A Total Knee Replacement Journey…

Our very own Mark Moeller will undergo a total knee replacement surgery mid-October, over the next six months we will follow Mark along his journey to full recovery.  We know Mark is going to push through this procedure and be back at 100% – living the dream Park City lifestyle we all cheerish.  Good Luck Mark!

My Total Knee Replacement Journal
by: Mark Moeller PT

In some sort of weird sense, I kind of feel like a death row inmate….. waiting for the scheduled date. In my case, the date is set for October 18, 2010. However, my date will bring about a new lease on life for myself and my family. I am talking Total Knee Replacement ( TKR) . Yes,  at only 44 years of age, I am scheduled for my second TKR. My first happened 5 years ago when I was only 39 years old.  I know…quite a bit on the young side to get a knee replaced, but  it was totally necessary. All the competitive mogul skiing  I did when I was in my teens and early twenties  on the Freestyle World Cup Circuit definitely caught up with me.  Anyway….now I have hit the crossroads with my other knee.  Two arthroscopic knee surgeries within the past nine months and I am still having trouble. If I had to, I could probably gut it out another couple of years and not have the surgery. But I definitely would not be able to do all the activities that I enjoy with my family. The simple things seem labored such as playing football and lacrosse in the yard with my children, or even doing a little roller hockey in the driveway with the kids. Add to that youth lacrosse and hockey coaching duties.  Let alone skiing with my family or participating in adult ice hockey which has become my favorite recreational sport.  I felt like my knee really began impacting my quality of life more and more which prompted a return to my knee doctor.  After careful evaluation, we decided to proceed  with Total Knee Replacement surgery. At the same time I will also have my original knee operated on to replace  the “plastic insert” . You have probably heard me say it before,   but even a Ferrari needs a 40,000 mile tune up!

So, I am just waiting for my surgery date set for mid October. I keep having thoughts of self-doubt in my head, wondering if I am making the right decision…although I know I am. Even though I will be making many short-term sacrifices over the next 6 months with regards to my post operative recovery and rehabilitation, I know that I will be building  the foundation for remaining active personally and with my family  ( and belive me… my kids demand it!) I will try to keep you filled in along the way.  Check back periodically for my updates. and a first hand account of what it is like to undergo Total Knee Replacement surgery.

Good News for Salt Lake City Residents!

The Alpine Sports Medicine team is extremely pleased to announce the opening of a new facility in Salt Lake City.  ASM partner, Andrea Terwillegar, had this to say, “In the past we would typically refer patients out of Salt Lake City to a competitor due to the fact they didn’t want to make the drive to Park City, now we can serve Salt Lake City patients in Salt Lake!”

Robert Cervantez and Stephanie Fagin will both be seeing patients in Salt Lake facility for now, who knows what the future holds though.

The location has a large workout room (Gym) with all the amenities you would expect.  Additionally there is a therapy room and plenty of Cardio Equipment.

Robert working with a patient in the gym of the Salt Lake location

If you are interested in coming to see the facility, or would like schedule a time to discuss an injury, please feel free to call as at anytime.

Alpine Sports Medicine
Salt Lake City, Utah
2645 East Parleys Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84109

Robert Cervantez, Certified ASTYM Provider…

Alpine Sports Medicine in Park City, UT is an ASTYM provider for their patients. Here, certified ASTYM provider and physical therapist, Robert Cervantez talks about ASTYM.  Check it out if you’ve never heard of it, and it your too!

Physical Therapy Clinics Feel Recession, Insurance Co’s Tighten Up…

…we’ll work with you the very best we can.

It has been a challenging year in the healthcare field. The health insurance companies have not made it easy for providers to get paid for patient treatments, and almost impossible to keep up with changes in coding, billing procedures and authorizing visits. Copay’s have gone up, reimbursement has not gotten any better and now insurance companies are limiting the number of visits a patient can have depending on the injury.

