Lucia D. Shares Her PortableConnect® Experience

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Toree: Hey, I’m Toree McGee, and welcome to the Rapid Recovery Report, sponsored by ROMTech, your modern technology of rehabilitation.  So, we’re doing this series every other Thursday at 4:00pm Pacific and 7:00pm Eastern, where we’re going to talk to a whole bunch of different guests, surgeons, patients, insiders here at ROM, and talk about wellness and health, and talk about the PortableConnect, which if you’re new here, that’s our product.

The PortableConnect is a high-tech recovery device.  There it is right there.  And it’s geared at getting patients moving and recovering a lot faster from injuries and surgeries.  And you can learn more about us at our website, Romtech.com.  Follow us on our social handles that are going to be listed in the description here of this podcast, or this video.  And yeah, let’s get right through it. 

Total Knee Replacement Patient, Lucia

So, we’ve got a really special guest today.  This woman is sunshine.  Here name is Lucia.  She’s a 57-year-old single mom of two.  She works in the financial industry for a regional bank in Pennsylvania.  And she’s also a partner in a cycling company that focuses on training development, CIS Training Systems.  She enjoys cycling and hula-hooping and travel.  And when her knee prevented her from doing all the things that she loves, she decided to have a total knee replacement with one of our prescribers, Dr. Slotkin

I’m waiting for mine to stop barking too.

Hi Lucia.  

Lucia: Hi there, Toree.  Nice to see you. 

Toree: Nice to see you too.  We’re so happy to have you and your pooch.  So, we know a lot about knee replacements, and it’s not an easy surgery.  So, from a patient standpoint, this is really interesting.  What compelled you to pull the trigger on having your knee replaced?

Lucia: Well, I’ve been seeing Dr. Slotkin for a couple of years, and doing the shots and all kinds of stuff.  So, when the knee prevented me from doing the things that I really like, which is cycling, hula-hooping, I do them for fitness, and then when I went to the beach in August, I like to walk through the sand, I came back, and I was like, you know what, knee replacement is going to happen.  It has to happen soon.

Toree: So, you’re actually still using the PortableConnect right now, right?

Lucia: Yeah, I am.

Toree: So, how long ago was that knee replacement surgery, and where are you now in your life?

Lucia: I am four weeks post-surgery, and that’s just four weeks and a day on the bike.  So, I don’t know where I should be, but I know where I am.  So, I feel really good.  

Toree: Good.

Lucia: And the amazing this is that I meet with my therapist every Wednesday, and he knows all my stats, and he says I am ahead of the game.  So, it’s just an incredible opportunity to do it at home.

Toree: That’s awesome.  So, are you using any assisted devices to kind of get around?

Lucia: No. 

Toree: No?

Lucia: I haven’t used an assisted device in a few weeks.

Toree: Wow.  Okay, that’s awesome.  So, let’s talk a little bit about pain levels.  So, how is your pain doing?

Lucia: You have to put the pain level in the computer, and I always put a four or five, and I think that’s just surgical pain.  I don’t have knee pain.  I don’t use pain meds. 

Toree: Okay.

Lucia: Yeah, I haven’t used the heavy pain meds for a few weeks, so it’s just Tylenol.

Toree: Tylenol, okay.  That’s amazing that Tylenol will help at this stage now, just four weeks postop.

Lucia: You know what, Toree, I don’t know if Tylenol even helps, but I think ice is the biggest helper.

Toree: Okay.

Lucia: Yeah, ice is the key.

Toree: Okay, good to know.  So, you’ve mentioned that you had friends actually, that have gotten knee replacement surgery prior to you opting to do the same.  So, what was some of the advice or their stories that made an impression on you, because I’m sure that they told you a lot of it?

Lucia: Well, actually, it’s really funny.  So, I don’t know what the ratio is of men and women that get knee replacements, but it was only men that I had spoken to.  

Toree: Oh, okay.

Lucia: And I would say about 50% were like, this is the worst thing you’ll ever going to go through in life, and the other 50% were like, this is the best thing you’ll ever going to do in your life.  So, I went with the positive side, obviously, and just took it as a grain of salt, because everybody is different. 

