist Josh Griffo, PT-DPT at Chestnut Commons Physical and Occupational Therapy, 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome, just one week after her surgery. Although she was apprehensive, Griffo explained the physical therapy program designed for Shari and how he would get her back to playing hop scotch in no time.
    “Patients are usually very apprehensive following their procedure due to the soreness, swelling, and the stiffness,” Griffo said. “The physical therapist is not only able to evaluate the patient’s functional limitations and impairments and create a tailor-made exercise program to improve their function as soon as possible, but also serves as a mentor and motivator during the initial few weeks when support is needed most.”
    “Josh talked to me and made everything as comfortable as possible,” Shari said. “He was so patient. It was a little difficult in the beginning, but when I got discouraged when something was hard to do Josh would say ‘let’s go back to what we were doing and try that again later.’ He didn’t give up and just kept encouraging me all the time.”
    “The most essential physical factor to regain function following surgery is restoring one’s range of motion,” Griffo continued. “While there are exercises that can be given to perform independently, sometimes these are not enough to restore full range of motion and exercises are often performed incorrectly unless properly guided. To achieve full range and function of your new knee and to enjoy your prior level of activity, I would strongly recommend physical therapy following the procedure to prevent any complications.”
    In addition to physical therapy sessions several times a week, Shari said she owes a lot to continuing her exercises at home with help and encouragement from her husband, Ron. “He really took great care of me and things at home,” Shari said of her husband. “I couldn’t have done it without him.”
    So is grandma able to play hop scotch with her granddaughters again? “Yes, I am,” Shari said smiling. “Hop scotch and even kick ball. Now I feel like my knee works better than it did when I was in my 20s. I just feel like I have my life back.”

    Shari Rizio 
     GAINING STRENGTH – Shari Rizio performs a double leg press in her pain free
    range of motion to improve her quadriceps strength under Physical Therapist Josh Griffo's
    supervision.  Griffo stresses the importance of physical therapy following surgery
    to regain function and prevent complications.  For more information on
    physical therapy at Chestnut Commons Physical and Occupational Therapy Services,
     please call 315.338.7952.