As a person becomes older, they may begin to have problems with painful joints due to inflammation. Osteoarthritis causes pain in these joints due to wear and tear. An older individual with osteoarthritis in his or her ankles and toes may have such symptoms as:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Joint deformities
  • Stiffness
  • Damage to soft tissues
  • Loss of cartilage and flexibility in affected areas

How is osteoarthritis in the foot and ankle diagnosed?

A physical examination with a complete medical history begins the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Testing to confirm the diagnosis of foot and ankle osteoarthritis may also include X-rays or MRI scans.

How is ankle and foot osteoarthritis treated?

The non-surgical ways of relieving pain and improving motion in the foot and ankle joints include:

  • Steroid injections into the affected joints
  • Using anti-inflammatory medications to reduce joint swelling
  • Pads and braces in the shoes
  • Pain relievers
  • Braces to support the joints
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics worn in a person’s shoes
  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight

Exercises for the foot and ankle

If a person’s feet are strong and flexible, they’ll experience less arthritis pain. Keeping your toes moving remains a crucial part of improving the way your toes feel Some excellent exercises to keep a person’s feet strong include:

  • Achilles tendon stretch. Lean against a wall keeping your palms flat. Place one foot in the front of the person, and one behind. Next, lean forward while leaving your feet flat on the floor. This exercise feels like a gentle pull on your calf and Achilles tendon. Hold this position for 10 seconds on each side. Repeat the stretch three times.
  • Big toe stretches. Put a thick rubber band around your big toes. Pull the rubber bands so that the big toes move away from each other. Hold this stretch for about five seconds. Repeat the stretch ten times.
  • Toe curls. To perform this exercise, pick up marbles with your toes for good toe stretch.

Will surgery help osteoarthritis in the feet and ankles?

In severe cases of osteoarthritis in the feet and ankles, two types of surgery become needed to provide you with the pain you need and deserve to keep walking and moving. Two regularly recommended operations remain:

  • Fusion surgery. Arthrodesis, or fusion surgery, is when bones are fused together using pins, rods, plates or screws. Once you’ve healed from the operation, the body parts in question remain fused together.
  • Joint replacement surgery. Just like knee replacement surgery, ankle replacement surgery requires an artificial ankle joint to be surgically implanted to replace a worn out ankle joint. Ankle replacement surgery remains rarely used to assist individuals with ankle osteoarthritis.

If your loved one is in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, they need a knowledgeable staff around them who understand the treatment of people with osteoarthritis. These staff members need to follow through with any doctor’s recommendations as well as monitor and record a person’s physical therapy and progress.

Maplewood of Sauk Prairie’s staff remains such a skilled, experienced group of people who work with osteoarthritis patients in the nursing home and on an outpatient basis. So, for osteoarthritis rehab you can trust for your loved one, please consider working with Maplewood of Sauk Prairie’s inpatient and outpatient rehab facility.


As our elder loved ones age symptoms may present themselves that point to the need for senior care. It’s important that you remain observant so any concerning signs or behaviors do not go unnoticed: You want your family to be as happy and healthy as possible and for some seniors that means additional care may be required. You have to remember though that most seniors want to live out their lives at home and the topic of moving them into a senior care facility may be a touchy one! The good news is though that mildest to moderate concerns may frequently be remedied without the need to move your loved one out of their home!

To help you provide the best quality of life for your elder family member, we’ve detailed a few signs and symptoms that may be cause for additional senior care:

Signs To Watch For

Chronic Medical Conditions

As we age, the chances of a chronic medical condition such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s developing increases. Those that suffer from such medical conditions will often need increased medical care as they age and may not be in a position to provide the appropriate care for themselves that they require. If you notice any medical condition getting out of hand, or found that they may have fallen and had issues getting themselves up then their solitary lifestyle may need to come to an end. As disheartening as this may sound to them, it is for the best.

Issues Managing Money

Many of us as we grow older end up less than capable of taking care of all the financial responsibilities that we’ve taken on over the years. Insurance renewals and bills may start to pile up due to forgetfulness, a lack of motivation to pay them, or a lack of money to do so. It’s not uncommon for seniors to fall victim of scammers and if they happened to develop a disease such as dementia then their ability to deal with the complexities of paying bills and taxes may have alluded them. If you notice any of this occurring then consider taking over the management of their finances or seeking out additional care.

