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Avera Medical Minute: Physical therapy close to home benefits patients

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:07 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Getting back on your feet can take a team effort. Michael Van Zee relied on his surgeon and physical therapist to restore his mobility after he hyperextended his knee. He decided on surgery, rather than other options.

“So I wanted to because the consequences were possibly having a knee replaced earlier in life or a lot of arthritis. So I felt that that was a good decision and I’m glad I did it,” said Van Zee.

There were many injuries to repair. Avera Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Patrick O’Brien performed the five and a half hour surgery.

“His surgery is pretty involved we had to look to reconstruct both of the ligaments within the knee both the ACL as well as posterolateral corner, and then we had to repair as meniscus injuries as well,” said Dr. O’Brien.

After six weeks of recovery, he couldn’t wait for physical therapy, which was just a few minutes away in Rock Valley. Avera/Hegg Physical Therapist Steven Blom guided his progress.

“So we get to see a variety of patients from, you know people in the nursing home up to the hospital setting. Over go even go into their homes work for them and also the outpatient setting where there are patients come to us,” said Blom.

They gradually worked from a range of motion to jumping back into life.

“Such as like hi steps as if he was going to have to climb into some higher machinery or walk on some uneven surfaces at times so that’s the type of stuff, we’ll do in rehabilitation to challenge him in here before he has to do it all on his own, back at his job,” said Blom.

Having therapy close to home prevents a long drive, which could cause problems.

“As swelling does increase in certain bodies when you’re stuck in a certain position so just the fact that it’s right local, only makes it better for the patient,” said Blom.

Follow up appointments in Sioux Falls show just how well Michael is doing.

“Restored his motion very well. He had really good stability feeling on his knee with exam, and really is had minimal pain and is back to doing like his normal functional activities that he was wanting to do again. Feeling like the knee is good and sturdy and pain-free,” said O’Brien.

“Besides the surgery, I think this is a great place to get wonderful equipment, the people here are phenomenal, friendly smiles when you can see him behind the mask. But, and Stephen did a wonderful job in therapy, so kudos to him,” said Van Zee.

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