Patient Success Story - Keith Blankenship
According to Keith Blankenship, a successful joint replacement takes three main components:
1. A good doctor
2. A good therapist
3. A good patient
The emphasis, he says, is on the patient.
Keith is a physical therapist who serves as the clinical director of The Blankenship Center in Macon, which specializes in the evaluation of job-related injuries, the assessment of personal injuries and the analysis of high-risk industrial jobs. Keith’s impressive therapy career has focused on increasing the mobility of patients and helping them return to work after an injury or surgery. He knows what it means to be a good therapist.
He has also had to learn what it means to be a good patient. Keith has had two knee replacements in his lifetime, the most recent at Piedmont with Dr. Bill Barnes.
“You have got to focus on regaining that range of motion,” said Keith. “Otherwise it limits the distance you can walk, how long you can stand, whether or not you can get in your car or even get dressed. It affects every element of your life.”
One positive thing Keith learned based on his personal experience is that it’s never too late to try to get your range of motion back even months or years after a surgery.
“Most people can’t get back to 135 degrees flexion, but they can get back to their normal lives,” Keith said.
Keith had a total knee replacement using the Conformis custom knee implant in late January of this year. He has been “extremely pleased” with the outcome of this total as compared with the total knee replacement he received on his right knee five years ago. A physician in Atlanta performed totals with quad-sparing, minimal incisions designed to reduce pain and “down time”. Keith found this to be mostly marketing hype.
“I still have pain on the right, but no pain at all on the left when I’m working in the yard,” said Keith. He likes to plant flowers, use the tractor, and get down on his hands and knees to pull weeds. In fact, when he is working on a hill in his yard he is able to use his left knee as the anchor knee because it is stronger than the right. According to Keith, the left knee doesn’t have the laxity and looseness of the right knee and feels more stable.
“I have regained 130 degree flexion. The normal is 140 degree, which I believe I will have by the end of the year,” said Keith.
Keith put the replacement off as long as he could. In fact, when he had his first knee replacement his surgeon told him he would need to have the second done within a year but he was able to put it off for five.
“I have been extremely pleased with the outcome of this joint replacement,” Keith said. “Dr. Barnes has a reputation of being the best knee guy in the area. I trusted him to do the surgery because I’ve been seeing the success of his patients with total knees for years. I knew for a long time that he was going to do my knees.”
posted 05/01/2017 in News
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