Living In Isolation

Isolation isn’t good for anyone, but it is especially problematic when it comes to our elders. With more than 11 million seniors living alone, isolation is a leading factor in seniors’ health declining. Potential issues that can arise as a result of isolation include addiction, depression, and even death! If your senior family member is living alone and you find that they aren’t going out and spending any time with friends then consider stopping in for visits more frequently or if that is not an option, then it may be time to seek out additional care.

Unkempt Living Space

If you notice that your senior loved one’s lawn and house seem to be in decline, with little care taken to their preservation, then it may be a sign that they are no longer able to physically take care of these things. Depression may also cause this so don’t dismiss this if you feel they’re still able-bodied; It is still a problem. If this is the only sign you’ve noticed so far, consider options other than taking them out of their home such as hiring a landscaper, a housekeeper, or an in-home caregiver to help with the daily upkeep around the house.


In order to ensure our loved ones are living their lives to the fullest, as they age we must remain vigilant in order to notice any signs of decline that would illicit senior care. Getting the help you and your loved needs early will ensure that they live as comfortably and healthily as possible! If any of these signs present themselves, consider Maplewood of Sauk Prairie for your chosen senior care facility. Making the decision to utilize senior care is not something to take lightly, and you know your loved ones better than anyone else, so keep an eye on them and use your best judgment!


Joint Rehabilitation and You: Physical Therapy to Treat and Strengthen Your Body After Surgery

As you’re well aware, dealing with the physical limitations and struggles associated with joint replacements are, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things a patient can go through. Combine this with the trials and tribulations of life and you have a recipe for an unpleasant experience. But what if there were an alternative means of dealing with your surgery after the ordeal has taken place? Are you simply expected to deal with random variables as they’re thrown at you, or are there certain practices and techniques that can be used to speed up the recovery process? If you’ve undergone a joint replacement yourself, or know someone that is, hesitantly, about to undergo one, these techniques will ensure that the ordeal flows as easily as possible.

Knee Replacement: What to Expect and How to Approach Rehab

Here you are — fresh out of the surgery, unable to move your leg and not knowing what your next move may be. Although this may be a trying time filled with emotional fluctuations, it’s one of the most common procedures that an individual can undergo. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that total knee replacement recipients will grow over 650% by the year 2030 with millions of patients treated. So although you may feel down and out about your procedure, rest assured knowing that doctors and healthcare physicians perform these treatments on an almost daily basis.

First and foremost, you need to gain strength back into the limb itself. This process, although daunting and somewhat uncomfortable, will ensure that the entire range of motion of the lower limb will return once the healing process is over. Patients that fail to perform their therapy, or simply neglect the muscles located in the leg, are prone to becoming immobile after the wounds from the surgery have healed. Health sources report that the duration in which a patient stays in the hospital after their surgery is, usually, less than 72 hours.

Once you’ve arrived back home, your physician and therapist will map out a plan in which to begin training of the lower extremities. For patients that have undergone a slightly less invasive surgery, home rehabilitation may be all that is required. However, for individuals that are older or obese, clinical rehab is prescribed as a means of tackling the issues under the watchful eyes of a professional.

Exercises That Speed up the Healing Process

The most overlooked component to a speedy recovery, despite what most may think, comes from the dietary choices that you make. Our body needs nutritious fuel and minerals that it can absorb and use as a means of healing the damage our body has undergone. A brief list of foods that have been shown to improve bone and joint health are as follows:

  • Calcium-dense foods, such as milk, cream, and cheese, for bone and joint improvement.
  • Protein-packed lean meats like fish and chicken that can assist in repairing swollen, damaged and inflamed tissue.
  • Orange juice, fresh berries, and mango to improve collagen production.

The next thing a patient will undergo is a workout regimen that is designed to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles located in the knee. It’s important to realize that the first week after surgery will be used as a means of testing your pre-existing strength limits. For most patients, this duration will be used as a period of walking with the assistance of a walker or stroller. This will allow the individual to become active while still having assistance during the walking motion.

