At Sport + Spine, we believe the athlete in all of us deserves top performance — free from pain and limitations. For each patient, the road to recovery looks a little different. It may not be easy, but we’re with you on that journey…every step of the way. In our Road to Recovery series, we’re following patients along their path, taking a closer look at what it takes to get back to a life without limits.
With a welcoming smile, a go-getter attitude, a great sense of humor and a highly-contagious laugh, Cathy Janish is one of those people you simply want to have around. It is hard to imagine there is much that could even begin to deflate her upbeat bubble, but chronic escalating hip pain took its best shot. Roughly two years ago, the pain in Cathy’s right hip and leg became impossible to ignore. Not only was she no longer able to partake in favorite hobbies like golf and long walks, but her daily life was also being greatly impacted. Getting up from a seated position and standing for any length of time posed great challenges. Unfortunately, hip problems and replacements are common in Cathy’s family. Her genetics left all road signs pointing toward surgery, but she wanted to try the path of physical therapy first before going the route of a total hip replacement.
Several of Cathy’s friends had been sharing their stories about the positive impact of treatment they had been receiving at Sport + Spine, encouraging her to give it a try. In an attempt to avoid the surgery that was seemingly inevitable, Cathy began seeing Laura Lund for physical therapy in June of 2016. “Laura is amazing,” says Cathy. “She tried everything to help: hands-on treatment, dry needling, exercises. As genetics overruled progress and the pain gradually continued to escalate despite our best efforts, Laura suggested that surgery might be my best option at this point. While I had hoped to avoid it, I knew that we had tried every trick in the book, so I was convinced it was the right decision.”
Cathy’s treatment plan shifted to pre-operative care. Focus was placed upon building up her endurance and strength. Cathy shares, “I was so impressed with the team effort between Laura and my orthopedic surgeon. They worked incredibly well together in preparing me for surgery.”
On March 27th, Cathy had her total hip replacement surgery and is very optimistic about the path she is traveling. Four weeks after her surgery, Cathy was already walking without assistance. “I knew immediately after surgery while I was still in the hospital that the physical therapy I had received was already making a huge impact on my recovery. Even the nurses at the hospital were amazed and remarked that the pre-op PT was really advancing my post-op progress…and I am a firm believer in that!” She received further encouraging validation when she was told at her most recent follow-up doctor’s visit that she was in the 90th percentile for post-op recovery.
Even though she has seen great progress, Cathy is the first to admit that she still has a long road to travel. Her determination and positive attitude keep her moving along, as well as the support and encouragement of the entire S+S staff. “The team dynamic is one of the things I like most about coming to Sport + Spine – all of the therapists work together and step in to help as needed.” While most of her friends would complain about having to go to PT after surgery, Cathy says that she never has that feeling. “Do I love it? No. It’s tough. However, seeing the progress I am making keeps me coming back.”
In addition to manual treatment and therapeutic exercises, Cathy frequently uses the anti-gravity treadmill, or Alter G. She has seen significant results using this NASA-patented treadmill as she is able to walk without full weight/stress on her joints, particularly her hip. She hopes to continue to make strides so that someday she can return to the activities she loves: “golfing, walking vacations, shopping with my friends (actively rather than waiting for them while sitting on a bench) and keeping up with my grandkids.”
Her road to recovery is not an easy one and is far from complete, but Cathy is moving down the path with direction and purpose, undoubtedly sharing smiles and laughter with anyone who cares to join her on her inspiring journey.