In honor of October being National PT Month, AlterG® celebrates the physical therapists who improve the lives of their patients by helping them recover better and faster, avoid pain medication or surgery, or simply live healthier and age better. While AlterG only selects one patient story about a therapist each year as its contest winner, hundreds of nominations are received from patients sharing their personal experience with the transformative power of physical therapy. In the spirit of inspiring health and recovery, we share one of those stories here.
Hopkinton & Ashland Physical Therapy
Patient: Axel R.
While playing slow-pitch coed softball I suffered a knee injury. I had a complete rupture of the ACL and lost stability. I fell to the ground so hard that it pinched a nerve in several spots. Two weeks later I had surgery to have two permanent screws attached to the head of the fibula and the hamstrings, two pins to provide anchor points for the patella tendon and a cadaver ACL. Just two weeks after the first surgery I had a second in an attempt to minimize the nerve damage. The neurosurgeon discovered that the nerve was pinched and not severed as we originally thought.
Now it was on to rehabilitation. Four weeks after starting physical therapy at Ashland Physical Therapy, I was referred to their partner facility, Hopkinton Physical Therapy, so I could use the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®. My experience at Hopkinton and with the AlterG was phenomenal. I walked again for the first time without any pain, and the team at Hopkinton Physical Therapy renewed my motivation to push forward. The entire staff worked super hard to push me to do more and more.
I spent close to six months in therapy, not because I was not making progress but because the nerve took longer than expected to recover. I could not feel my leg from the knee down, so it was a challenge to know how my foot was striking the ground. I won’t deny that there were days in which a few tears rolled down my face, but as the staff members always said, “That is pain leaving the body.” They were right.
I am now able to ride my mountain bike up to 15 miles. I can walk without any help or a cane. I am playing golf and hitting the ball 300 yards, as far as I was able to hit before the injury. I now can feel most of my leg, and I can go up and down stairs without any problems. I am able to weight train and work out, using an elliptical machine for three to five miles.
My best memories of therapy are tied to the AlterG and the sense of freedom it provided; I felt I could walk again. I was able to put almost all my weight on to the leg much faster than if I had not had the opportunity to use the Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
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