Sonja Fisk, physical therapist assistant, assists James Brown on the NuStep® machine.

Before his hip replacement, James Brown would walk into the orthopedist’s office on a rollator with his back arched and looking down.


On his most recent visit, Brown was standing upright and looking forward.


Two things made the difference for this retired farmer, builder and auto mechanic: hip surgery by local expert Dr. Nicholas Grimaldi and rehabilitation at The Heritage Center in Morristown, Tennessee.


Brown came to The Heritage Center on May 6, 2017. At that time, he needed extensive assistance with bathing and getting dressed, as well as slightly less assistance with balancing while sitting down. He needed moderate assistance to transfer from one surface to another and some assistance to walk.


Physical and occupational therapists did a variety of exercises with Brown, from leg exercises while he was lying down to sitting exercises for his arms, legs and torso on the NuStep® machine to standing exercises with his walker. They also trained him on balance and used the entire facility (including the lawn outside) to help him practice walking on different surfaces. Of course, education on safety followed each part of the process.


“When Sonja Fisk, physical therapist assistant, accompanied Mr. Brown to one of his orthopedic appointments, Dr. Grimaldi and his staff were amazed at how well Mr. Brown was progressing,” said Adrienne Surber, business development director. “They all stood and clapped for him.”


On May 24, Brown returned home independent in his mobility and only requiring a small amount of supervision with his self-care tasks at home.