After double knee surgery, a local man recovers at home with expert care

With some encouragement, a healing environment and a compassionate caregiver, Robert Colish, 72, of Silver Spring was able to regain his independence just two weeks after bilateral knee replacement surgery.

This type of procedure replaces both knees simultaneously, making rehabilitation a critical and often challenging stage of recovery. Patients experience difficulty in moving, lifting and bending both legs for the first several weeks following surgery.

“Before therapy, it was painful to stand on hard surfaces,” Colish says. “It made normal activities like grocery shopping very difficult.”

Choosing to recover in the comfort of his own home in June 2012, Colish was referred to Adventist Home Care Services, which provides a full range of home health care services across the Maryland-D.C. region, ranging from assistance with personal care to skilled help from a nurse or a therapist.

After an initial in-home assessment, Jill Harper, physical therapist at Adventist Home Care Services, worked closely with Colish’s physician and family members to develop a personalized medical plan of care directly tailored to his condition and needs.

“Robert’s therapy involved a lot of strengthening, stretching and range-of-motion exercises to improve his mobility,” Harper says. “Our goal is to help patients get to their maximum functioning level so they can get back to living and enjoying life again.”

Harper explained that she approached caring for Colish as she would her own parents.

“It wasn’t just about the exercise; it was the way Jill was able to get his mind off the pain and get him motivated,” says Colish’s wife, Kay.

Adds Colish, “Jill pushed me, yet always took my feelings into consideration. She gave me the confidence to believe I could make it on my own.”

Today, Colish is back at work as a plumber and is able to enjoy his hobby of gardening without pain and discomfort.

Specialized Rehabilitation

After an illness, an injury or a medical operation, patients who require additional clinical care often have the option of receiving rehabilitation services in a specialized rehabilitation facility, in a hospital or in an outpatient facility. Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland offers specialized inpatient and outpatient treatment to help people who have physical challenges regain their independence.

Services include comprehensive rehabilitation programs for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, amputations, orthopedic injuries and surgeries, sports-related injuries, work-related injuries, cardiopulmonary conditions and neurological disorders.

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland is the only acute rehabilitation hospital in a fivestate region to be accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International in all four specialty areas: amputation, brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke.

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland has inpatient locations in Rockville and Takoma Park and outpatient locations in Rockville and Silver Spring. Visit to learn more.