Karen Jennings' Story
She called it her ‘snow knee,’ for its ability to sorely predict oncoming weather events.
By the middle of last year, after three decades of knee-jerk meteorology, Karen Jennings of Pittsfield was ready to put her foot down, lightly. The routine doses of over-the-counter relief were no longer masking the pain. She made an appointment at Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates.
“I was told I had two choices: get a knee replacement or do nothing. There was nothing in between,” said Karen. That was meant literally. The tissues around the right knee had deteriorated to “bone on bone.”
Like all of the patients who undergo joint replacement surgery at BMC, Karen, joined by her husband, attended a series of pre-hospitalization classes that describe the surgery, walk through the rehabilitation process and get people mentally prepared for the experience.
“I knew exactly what to expect before I even walked into the hospital for my surgery,” she said.
In the evening following her surgery, Karen was already up, taking a few steps, aided by the surgical floor staff. Within three days, she was transferred to the rehabilitation floor for a week of intensive physical therapy. A team led by Dr. John Magnotta and Dr. Marlyn Ramos-Lamboy, both experts in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, closely guided her progress and began the course of physical re-training vital to her recovery.
“They were upbeat, friendly and made everything as comfortable as possible,” said Karen of the physical therapists at the rehabilitation center known fondly as ‘the gym.’ Even in moment s of sometimes grueling exercise, “It was always encouraging, no matter what.”
The quality of the BMC experience, she emphasized, goes far beyond the doctors, nurses and other health professionals. The housekeeping staff, the people who deliver meals and everyone associated with the hospital accommodated her needs and made it a point to connect with her on a personal level.
“They all work together. They’re a unit. They help each other out They’re all focused on getting you moving again,” said Karen. “Everyone there cares about you, and that makes all the difference in the world.”