Maria Cianchetti, 69, of Bristol, has had both of her knees replaced and a shoulder, too. Each time she has a surgery, she turns to physical therapist Kevin Jacobs, DPT, for outpatient physical therapy at Bristol Health to help her recover her strength and get back to the activities she loves.
“I can’t say enough about Kevin,” says Cianchetti. “He is very professional, very gentle and caring. He doesn’t just start you on an exercise and walk away. He’s right there with you throughout.”
Cianchetti had her first knee replacement in August 2016. She was surprised when the therapists at the hospital had her back on her feet so quickly after surgery and at how well her physical therapy exercises restored her ability to move.
“I just recuperated wonderfully,” she says. “I was faithful with the exercise; even if I didn’t see Kevin, I did it on my own at home.”
She started walking regularly and bought a recumbent bike to use for bad weather days. By the time she had her other knee replaced in July 2017, she knew what to expect and was ready to walk again with help from Bristol Health.
“When I had the second knee replacement, I felt like I was going back to see my old friends at Bristol Health,” says Cianchetti. “I’ve had a great experience with all three surgeries and all the people I worked with. I can’t say one negative thing about anybody.”
Another physical therapist with Bristol Health Home Care, Ria, came to Cianchetti’s house to help her with her second knee replacement. Using massages and stretches, Ria helped Cianchetti relieve pain and regain motion in the knee before she returned to Jacobs for more outpatient therapy.
Cianchetti’s shoulder replacement went even more smoothly, allowing her to begin moving it again immediately when she arrived home. This time, Heather, a Bristol Health occupational therapist, helped her make great progress on regaining strength and movement. Cianchetti’s progress even shocked her doctor, David Rubins, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Bristol Health.
“My shoulder replacement was like a dream,” she says. “Dr. Rubins said there were things I would never be able to do, but I’ve accomplished all of that. The healing process was amazing.”
Cianchetti is still dedicated to exercises for her knees and shoulder. Every day, she performs stretches, toe raises, squats, and other exercises to keep her joints flexible and strong.
“I would advise anybody getting a joint replacement that you have to put work into it,” she says. “It’s not a surgery where you sit and it heals. You need someone to guide you along and make sure you are doing the right thing.
“If I have something else happen tomorrow, I’d go to Bristol Health and ask for Kevin again,” she says. “I felt like I was in good hands — that I was not just another patient. My healing was really his No. 1 goal.”