Joint Replacement Rehab

Physical therapist Kelli Laffin, of the Baker Rehab Group, evaluates patient Michael Derflinger during a physical therapy session after a joint replacement procedure.

If you talk to his doctors, you’ll learn there’s a lot that’s exceptional about Michael Derflinger. For John Baker, a physical therapist and the owner of Baker Rehab Group in Frederick, it’s the fact that his 64-year-old patient was able to undergo a complete knee replacement surgery — without the use of opioids — on March 27.

Derflinger recovered so well, Baker said, that he was able to drive himself to his first outpatient physical therapy appointment this past week.

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Kate Masters is the features and food reporter for The Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at

(4) comments


The option for the patient to fill after-surgery pain medication has always been optional. Unfortunately, hospitals are now even reducing hospital stays for major surgery more than ever. I was talking to my doctor last week and I got into a conversation with him about a friend of mine who just had a double mastectomy two weeks ago and she was just in the hospital overnight. And I told him about another lady who had a regular surgery (involving one breast done as a mastectomy (not "just" a lumpectomy) where it was done as out-patient surgery. Because of the restrictions on opioids (policies on health insurance now that have changed the waiting time before the prescription can be filled), the patient was unable to get her
pain medication on the way home from the hospital. As I've posted previously, patients are unnecessarily suffering because of the opioid paranoia that has infiltrated so-called "pain management."

I'll bet those shots behind the knee felt real good. (Sarcastic). I've known some people who have had those nerve blocks. Not fun. In fact, they decribed it as torture. But, I'm glad that the patient interviewed for the article did so well. But, another thought is that the hospitals have cut down on satisfactory pain relief anyway so much that one might as well be home (if the patient can survive the ride home with bumps in the road and possible delays due to traffic).

I just hope I die in my sleep instead of going through the hospital experience again.
I also wish the same for those I know who have been made to suffer unnecessarily and whatever people will face in the future.


“1 in 12 patients were still prescribed opioids alone in 2014, according to research by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.”

So, 11out of 12 patients receive no opioids? So really, this man’s story is not that exceptional. In fact, it’s what happens in the overwhelming number of cases.


Actually, in this case, this patient's story may very well be exceptional.....but having more information on local practice patterns would help to tell us that. The 2017 research cited in the article from the American Society of Anesthesiologists is derived from national data. It doesn't tell us what is actually happening here in Frederick. It's very possible that not every orthopedic surgery/anesthesiology practice in town offers patients the option of pain relief other than opioids, or has success with this alternative, and as a result far greater than one in 12 local patients could still, in 2018, be receiving primarily opioids for post-op orthopedic pain. I think the valuable message of this article is that prospective patients reading it have learned, as I did, that post-op pain management minus opioids IS available here in Frederick in THIS practice (there may be more), and that a critical question pre-op.......for all patients and their to ask how their pain will be managed....and to know there are now viable alternatives, to starting opioids. Thank you to the patient, the FNP, and the doctors and therapists involved for sharing such valuable information on improving patient care as the opioid epidemic continues to rage.


Can't say enough good things about Baker Rehab. Both John and Kelli provided excellent care and rehab after both my knee replacements.

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