We at Alpine Sports Medicine have tried to do our best with the current situation and work with each patient to make sure that their treatments are affordable but efficient. We have several patients that for whatever reason have only been able to attend therapy treatments a minimum of two times per week, not the recommended physician treatment plan of 3-4 times per week for 4-6 weeks. Some patients have had to come once or twice and then try to progress to home exercise programs. I know we are not the only PT organizations feeling this across the county.

So how do clinics continue to survive? Here at Alpine Sports Medicine we have been working really hard to educate all our patients with their particular insurance plan benefits, work out payment plans if necessary and most importantly get the patient back on their feet and back to their activity. We encourage each patient to feel like they can call before they start treatment ask questions, find out how much it is going to cost each treatment and understand the process at our facility. Each situation is different and being a locally owned facility with a commitment to quality customer service we are doing everything we can to make sure that each patients experience at our facility will be a positive one!

We look forward to a great summer here at Alpine Sports Medicine while we continue to provide quality physical therapy in the Park City area.

It’s Finally Snowing…Lets Talk Shoveling!

While out this week shoveling snow, and yes – it’s going to keep piling up this week, consider some of these tips and considerations compiled by our very own Mark Moeller.

Winter in Park City means  great skiing  and lots of snow…..usually!  Unfortunately, lots of snow also means lots of  shoveling  as well.  Snow shoveling may actually be a blessing in

Ouch...my back hurts just looking at this image!

disguise ….if performed correctly.  According to the Surgeon Generals Report, 15 minutes of snow shoveling counts as moderate physical activity.  However,  most shoveling is performed incorrectly which can  put lots of stress on your heart  and  low back.  Here at Alpine Sports Medicine, we treat many patients for low back strains and vertebral disc injury resulting from snow shoveling incidents.  Even worse, our local hospitals treat patients for heart attacks  resulting from snow shoveling.  When shoveling snow, consider these Tips if you have any known heart or medical condition:

  • Don’t eat or smoke and avoid caffeinated beverages before going out to shovel snow. These are stimulants and may increase heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • Pace yourself .  Shoveling  snow is strenuous work!
  • Watch out for ice . Spread salt or sand over the area to improve foot traction if it is slippery
  • If you experience pain of any kind while shoveling, stop  immediately and seek assistance.

As with any job, choosing the correct tool an essential step.  Consider these tips when purchasing your next shovel or heading out to the garage.

  • Choose an ergonomic shovel that has a curved handle. These shovels help you keep your back straighter and reduce spinal stress.
  • Consider a plastic blade shovel instead of metal.  Plastic blade shovels are lighter.
  • Smaller may be better! A shovel with a smaller blade will not be able to scoop as much snow, but  each scoop will weigh much less and place less strain on your back.
  • Consider a push shovel.  Some shovels are specifically designed for pushing snow. It is much easier on your back to push snow rather than  lift it.
  • Spray silicone lubricant on the shovel blade to prevent snow from sticking  to it. The heavier your shovel, the more strain on your back!

Lastly, attempting to use proper body mechanics while shoveling will go a long way in helping prevent  low back injuries. Consider these techniques  to help avoid injury:

  • Limber up and stretch prior to shoveling. Warmed up muscles perform much better.
  • Grip the shovel with good distance between your hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart to create a stable base of support
  • Keep your back straighter and bend your knees. Lift with your legs, not your back!
  • Tighten your stomach muscles when lifting the snow.
  • Keep the shovel close to your body…avoid a shovelful of snow with outstretched arms, it just puts more stress on your back.
  • Avoid twisting your body when dumping snow.  Dump the snow in front of you. If you need to dump it to the side, move your feet to turn…don’t just twist!
  • Take smaller scoops of snow… it just weighs less. Especially important  if the snow is wet and heavy.
  • Pace yourself.  A few extra minutes when shoveling the driveway could prevent a few weeks spent in Physical therapy at Alpine Sports Medicine!

Alright, now get out there and shovel the driveway!

ASTYM – Can it help you?

by:  Robert Cervantez (PT/CSCS/ASTYM Certified)

It is a proven form of treatment that has been around for several years with very good outcomes.

What is ASTYM?