Toree: Right.

Lucia: And I have a family member that ended up doing both knees, didn’t use this kind of rehab, used traditional rehab, and he was very pro for the surgery.  

Toree: Okay.  I mean, did the stories affect you at all going into surgery?  Did you try not to think about the bad?

Lucia: Yeah, no.  I didn’t even think about it.  I had to have it done.  So, for me, it was coming out on the other side knowing that, eventually, I will be back to doing all the things that I want to do.

Toree: Okay, and I see your hula-hoops there in the background.  Got to get you back to that.  

Lucia: Back there, hanging up.

Lucia’s PortableConnect Experience

Toree: So, for the hardcore fans of the show, they’ve already seen Dr. Slotkin here on our podcast a while back, and we were really excited actually when he connected us, and told us your story about the PortableConnect using.  So, how did Dr. Slotkin prepared you for what to expect before, during, and after your surgery?

Lucia: Well, Dr. Slotkin, to me, is just a great young progressive doctor.  I mean, he’s personable.  He explains everything.  They have an app that they actually use that takes you from before, during, and post-surgery.  So, he has videos on there to talk about what’s going to happen before, what’s going to happen the day of, what’s going to happen one week.  I think to them it’s like four weeks, six weeks afterwards.  So, they were very thorough, and really had me ready for what was going to happen with the ROMTech.

Toree: That’s great, okay.  So now, what was your first impression with the ROMTech PortableConnect when Dr. Slotkin mentioned it to you?

Lucia: Well, you can probably guess, I was pretty excited.  So, being part-owner of a cycling business, I mean it was just perfect for me.  I’ve never done a surgery like this before.  I’ve never had to do any kind of rehab.  So, this is kind of what I’ve been saying.  I think every person has a couple ounces of laziness in them.  Some might have little more.  Some might have little less.  And if I had to go out to traditional therapies, and get a ride there, go through it for half an hour, and then come home, and expected to duplicate that, I would not be as far along as I am today.  

So, the ROMTech holds me accountable, and allows me to monitor what I’m doing when I’m doing it.  Now, I’ve been going back to work little by little.  I work from home, and I’ve gone to the office.  But it allows me to pick those times throughout the day to get it done.  It’s perfect.  It is such an amazing opportunity to rehab yourself, and be accountable for it.

Toree: Yeah, that’s great.  I love that.  I do.

Lucia: I know.

Toree: I mean, being a co-owner of a cycling business, did you spend a lot of time on regular bikes before?

Lucia: Well, I don’t spend as much time as our cyclists do, because I’m more on the backside of it, but we do training programs and development programs and cycling tours and camps throughout the year.  So, yeah, I’m into cycling every single day. 

Toree: Okay, cool.  Then this is a perfect little fit for you.

Lucia: It was.  

Toree: Now, what features do you think help you the most with your recovery, like specific to the PortableConnect?

Lucia: Seeing what the workout is going to be, I think, is important for people, because it allowed me to know what was going to happen.  Having the, I call it the hinge on my leg, sending that information directly to my doctor, and knowing that they’re going to get everything that they need to kind of guide me.  

So, there’s a message that pops up that says, “Are you happy with what’s happening, or do you need somebody to call you?”  So, I pressed that button the other day, because I wanted it to be a little more difficult.  And somebody from ROMTech did call me, and she explained that she could see in the system that my program was changing the next day.  

Toree: Okay.

Lucia: So, the doctors and the therapists are on the back side kind of evaluating what’s going on, and I think that that feature of being able to see what you’re doing and know what’s happening from day-to-day or from week-to-week is really helpful.

Toree: Yeah, okay.  And so, the hinge that you had talked about, being on your knee or your leg, that’s what we call an AccuAngle.  And for the folks that don’t know, so there’s these little sticky pads that stick onto both parts of your leg, like your thigh and the lower part of your leg.  And the little hinge AccuAngle thing moves like this.  And on each end here, there’s a little magnetized part that just clips right onto those pads.  And that thing actually is able to measure the angle of your knee, so that’s what kind of able to track the range of motion, and it goes into the computer system, and so Lucia’s able to see her progress on a graph and chart, which I think is just something that I, personally, would love seeing in any kind of recovery.  You want to see that progress that you’re making.

