Bouncing Back from Hip Replacement in Cloud City
Penny Bartlett had just received a hip replacement in Vail. She knew she’d need inpatient rehabilitation—also known as swing bed—before returning home as her husband was out of town. With St. Vincent Health’s swing bed services, Penny was able to transition back to her daily life in a setting close to home.
As a swing bed patient, Penny received traditional occupational and physical therapy daily including walking and isometric exercises. But she also received new and exciting therapy techniques like wearing an “ice suit”, which is a Game Ready cryotherapy cuff worn snugly over a patient’s hips and leg. Attached to an ice reservoir, the device circulates cold water through the interior of the cuff to soothe sore muscles after exercising.
The ultimate highlight of Penny’s swing bed experience was receiving therapeutic leg massages (Edema Management) from SVH Occupational Therapist Amy Kuitse, OTR, CLT-LANA. Penny had been experiencing swelling near her knees, also known as Edema, which is common after surgery. “Each time Amy came in to massage my leg, I had a breakthrough. All the fluid build-up and swelling just dispersed, and I could instantly feel my legs start to work better. I was craving the massages. I give it an A+”, Penny stated.
When comparing her recovery to her previous hip replacement in 2018, Penny stated that this swing bed stay was “a good 10 days shorter” than her last stay at a different facility. While crediting the intense and thorough physical therapy at SVH for the shorter stay, she noted that the easy-going nature and conversations she had with the staff helped swing bed go by even faster. “The people at St. Vincent are awesome. They’re really great, the time went by so fast.”
In addition to the quality of care, Penny says you can’t beat the views and ambiance of Leadville. One of her nurses even brought her a pair of binoculars to get a better look at the mountains from her room.
“It was so nice to be in Leadville because you have clean mountain air up there, it’s quiet and peaceful, you have all those beautiful views of mountains. I mean, how much better of a place can you rehab?!”
Penny is now back at home and walking without a cane just one month after surgery. She’s been seeing a physical therapist once a week, and things are going exceedingly well. She’s looking forward to fully graduating from physical therapy and getting back to normal life at her next follow-up appointment.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am. I just know my doctor is going to clear me to go hike and do whatever I want in two weeks. It’s just amazing!” Penny exclaimed.