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Let’s Move QC: Knee replacement keeps Moline traveler a step ahead

MOLINE , Illinois -- Linda Meadors' photos are like a living history of her world travels.

The Group Tour Coordinator at Blue Horizon Travel has tallied visits to 75 countries, but knee pain nearly forced her to unpack for good.

"If you're in pain, that's going to slow you down," she said.  "It's only going to get worse."

That realization was backed up with an injury in Germany.  Clearing her schedule for four months, Linda prepared for total knee replacement surgery.

"When I saw my own X-ray, and I saw the bone on bone, that was the reality check," she continued.

Dr. Peter Rink, ORA Orthopedics, performed the surgery in March 2016.

"She had tried these other treatments," he said. "She's a very active lady, and she was ready to have her surgery."

Post-operation, that's when the work really begins for the patient.  It's truly a team approach.

"The first few days are always a little difficult with pain relief, and then there's a lot of physical therapy," Dr. Rink continued. "There's  a lot of rehab that goes into it. Linda was a hard worker, so that's what really paid off for her."

"You do take baby steps," Linda said.

Working with physical therapist Holly Wilkinson three times a week at Rock Valley Physical Therapy and exercising on her own.

"I was determined to follow the instructions and really work myself hard because that's what it's all about," Linda said.

Physical therapy restored her strength and agility.  Goal-setting inspired an ambitious dream to climb the Inca Trail in Peru.

"Once you get going, there's no turning back," she said.  "You have to climb up the mountain, and then you climb back into Machu Picchu."

Barely a year after surgery, mission accomplished.

"Oh, my gosh," she continued.  "The experience was amazing."

"There's always some humbling spots," Dr. Rink said. "I think it's the attitude of knowing how to get over it and keep working, but Linda was great with all of it."

And two years after surgery, the workouts continue, along with the trips.  Right now, she's guiding an excursion in Southeast Asia.

"The world is such an amazing place that when I'm feeling this good, and as active as I am, I'm going to keep up," she concluded.

For this positive thinker, there's no reason to slow down.