Our Orthopedic Surgeon Explains how Athletic Therapists Revolutionized his Practice

It’s Athletic Therapy Month and it’s about time that I talk about the revolution athletic therapists have brought about in my practice. Many patients and doctors haven’t had the chance to work with an athletic therapist in managing patients with bone, joint and muscle issues.  I’m here to tell you you’re missing out on a valuable team member in recovery from injury and the journey to reach your peak performance.

Athletic therapists partner with me in my clinic to make sure all angles of rehabilitation are covered.  Almost all orthopedic patients can benefit from properly formulated exercise plans and appropriate manual therapy.  At Acumen Clinic, the athletic therapy team from our Acumen Reconditioning group looks at prior exercise plans and assesses patients to make sure the plan makes sense.  As an orthopedic surgeon, I get a lot of extra information from early exercise responses to help me diagnose and propose treatment, and the opinion of the athletic therapists I work with influences me in my evaluation.  That leads to a laser-focused diagnosis.

In treatment sessions, many patients might not notice a difference between physiotherapy and athletic therapy.  Now I know that you should not see much difference between a good physiotherapist and a good athletic therapist, because either will provide active, exercise-based plans to treat an injury or provide help with recovery after surgery.

Where LeeAnne Gullett and Cayla Galarneau have revolutionized my surgical practice is in the communication between the circle of care.  Acumen Clinic has always focused on being a resource to other providers and Cayla and LeeAnne have taken on that role with amazing results.  Both call physios and chiropractors that treat our patients after surgery.  They make sure that there are no wires crossed on the proper progression of recovery and they answer any questions so that our patients from all over western Canada get the care they need after surgeries.  I see the difference every time I follow up with a patient and marvel at the return of range of motion and reduction in post-surgery pain.

Athletic therapists are an essential part of the rehabilitation ecosystem.  If you’re injured or recovering from surgery, they may be a guide on your path to achieving your health goals.

– Dr. Jesse Slade Shantz, Orthopedic Surgeon

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