Once the individual begins to showcase strength, the therapist will begin incorporating the means of a stationary bike for ten, fifteen and twenty-minute time frames. Using the assistance of a bike provides a low-impact environment in which to stress and fatigue the calves and quadriceps which, in turn, assists with knee mobility.

You Hold the Power of Change

Most patients, yourself included, don’t realize the power that they wield once they leave the hospital. The results you experience and the lifestyle you lead after the surgery is completely reliant on your ability to remain consistent with your therapy. Your body will reap the benefits of the effort you showcase in your home, as well as the clinic during your training regimen. Don’t let surgery control your life, or impact the beautiful experiences you have with your family and friends. Ready yet? Reach out to us at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.


Recovery After Joint Surgery with Physical Therapy
Joint surgery is very common in this day and age, so most physical therapists have extensive experience with helping patients recover from surgeries for ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and other joints. A good physical therapist will be acquainted with your surgery and what brought on the need for it, as well as the most effective treatment for you.

Your treatment may differ greatly from someone else who had a similar surgery, but a physical therapist will deliver a personalized therapy plan that will meet your needs and challenges. However, there are a few things that almost all physical therapy plans after joint surgery will have in common.

Preventing Scar Tissue
One of the major goals your physical therapist will have for you is to minimize the scar tissue within your joint. If you have surgery and don’t move the joint enough afterwards, scar tissue may develop on your joint that will limit your future movement. To counteract this scar tissue, you therapist will probably help you get up and moving again very soon after the actual surgery takes place. In addition to regular appointments, physical therapists also often recommend exercise for you to do at home.

Returning to Daily Activities
Another goal your physical therapist will likely have for you is to return to your normal lifestyle or better. Physical therapists will take into account your previous lifestyle and your future goals. For example, did you formerly golf? Do you do a lot of hiking or walking? Or do you just want to be able to chase your grand children around or work around the yard? Returning too quickly to your previous activities may further injure you, but your therapist knows you’re impatient to get back to the activities you enjoy. He or she can help you set appropriate goals and a safe time line for achieving them.

Pain Reduction
Physical therapists also want to reduce your pain as much as possible. They know you were in pain before the surgery, which is the reason it happened in the first place. By helping you choose appropriate and effective exercises, they can target muscles that will support and protect your problematic joints. Building up the appropriate muscles can also help ease the pain and swelling around your joints after surgery. This will also help you restore a comfortable range of motion.

The weeks following a joint surgery can be difficult for both the patient and his or her family, but physical therapists are well acquainted with the difficulties you will face during these weeks. Their expertise can help you safely restore comfort and motion to your joints. Be sure to talk with your physical therapist about your goals for your lifestyle after recovery and give them feedback on how the treatment is helping (or not helping) you so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Should you have any questions about physical therapy or are planning on having an upcoming joint surgery, call the PT staff at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie at 608-643-3383.

For a senior, one of the most worrisome situations is a traumatic fall when no one is around.  What will they do?  Who will get help?  How will they recover?

Falls in the senior community are quite common and can pose a large problem.  Falls can cause injuries, immobility, loss of independence, and even death.

According to the US Center on Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in three Americans, aged 65+, fall each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes, a older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

Balance Problems Are a Common Cause of Falls in Older Adults

There are a variety of reasons that falls can occur in the elderly.  However, a common problem is balance problems.

Balance disorders, which are more common in adults, can lead to instability with standing or walking.  When the individual loses their balance without anything around to sufficiently stabilize them, the fall can occur.


Balance Therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Fortunately, the physical therapy team at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie has the ability to evaluate and treat balance disorders.  Our team has the special knowledge of working with older adults and their balance problems.

balance therapy sauk city wiIn addition, we have specific equipment that we use to better treat those with balance issues.  We are the only therapy center in our area that now uses the OmniStand Dynamic Balancing System.

This equipment allows the therapists to work with patients in a safe and secure manner.  Once the patient is secured in the equipment, they are then able to work on their balance therapy through bending and performing exercises without the fear of ever falling.  This allows the patient to increase their strength, improve their flexibility, and regain their balance mechanisms within their bodies.

If you’d like to learn more about our balance programs within our physical therapy department, contact us at 608-643-3383.



For many, the thought of requiring surgery is worrisome enough.  How much pain will there be after the surgery?  Will the surgery work?  How long will it take for me to recover?  Who will take care of me?

