As anyone knows who has ever been in one of our clinics, our physical therapists including myself like to chat it up with our patients. I feel like in the 9 years of Athletes’ Training Center being open I have talked with patients on just about every topic…many times over.
Therefore, most things do not tend to catch me off guard. However the other day during a conversation with a patient of mine, I heard something I was not prepared for.
Without going into much detail, I have seen this patient and his wife for multiple problems including the one I am treating him for right now. However, about a year ago he did not come to Athletes’ Training Center after his knee replacement.
At first when I started seeing him recently for this new problem, I didn’t ask him where he went or why he went to a different rehab facility for his care. But for some reason, today seemed like the right day to ask.
His response completely caught me off guard…He said, “my surgeon told me that you guys just do shoulders and that I would be better served at his physical therapy clinic.”
I do not think I have been speechless since my wedding day, but I was at that moment.
My mind was racing. Is this seriously how we are seen in the physician community and in the Omaha community?
Hearing this news, I feel compelled to speak up and destroy this stigma.
But, I NEED your help in doing so. I will get to that part in a minute.
The truth is I do see how this surgeon could have thought all we see is shoulders. The fact is we do see a lot of shoulders (over 800 new cases last year) and our shoulder patients do amazing and that word travels. BUT we see so much more than just shoulders!
Top 10 Things We Treat Besides Shoulders:
1. Knee Replacements
How could I start the list off any differently? After all, it did motivate this blog.
I completely understand that when people (physicians and community) see our name, they see “athlete” and think we treat 10 to 18 year old’s who play sports. Being an athlete is not an age. It’s a state of mind. Our knee replacement patients come because they know they aren’t going to be treated like some recliner loving geriatric. We will challenge and push them to strive for new heights. That’s being an “athlete”
2. Lumbar Fusions
We are seeing a greater number of young adults (<40 years old) having lumbar fusions.
I personally attribute a lot of this trend coming from bad lifting technique and coaching as young athletes which is then continued through into adulthood. Our lumbar fusion patients are getting back to running, exercising and lifting weights with a great understanding of how to properly protect their spine for the rest of their life.
3. Tommy John Injuries and Reconstructions
This is the fastest growing epidemic in baseball throughout our country right now and Omaha is no different.
Right now as I write this, we have 3 surgical reconstructions and 11 sprains hoping not to have surgery. This injury and surgery is pretty specific to athletes who play sports like baseball and we know baseball. On our staff, we have 5 people who played college baseball and 2 more that have consulted for Division 1 and/or professional teams. Having a team with that knowledge and knowing how to apply it makes our Tommy John patients know they will get better.
4. Post-Concussion Syndrome
Concussions have been a hot button topic in sports at all levels but they also happen as frequently in car accidents and job site injuries.
Most people do not realize that prolonged concussion symptoms can be treated in a specific rehabilitation program. This is our fastest growing service and I attribute that to the revolutionary results we have been getting through our program.
5. ACL Reconstructions
ACL injuries have been around and will be around as long as people continue to be active in life or sports.
Coming back from this surgery may be one of the longest and most arduous processes. Having a facility that allows patients to sprint, decelerate, cut, and jump has been immensely helpful in getting our patients back safely.
6. Foot and Ankle Injuries
Jones fractures, ankle sprains, Lisfranc injuries, lateral ligament reconstructions, high ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, and turf toe are injuries we rehabilitate on a regular basis. Having a properly functioning foot and ankle is pivotal for our patients to get back to physical activity, recreational or competitive.
7. Hip pain
Hip pain does not discriminate on age. We have see hip pain in kids as young as 10 years old and as old as someone in their late 60’s.
Helping someone recover from hip pain is an art because of how many things affect the muscles around the hip and the alignment of the hip. I am glad we have a couple hip artists on our team to get these people better quickly.
8. Herniated Discs
Disc herniations are such a pain in the butt. No….literally the pain often shoots into the butt.
Disc herniations happen because the body does not transfer force well through the low back using the core. Knowing how to exercise the core, how to lift weights properly to preserve the discs, and how to manage the risk factors for re-injury is something all of our patients receive.
9. Achilles Tendon Injuries and Repairs
Most people do not injure their Achilles doing sedentary things so why go to a rehabilitation facility that treats mostly sedentary people? Being able to powerfully sprint, cut, and jump are the goals many of our Achilles patients have. We have a belief that we want our patients to perform all of those things under supervision and in a controlled setting to establish success and confidence. Having 3,500 square feet of turf in each facility certainly helps us meet our patient’s needs for those things.
10. Everything Else That Involves A Muscle, Tendon, Bone, Ligament, Exercise, or Sport
I know #10 might sound a little over the top, but the reality is, there is not a diagnosis or a body part we do not rehabilitate and do so to a high functioning level. I want to make sure our physicians and our community knows this without a doubt.
So as I mentioned, I NEED your help. If we have had the pleasure of treating you for anything outside of a shoulder, will you please leave a comment below?
Let’s break this stigma together!
Written By: Travis Manners, PT, SCS, CSCS, President and Founder