Road to recovery: Physical therapy builds strength, boosts confidence
by Catherine Duncan
For an athlete recuperating from an injury, an elder suffering from arthritis pain, or anyone needing physical therapy, UT Medicine San Antonio offers state-of-the-art out-patient physical therapy services as a key component of comprehensive patient care and recovery. The clinic treats a variety of conditions including sports-related injuries, general orthopaedic problems, neurological disorders, women’s health and geriatrics issues, and post-surgical cases.
"Some of San Antonio’s elite physical therapists practice right here in our clinic," said Chad Hodges, PT, FAAOMPT, who is trained in advanced manual-manipulation techniques and orthopaedics. A graduate of the UT Health Science Center’s physical therapy (PT) program, Hodges is a clinical faculty member and currently enrolled in the university’s inaugural Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy program (t-DPT).
"Combined, our four therapists have more than 70 years of clinical practice experience," he said. "And each of our PTs has completed post-graduate specialization training."
|Care that heals, inspires
(Photo right) Physical therapist Chad Hodges engages patient Ashley Garza in exercises to stregthen her core, quadriceps and lower extremities. Garza is a junior at John F. Kennedy High School.
During the first scrimmage of the basketball season against Robert G. Cole High School this past winter, Garza, 16, stole the ball from an opponent and as she passed it to a teammate, she felt a pop and intense pain in her left knee. Garza tore her ACL and had to be carried off the court. Matthew Murray, M.D., performed surgery to repair her injury on Dec. 4, 2012 and the day after, Garza began an intense six-month course of physical therapy at the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC).
Garza’s mother, Rosita Dominguez, said the care her daughter received at the MARC is outstanding and convenient. "Ashley has gotten everything she needs right here," Dominguez said. "She says she has more muscle and strength, thanks to the physical therapists. And they boosted her confidence. In the beginning, she was scared to take a step. Now she’s ready to play her other favorite sport - volleyball. And she’s talking about plans to study at the Health Science Center in the future to become an anesthesiologist. Not only did they get her back on her two feet, they’ve inspired her to dream bigger. I am so grateful."
Physical therapist Chad Hodges engages patient Ashley Garza in core strengthening exercises.
UT Medicine Physical Therapy Services staff includes: Sheri Fossler, PT, center director, who is an orthopaedic certified specialist (OCS); Mike Geelhoed, PT, OCS, who is manual therapy certified (MTC) and an associate professor in the Health Science Center’s PT program; and Smita Mehta who specializes in women’s health issues.
Physical therapists are graduate-level trained health care providers who specialize in the neuro-musculoskeletal system. They use various techniques to reduce pain, restore function and promote mobility.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 210-450-9694. The clinic is located on the third floor of the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), 8300 Floyd Curl Drive.
Natalie Gutierrez contributed to this story.
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