FOMO Queen

Then And Now With Barbara Jones: Knee Surgery Recovery 40 Years Apart

“It was the sixth day I had ever in my life been on skis. I was so tired. I came in, I took off the skis, took off the boots, I was ready to call it a day and my then boyfriend said, ‘Ohh, come take a run with me.’”

Barbara Jones Knee Surgery 1982
Barbara in her full length leg cast -1982

“I should have listened to myself. It wasn’t even a big trail and the tree was only maybe about this big around.” Barbara makes a small circle with her hands. “I took a slow sliding fall… and that’s how I got in that cast (pictured)! Barbara had torn her PCL in what is most commonly known as a dashboard injury. “I met Billy Cioffredi at the hospital with Bonnie Kimmelman. I think I did PT for almost a year. They were just amazing.” Two years later in 1984, Barbara was back at it, biking her first Prouty.

Over the years, Barbara has found her way in to see Billy and the rest of the team from time to time: “I’ve come for tune ups here and there. It’s a very good facility. I’ve had a really good experience every time.” Barbara had maintained her active lifestyle, but over the 40 years since her skiing injury, her knee pain grew. 

“I knew what surgery was like and wanted to try to avoid it. So I tried a lot things. I found this list of I think 20 things that you might try before having surgery and I think I was on 18 of the 20…And while I was on a trip coming through Heathrow airport, which has these long, long, long passages, my tour director saw me and said, ‘You might want to get a wheelchair or some transportation.’ That was the moment I thought, ‘My life is going to be getting more and more restrictive if I don’t do it.’”

So Barbara underwent knee surgery earlier this year. Despite it being successful, recovery was challenging. After receiving one month of in-house PT, she arrived at Cioffredi & Associates PT in Grantham. “The first day I was here, it was one of the March or April storms with the 12 inches of snow. I was practically crawling up the walk in pain. I think I spent two hours together [with Joe Soojian, PT]. I had really, wicked pain. I couldn’t do anything, in total spasms. You should have seen it. Joe even got down on the floor with ice and towels to help.” 

Joe adds: “I was able to spend some extra time with Barbara due to snow cancellations, throwing on the NEUBIE to help calm everything down.”

Cioffredi & Associates is an early adapter and one of the few facilities in New England utilizing cutting-edge NEUBIE technology in combination with other treatment techniques to amplify results.

“Joe’s just been great. He was recommended and is very skilled. And I was just delighted to work with him because we can joke around. He’s very fun to be around. And I’ve made a lot of progress! …I may not be biking the Prouty this year. I may have to walk. But I’m going to do it – It’s a cause that I really believe in.”

The Prouty is northern New England’s largest family-friendly fundraising event combining cycling, walking, rowing, golf and more to raise funds and awareness for life-saving research and critical patient and family support services at Dartmouth Cancer Center.
Joe Soojian, PT works with Barbara in the Cioffredi & Associates Grantham, NH clinic

“…And I’m supposed to be going to Bali to help rescue turtles in August. I just say yes. It’s sort of like with skiing. I did want to learn to ski, and I have kept with it. I love it. What happened, I own the responsibility. That’s on me. I know I’m going to have injuries and pain sometimes, but I still try to do things. People call me FOMO. Fear of missing out, you know. I am the FOMO queen!”

“All in all, I feel very, very, very, very lucky: The care at the hospital. This amazing care here. The people at Eastman… I mean, before I had the surgery, I went on the Eastman List Serv and I said, ‘I know there’s some folks out here that have had knee replacement surgery. What do you wish you had known before the surgery?’ I got some amazing responses, some very funny. “Set up a full liquor cabinet and sit by it” was one of them. “Get a skateboard” was another. I’m certainly not skateboarding these days, but turns out it can be handy to help move your knee back and forth. One person suggested a professional piece of icing equipment like a blood pressure cuff that comes up over your leg and it compresses and ices it. It was really helpful… And members of my church have been wonderful bringing food, coming over to entertain me, and bringing flowers. With the community, it’s been such a positive experience.”

Catch Barbara getting back to it at the Prouty, building up her balance on the trails, and this winter… “I’m hoping to be back to skiing Sunapee, Ragged, Pat’s Peak… (Joe interjects “You absolutely will.”) …I love it!”

Pictured: Joe Soojian, PT works with Barbara in the Cioffredi & Associates Grantham, NH clinic

“I still try to do things. People call me FOMO. Fear of missing out, you know. I am the FOMO queen!” -Barbara Jones

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This article first appeared in the July 2024 Cioffredi & Associates Newsletter:

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