These, and many other questions ofter flow through your mind as the surgery date comes near.

Obviously, there are many types of surgeries that are offered, depending upon your situation.  Some of these surgeries require little downtime.  You are up and moving quickly and your normal routines aren’t far away.

For others, however, it isn’t that simple.

Those who require more aggressive type of surgeries or have complications with their surgery often take much longer to heal and may require longer term care.  The need for more family help or even a recovery facility may be essential.

An example of this would be someone who has just had a joint replacement surgery.  Today, it’s quite common for people to suffer from knee, hip or shoulder pain; causing them to require a replacement surgery.

Following this surgery, they may need a physical therapy team to work with their physician to allow them to fully recover from the joint replacement surgery that they just underwent.


Fortunately, for those in Sauk Prairie, WI and the surrounding communities, the therapy team at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie is available and ready to help.

The physical therapy staff has the ability to work with your medical team and treat you, using the most current and effective therapy procedures.

We’ll initially evaluate your initial health status and work with you to set goals that help you to make a full recovery after your surgery.

Each and every person is different.  Some patients who come to us are in very good health and are able to move quickly along through the recovery process.  Others, due to no fault of their own, may have some other health issues and take some extra time for recovery.

Each of these scenarios is ok.  We treat each and every person differently, based upon their own specific needs.

For those of you that are requiring an upcoming surgery, a visit to Maplewood of Sauk Prairie can answer many of the questions that you have.  You can see our physical therapy facility for yourself and speak with our therapists.

To speak with us directly or to schedule a time to tour, simply call us at 608-643-3383 today.


A special testimonial from Carol E., who chose Maplewood of Sauk Prairie for her rehabilitation is Sauk Prairie Wisconsin




So when we fooled around for three years and the pain couldn’t handle anymore, my primary doctor finally got a special, what do you call it, contract so that I could go to a different hospital with my insurance that they would agree to pay for.

And Medicare. Okay. When she did that, I thought, well, maybe I could be selfish and ask if I could go to rehab at Maplewood because Mom was here a few years ago. They did a fine job with her. And I wanted it to be close for Roger so he didn’t have so far to drive, okay? It was everything I expected and more, besides. Not just staff, but the patients. I’ve made so many nice people…met them here, and had such a good time talking. It’s really eased my surgery.

And the cooperation here with me and how I’m feeling and concern for my wishes is unbelievable. I’ve never experienced it before anywhere else and it’s great. So basically, I was fortunate enough to be able to go home part of everyday for the last week and spend it with my husband. Then he’d bring me back. My curfew was 8:00. Been a lot of years since I’ve had a curfew but it was fine. And they’ve done a great job. Now, when this one’s healed completely and it’s onto the next one I’m definitely coming back here.

Here at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, we want to provide exceptional care along with fantastic service for our residents.

Jo, from Baraboo Wisconsin, had a broken ankle and decided to work with a physical therapist in our rehabilitation department. She has continually improved and provided a video testimonial that you can watch.

Hello, my name is Josephine Z, I am from Baraboo and I have just spent a month at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie in rehabilitation for a broken ankle, and I am now residing at Maplewood Village. I want to talk about the rehabilitation center. In June, on June 17th, I was trying to do some outside painting on a two-step stool and I took a tumble and broke my ankle in a couple of places. Something that I have never done before in my life. So my last thought for this summer was that I would be in a rehabilitation center, but I want to tell you about Maplewood, it’s an amazing place. The staff is fantastic. They are always there, they are always present. They are helpful, they are cheerful, they are fun. I came to love them very much for their hope for me. and ah, there is never anything that you want that they cannot try to do for you with–with great cheerful spirits.

I am now at Maplewood Village, hoping that I can, as soon as my ankle is ready for rehab, I will be able to travel by wheelchair, back over there for rehabilitation in their therapy department, which is also wonderful. The girls there and the men there are just super, and working with the patients and with the greatest cheer. I don’t know how they do it, they are– all of them when deal with people that are much more disabled and injured than I. I feel like an imposter with just a broken ankle, but it is a great place and I cannot say enough for it. The food is wonderful. The help is great. The surroundings are very pretty and very tastefully kept, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs that kind of service.