Knee Pain Wouldn't Keep Her Grounded

After fear of ending up in a wheelchair from knee pain took over, this local educator decided it was time to seek help and make a change before it was too late.

When Betsy Dalton was just a teenager, she moved to Rhode Island to attend the University of Rhode Island (URI) for college. In the blink of an eye, Betsy had met her husband, finished school, and spent the next 45 years working in the field of special education. 

After years of working as a professor at Rhode Island College, Betsy was able to retire but continue working part-time as an adjunct professor where she spent the past 3 years teaching classes on alternative communication to speech therapy students.

On top of this, Betsy also sits on several professional boards in the field of education and consults with different organizations worldwide. Betsy’s passion for educating others has taken her all over the world including South Africa, Australia, Brunei, and soon, India. But due to increasing knee pain over the years, it became difficult for Betsy to travel and keep up with her other favorite activities.

When she’s not traveling the world, Betsy loves going to concerts, having lunch with her friends, singing in her church choir, kayaking, swimming, gardening, and was an avid skier since the age of 13. Due to the progression of her osteoarthritis, and several knee injuries through the years, Betsy was forced to slow down. Last year she even started using a cane just to get around, and a wheelchair every time she went to the airport, which really took away her freedom. 

After her friend told her that she would end up in a wheelchair if she didn’t do something, Betsy realized it was time to take action. 

She made an appointment with her orthopedist, Dr. Michael Bradly, from South County Orthopedics, and they decided her best option was to have both of her knees replaced. So, she came to Performance’s Richmond clinic for some prehab, had her surgery, then came back to work with Dr. Andrew Horton to get back on her feet. 

After about 3 months' time, Betsy was feeling great. “Working with Performance was wonderful, I got the resources I needed to continue the rest of my treatment at home, and I was feeling confident enough to do so” she shared. Unfortunately, after a few months treating on her own, Betsy noticed that her left knee was not progressing as much as the right, so she went back to physical therapy, working with Dr. Cara Kenyon.  

Within weeks, Betsy was experiencing no pain and finally reaching her goals. “Everyone I have worked with is excellent, and they are getting me back to walking normally again” she shared. “I don’t plan on running any marathons, I’m just happy to be more independent, and able to do what I want to do”. 

Betsy is so excited to be getting on her feet and back to many of her normal activities; she is even thrilled to announce that she just put the finishing touches on her first book! Betsy is working hard, heading back to the pool, actively participating in choir practice, and finally walking without aid. Being able to walk without a cane has opened so many opportunities for Betsy, she doesn’t get tired as easily, she can stay on her feet for longer periods of time, and was even able to take a plane last month and made it through the airport all without a wheelchair.  Now, Betsy looks forward to many independent years ahead.


- Learn more about Dr. Andrew Horton

- Learn more about Dr. Cara Kenyon

- Click here to learn more about what physical therapy is and what it can do to help you. If you are still not sure if physical therapy is what you need request an appointment to speak with a physical therapist about your concerns.

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