On the Move After Double Knee Replacement

Barbara Hofbauer with grandkids

Barbara Hofbauer had been struggling with her aching knees for years, and increasingly was spending her life in a chair. "She would come down from the bedroom in the morning and go back up there at night, avoiding the stairs at all costs," says her husband Steve. "She wasn't going out."

Barbara had a goal

"Bottom line is I wanted to be able to make sure that I could play with my grandchildren, who were very little at the time," said Barbara. So, when she was told she needed a double knee replacement, she knew she needed to follow through. And she knew where she wanted it done.

"I was glad that the doctors chose Palmdale Regional Medical Center because I live in Palmdale, and I know it's a newer hospital. I thought it was going to be a better choice. And once we got here, it was clear why we came. We'd heard so many good things."

Barbara says the staff was "very kind, very knowledgeable and very encouraging." She was especially impressed by the physical therapists at Palmdale Regional's inpatient acute rehabilitation unit – The Rehabilitation Institute. "The first day they took me in for therapy, they were asking me to do things, and I kept saying, ‘I can't do that.’ And they said, ‘Yes, you can.’ I said, ‘No, I can't do that.’ They kept pushing me and that's what I appreciated."

The rehab was challenging, but it also opened Barbara’s eyes to possibilities. She spent a year walking before deciding, on her 41st wedding anniversary, to join a gym. Then she started working with a trainer. "I am just so much better because of it," she says. "I've lost almost 30 pounds since February."

And those grandkids?

"The oldest is now 10 years old and I can run around the yard with them," Barbara says. "We just did Disneyland on Saturday with our grandkids," Steve says. "I have to tell you," Barbara replies, "I would not have been able to do that prior to my knee surgery."

One of many satisfied patients

"Absolutely everybody that I've spoken to who's had a procedure, or has been hospitalized and had to have surgery, they have always been very positive about their experience at Palmdale, with the administration and the staff," says Steve, who was elected mayor in 2018. He sees the employees helping around town, including a recent event to build housing for returning veterans.

"That's the kind of stuff that makes a difference when the community comes out and they see all those shirts that say ‘Palmdale Regional,’ " Steve says. "That sends a message to the community that they're stepping up and walking their walk — especially at an event like that when we're working as hard as we are to accommodate our returning veterans to the community and to create that housing opportunity for them. That was extremely powerful for them to be there."

Barbara’s experience was powerful enough that she points others to replicate it. "I know somebody that's going to have the same procedure and they live in the area. I said, ‘Go to Palmdale Regional.’ "