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Avera Medical Minute: Physical therapists provide patient care close to home

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 3:51 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Choosing a physical therapist before surgery is highly recommended by Kris Frerk. She met the team at Avera Physical therapy in Brandon before her knee replacement surgery.

“I wanted to come here Brandon so I didn’t have to drive into Sioux Falls,” said Frerk.

Three days after surgery, she came in for her first appointment.

“There would be something different every day she would throw in some new tricks or some new exercises for us to try,” said Frerk.

Avera Physical Therapist Stephanie Rahn guides many patients back to mobility.

“Joint replacements we have athletes that come in that have maybe had an ACL tear, and we’re helping them rehab that many people with chronic back, neck pain, headaches, we even do women’s health here,” said Rahn.

A digital connection across the entire Avera network helps all caregivers stay informed and help the patient the best way possible.

“We can maybe pull up an X-ray report. The physician can have quick access to our notes,” said Rahn.

Kris is just a short drive away from her home in Garretson.

“You know who wants to have to venture out very far if you’ve got an option right here in town. It’s great for the athletes that are right across the street,” said Rahn.

Quality care, within minutes of home, is important anywhere you live. Avera physical therapist Jeremy Mikkelsen helps patients in Pierre.

“Typically we see patients twice a week,” said Mikkelsen.

While he’s helping, he’s also protecting.

“Wiping down all the time after every patient ourselves we wear masks all the time in the facility and all the patients wear masks as well,” said Mikkelsen.

Every small step is rewarding.

“I think that’s really what we live for as therapists to take that patient who maybe hasn’t been able to do the things that they want to do and it’s impacted their quality of life, and we can help them make those steps to kind of get back to their goals,” said Rahn.

“Make an impact on that one to make them better, that’s worth it,” said Mikkelsen.

“Really fun to see how much better everybody feels,” said Rahn.

For this snowbird, feeling better means more fun.

“I’m so excited to go back now, this year to be able to walk the full beach as far as I want to go, and not have my knee hurt,” said Frerk.

Kris can make plans, knowing that pain won’t be a part of her future.

“Now I’ve got freedom. Yes, it’s gonna be so much fun. Yes, we’re anxious, and I have four active grandchildren so that too is a bonus,” said Frerk.

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