COLLEGE STATION More people are moving back to Bryan/College Station to retire. As the population gets older, things like Joint Replacement surgery are becoming more common.
A new program at the College Station Medical Center is making the recovery from joint replacement easier. In fact, many patients are on their feet hours after surgery.
"Push up with the arms. Go ahead," says a physical therapist. For Gary Spivey, this is the moment he's been waiting for.
"How's it feel?" she asks.
"Great!" says Spivey. He's standing on his feet, holding onto the handles of a walker. Just six hours earlier, he was in surgery for a total knee replacement.
"I was scared to death when I first started thinking about knee replacement," says Spivey.
With supervision, Spivey starts to shuffle out of his third floor room. His right knee used to lock up. Walking was painful, like someone was stabbing him he said.
Step after step, his first destination isn't physical therapy. It's a red button on the wall at the nurses station.
"Get as close as you can," says the therapist. Spivey reaches out and hit the button. The familiar notes of the theme from 'Rocky' blare out of speakers around the floor.
Spivey laughs while high-fiving the nurses. It's a celebration for patients who are recovering from joint replacement. A sign that another patient is up and moving. Gary is part of the MOST program -- My Orthapedic Solutions Team -- at the Med.
"It's all the same patients," says Danie Fallon, a physical therapist.
"They're all going through the same thing. They all understand each other and understand each other's pain," she continues.
Patients in the program are inundated with information about their surgery. They exercise before, get walked through the procedure and know the timeline they'll take during recovery.
"The repetition really hammers home what they need to accomplish while they're here in the hospital," says Fallon.
"I've had a complete knee replacement," says Spivey.
"I do know that there is a lot of hard work and exercise and stretching and things that i need to do on my own and in physical therapy," he continues.
But to be on his feet just hours after surgery, the personal success is real.
"It's totally amazing," says Spivey, "It's a major success inside."
The program is gaining in popularity, according the Med. Since January, the number of people electing to have joint replacement surgery has jumped nearly 4 times the rate from last year.
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