ASTYM is a treatment approach used on soft tissue injuries to reduce pain and increase function. It

Working ASTYM on the Forearm.

utilizes specially created instruments to mobilize the soft tissue and stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism for tissue remodeling in patients with degenerative soft tissue, fibrosis or chronic inflammation. This technique is at the fore front of non-invasive treatments for healing.

How does it work?

It is believed that ASTYM works by breaking down the dysfunctional tissue (adhesions, fibrosis, scar, etc.) and stimulating the normal body healing process. This is initiated by controlled microtraumas (i.e. use of instruments) for the restoration, regeneration and remodeling of the fibrosis/scar tissue and collagen. The tissue is influenced by specific stretching, exercise and physical activity. Where conventional treatment requires you to stop all outside physical activity, ASTYM does not. ASTYM wants you remain active in your job or sport to remodel the healing tissue along the lines of stress that it usually encounters on daily basis.

Who can benefit from ASTYM?

All types of individuals can benefit from the ASTYM system: from the everyday worker to the high level athlete. Moreover, any individual experience pain, loss of range of motion, loss of function following surgery or trauma, chronic irritation/tendonitis may benefit from this technique.

How is ASTYM different?

ASTYM is well supported by clinical outcomes and science with regard to its effectiveness. It has been demonstrated to be successful when other approaches have failed. It may decrease the need for surgical intervention. And again, ASTYM allows you to remain physically active while healing while re-establishing function.

Conditions that have responded well to ASTYM

Carpal tunnel, lateral/medial epicondylitis, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, shoulder pain, wrist sprains, chronic ankle sprains, hamstring strains, plantar fascitis, Achilles/patella tendonitis, IT band pain, post surgical scarring, & fibrosis, hip/shoulder bursitis, low back/SI pain and chronic tendinopathies to list a few..

ASTYM can only be administered by a trained and certified ASTYM clinician.  An ASTYM clinician can be located by going to www.ASTYM.com

Tanner Hall Working to Increase Core Strength.

Tanner Hall, Building Core Strength
Tanner Hall, Building Core Strength

For those not in touch with the world of freestyle and big mountain skiing, you’ve maybe never heard the name Tanner Hall.  In the ski circles, Tanner is big time, big time like Rock Star status in the sport – the guy has multiple X-Game gold medals, been voted male skier of the year by Powder Magazine (you get the idea). Unfortunately, he suffered a very serious injury to both of his legs last spring, requiring surgery on both of his knees.

So it goes without saying, it’s pretty cool to have Tanner engaged in his Physical Therapy at Alpine Sports Medicine here in Park City, UT, and the team is excited to get him back on the hill as soon as possible.  His primary therapist is Janna Mann, but Tanner has been working with Jason Morgan (a certified strength and conditioning specialist) on his days off from PT to work on some strengthening of other areas on the his body.  This work outside of his PT on his knee is what we will be discussing in this entry.

As a freestyle skier, Tanner and other athletes are constantly beating on their bodies, working on new tricks and pushing the envelope is what this sport is all about.  The nature of freestyle over the last decade is progression in spinning (and flipping), a lot of off-axis stuff (body parallel to the ground).  “The spinning and twisting falls area big component of what we are addressing with building Tanner’s core strength,” Jason stated, ” we want to give him a stronger posture which will give him more rotational stability.”  Jason went on to explain that the rotational stability and core strength will not only help with control of his body will frantically spinning in

Keeping Tanner Seated Reduces Interference with the Physical Therapy on his Repaired Knee(s)
Keeping Tanner Seated Reduces Interference with the Physical Therapy on his Repaired Knee(s)

the air, but also when there is the dreaded ground impact his body will withstand this better – minimizing potential for injury. As you can imagine, working with the medicine ball and doing these twisting exercises would put a lot of stress on the knees, Therefore Jason is focusing on techniques and exercises that reduce or minimize any weight on the knee(s).

We will continue to update the progress of Tanners rehabilitation, so watch right here as we help get Tanner back out on the snow.  You should check Tanner out at his new website as well, current info, videos etc…. Check it here TANNER