Paul Somaini, Barre, Vermont

Paul Somiani of Barre, Vermont working on the NuStep with his physical therapist, Denise Hartman.

Paul Somaini of Barre, VT recently had both knees replaced at Central Vermont Medical Center by orthopedic surgeons Dr. Chris Meriam and Dr. Chris Bean. Following surgery he went to Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing for short-term inpatient rehab. Unsteady on his feet and in a fair amount of pain, he could not even imagine climbing up the four steps to his home, but with just a week and a half of intensive physical and occupational therapy he was being released ahead of schedule and was ready to face those four steps on his own.

 “I would not be where I am today without the care I received at Woodridge,” said Paul, who underwent physical therapy twice a day and occupational therapy once a day. “I am confident that I would have been at least a week behind where I am at now, and with a lot more pain.” Paul is now hoping he will be able to return to his job as an electrician in 6 weeks.

According to Paul’s physical therapist, Denise Hartman, short-term inpatient rehab not only cuts down on the total time it takes to recover from knee or hip replacement surgery but improves the quality of life for patients. “After surgery patients are in a lot of pain,” explained Denise, “but by coming to a short-term rehab facility, we are better able to manage that pain, which in turn gives patients the ability to undergo more intensive therapy.”

Another benefit of short-term rehab is that it significantly reduces the burden of care placed on a patient’s family. If Paul had gone straight home from the hospital, his wife and son would have had to figure out how to get him up those stairs, in and out of bed, and all of the other basics of daily life that we take for granted.  The occupational therapist at Woodridge worked with Paul to teach him new ways of accomplishing all of these activities on his own until he heals enough to be back to his normal self.

The easy banter between Paul and Denise demonstrated the strong relationship that Paul had established with staff during his short stay.  “All of the staff at Woodridge was excellent,” said Paul, “wonderful, friendly, helpful and concerned.” Before Paul left to finish packing to go home, he shared a big hug with Denise and promised to stop back for one last therapy session before leaving.