Lucia: Right.

Toree: And it makes a big impact, and makes you want to keep going.  It’s like a little game against yourself.  And your surgeon, actually, can see all of that info too to keep track of how you’re doing, and make sure that you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Lucia: Absolutely.  Absolutely.  Not only your surgeon, but your tech who delivers it was also instrumental in helping me to understand how important it would be to follow the protocol that’s going to be placed for me.

Toree: Yeah, absolutely.  So, you kind of have big brother watching you a little bit, but at least you know who those people are.

Lucia: Absolutely.  Absolutely.

Best Part of PortableConnect

Toree: So, now that you are four weeks and a day into recovery, what made this device the best decision for your recovery?

Lucia: The accountability.  The accountability, the ease of being able to direct myself and schedule the therapy myself throughout the day. 

Toree: Yeah.

Lucia: Now, if you don’t use it, it’s not going to work.  

Toree: Oh, of course, just like anything else. 

Lucia: Just like anything else.  If you don’t do it, it’s not going to work.  

Toree: Sure.

Lucia: But for me, and I think for your company, and for the doctors that are doing these knees, this is a game changer in the world of therapy for knee replacements.  I think this will make a big difference in people’s rehab and their success going forward.  

Toree: Yeah.  So, the accountability and then I mean being able to use it at home is a big difference for you too, and a big part of the decision, right?

Lucia: Yeah.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know what kind of therapy I’d be getting in the end.  And when he told me it’s this, it’s fantastic.  

Toree: I mean, you’ve touched on everyone has a little bit of lazy, and listen, there’s a reason that most people don’t schlep themselves out to the gym as often as they like to.  It’s hard.

Lucia: That’s correct.

Toree: It’s hard to get out of the house, and even things that you can do at home, the accountability is huge.  I have made the joke in the comments, I think, on our program here before that, do you always floss at home.

Lucia: Right.

Toree: And that’s something that you can do at home, and that’s something that probably if your dentist could tell if you are flossing or not at home, you would, because you know that it’s good for you, and it doesn’t take that much effort.  You could do it right at home.

Lucia: You’re absolutely correct, absolutely.  

Toree: So, I’m pretty sure that I know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway.  Would you recommend the PortableConnect to other patients recovering from surgery?

Lucia: Highly, and I’ve already have been.  I just tell everybody about it.  And I have come across a couple of people that have said, “Oh, I know somebody who’s used that.”  And then I’d say, “Well, who’s their doctor?”  And they say Dr. Slotkin.  I’m sure there aren’t a whole lot of doctors out there using it yet.  It doesn’t sound like it, but yes, absolutely, 150%. 

Toree: Perfect.  Okay, great.  Well, I think that’s all the questions that I had for you here, Lucia.  Thank you so much for joining us.  

Lucia: Toree, thank you.

Toree: It’s always fun to have a patient, and especially one that’s actively on the PortableConnect while we’re doing our interviews.

Lucia: Perfect.  Well, if you need any other feedback going forward, let me know.  I mean, happy to share.

Toree: Absolutely.  We love that.  So, folks, you’re more than welcome to engage.  If you’ve got questions, you can ask us.  Or you can actually engage with Lucia on Instagram, @luciadeangelo.  And you can always follow us and reach out to us at Romtech.com.  Follow our social channels, subscribe to our programs and our podcast here.

Thank you again, Lucia, so much for hanging out with us.  

Lucia: Toree, thank you, and have a great evening. 

Toree: Yeah, hopefully we’ll see you soon, all right.

Lucia: I hope so.  Take care.  

Toree: Bye-bye.

Lucia: Bye.

Disclaimer: The content discussed on this program is often medical in nature, and is used for informational purposes only.  No content discussed should be taken as medical advice.  Please consult your healthcare professional for any medical questions. 

Privacy is also of the utmost importance to us.  All people, places, and scenarios mentioned have been changed to protect patient confidentiality, unless given explicit written permission to share.  

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing a “standard of care” in a legal sense, or as a basis for expert witness testimony.

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