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Greetings! I hope you are all well! I can't believe we are now in the middle of February! Time flies by faster and faster!!   
I have had a number of patients who had total joint replacements return to our office eight to twelve months post surgery. They are in pain and are second guessing their decision to have had the surgery months ago. How could this be? The patient left physical therapy feeling great and returned to their normal lifestyle. Unfortunately, their pain came back and they are calling, concerned about what
to do.
Each patient is scared and wondering if they will need another surgery or, even worse, as I mentioned before, they are wondering if they might have made a mistake in getting the replacement in the first place. I think, part of the problem is our inability to fully understand and have our patients fully understand, what their responsibility is following surgery. For whatever reason, there is a misconception of the responsibilities and possibilities that may and can occur regarding total knee and hip joints replacements.

As we age past 30, we all lose muscle mass at a rate of 1% per year. When we have the opportunity to live to 65 and beyond this muscle loss accelerates to 1.5% per year. Therefore, unless we develop a habit of exercising in some way, the majority of us will get weaker in time. Adding any knee or hip surgery accelerates your osteoarthritis progression and muscle weakness. It is one of the major reasons we all need to go to physical therapy to regain our strength and stability following these surgeries. After regaining your strength, you start enjoying your life and all is well. However, often, patients stop exercising and at around the eight to twelve month period many patients begin having pain again and their knees may feel weak to a point of possibly giving out when they climb stairs or even walk!

The main reason for this occurs because the patient slowly forgets the importance of their exercises and stops them all together. As a result, they slowly, without notice, become weaker and their pain returns. They begin to get frustrated and worried. "Maybe I didn't need my knee or hip repaired? Why do I have the same pain?" They find themselves discouraged, sad and possibly a bit depressed.

We have seen three patients in the last few weeks with these issues. After getting each one of these patients back to proper exercise and strengthening of their hips and knees, their pain disappeared entirely. 

As I mentioned, this problem is not unusual. Please remember, if your knee or hip pain, from a total joint replacement surgery begins to return there may be a solution worth pursuing! Most of the time, it is a result of strength loss when you stopped performing your necessary exercises or did so inconsistently or improperly. Most of the time, when we examine the strength, following these situations the patient has lost 50-70% of their leg strength over time.  

Have no fear if this happens! There is a solution! This does happen and people get better! All you need to do is call your physician or our office to get back into physical therapy for an evaluation and treatment plan to help you regain your strength. By doing this, you will improve your strength decrease your pain and get back to the life you had always enjoyed living!

Health Information

    Physical Therapy Can Impact Heart Health

    The impact of heart disease is significant, since it affects the quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day.

    The good news is that lifestyle changes can make a difference. Your physical therapist can play an important role in improving your heart health. A physical therapist can help you craft a "heart healthy" exercise program. Even if you have never exercised before, we'll improve the health of your heart with a safe, progressive exercise program. Expect to work closely with us, and together as a team, we'll improve the way your heart functions.

    If you currently suffer from heart related issues, your physical therapist can help you regain an active lifestyle by working on three specific areas:
    -Mobility issues
    -Lifestyle changes
    -Physical activities geared towards your specific abilities and goals

    The average heart rate of an average adult is 72 beats per minute. If you live to be 80 years old, your heart would have beaten almost 3 billion times. The heart is an amazing organ that keeps beating involuntarily and powers blood circulation for the entire body. Here are some important considerations for heart health.

    Understand the impact of lifestyle - While genetics play a part in heart disease, lifestyle choices have a significant impact. Smoking, overeating, eating unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle are factors that must be improved, especially when heart disease runs in the family.

    Eat healthy - Minimize the consumption of sodium and trans fats. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables daily (try frozen versions when fresh produce is not in season as they hold the most nutrients).

    Join heart healthy programs - Several programs can help you achieve a heart healthy lifestyle. In September 2011, the CDC launched a national initiative called A Million Hearts that includes a list of partners (federal and private sector) committed to keeping people heart healthy. Among those participating are the American Heart Association, the YMCA, Walgreens, and numerous health insurance companies. You may want to consider challenging your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge (or taking the pledge yourself) at

    Keep Moving - Being active doesn't mean having to run on a treadmill or attend a workout class. Simple things like taking a daily walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination and walking to it can make a difference. Just keep moving!

    Although exercise is an important part of heart disease prevention, it is important to remember the ABC'S of a healthy heart. Consult your physician for more information on these four key factors:

    A - An Aspirin a day can help keep your heart healthy. Ask your physician if low dose aspirin is a good idea for you.
    B - Know your Blood pressure numbers. If your blood pressure remains high for a period of time, you may be at risk for heart disease. Ask your physician for more information.
    C - Know your Cholesterol levels - your body has 'good' cholesterol and 'bad' cholesterol. The ratio between these numbers is an important determinant of heart health.
    S - There is no question Smoking is detrimental to the heart! Smoking has a detrimental effect on other organs including your lungs and has been proven to cause cancer.

    As your physical therapists, we are committed to helping you live a healthy lifestyle brimming with energy and abundance. A strong, healthy heart is the first step, and we want to help you. Don't wait, just give us a call today and ask us for more information. You owe it to your heart!

    source: Dr. Daniel Skulavik, PT, DPT, OCS, is with Advanced Physical Therapy
MPT News & Happenings
Join the MPT Team as we support St. Margaret's Winter Walk!
Through this one mile walk, St. Margaret's House raises awareness of
the women and children who walk to access services, no matter the weather.

The Walk will take place on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 2:30. It begins in the lobby of the County City Building and ends at St. Margaret's House. 
Fran's Favorite Quotes
"Be the best version of yourself!"


"Favorite Physical Therapy"


McDonald Physical Therapy


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