Robin Knox with her care team

Robin Knox is walking again after suffering a broken leg, thanks to rehabilitation at Life Care Center of Athens, Tennessee.


“Ms. Knox did not have a fall or trauma, but she found she was suddenly unable to stand and bear weight on her left leg,” said Sara Watson, director of rehab services at the center. “It caused excruciating pain in her left knee.”


Knox was diagnosed at the hospital with a distal femur fracture, a break in her leg just above the knee. Ortho surgeon Rickey Hutcheson performed surgery to repair the break, and Knox came to Life Care Center of Athens on March 21, 2017, for therapy.


Physical and occupational therapists worked with Knox six days a week to help restore her functioning ability. When she arrived, she needed total assistance with almost all her activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, bathing, grooming and managing her medications. She even had trouble getting around in a wheelchair.


“She required a lot of strengthening,” said Watson.


Complicating Knox’s recovery was her cerebral palsy, which was causing her ataxic, or jerky movements.


Physical therapists started Knox off with exercises to strengthen her upper and lower body. Resistance bands helped with this, as well as the NuStep® machine, which allows patients to exercise upper and lower body while seated. PTs also used diathermy, or heat treatments, to ease her knee pain. Once Knox was cleared to put weight on her leg again, therapists started helping her to practice standing, balancing and walking.


Occupational therapists, meanwhile, trained Knox on the self-care skills she would need at home. They also treated her shoulder with diathermy to help with her pain, and they helped her modify her activities so she would be able to do more.


Knox completed her rehabilitation program and went home with home health on June 28. She was able to transfer from her bed to a chair with only supervision-level assistance, and she was walking with a rolling walker. She had regained her independence in grooming and dressing and only needed a little help with other self-care tasks.


“Everybody treated me well and was friendly to me,” said Knox. “If it wasn’t for y’all, I wouldn’t be going home.”