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In Celebration of Our Patient’s Success. The Art of Listening.

30 years in retail service has taken its toll on Mark VanCuren’s body. Two years ago he underwent a meniscetomy on his left knee. That was followed by successful physical therapy rehabilitation with Scott Forfinski, MPT. In December, his right knee began to bother him.

“When I started getting pain on the other side, it felt different and I was getting hip pain. I really didn’t know what was causing it. I went back to the guy that did my knee surgery and he said to get therapy on my knee, because that’s what appeared to be wrong. If that didn’t work, we’d see about doing surgery.”

Mark returned to HealthQuest with his prescription for physical therapy on his knee.”

“I had therapy after the surgery here. Scott was my therapist then and that’s why I came back here. On my first visit we sat and talked for almost an hour before he did anything; trying to figure out what was going on.”

Scott Forfinski, MPT explains, “Mark reported no specific trauma to his right knee, but was having some soreness in his hip and low back that had been an issue for some time. A physical exam revealed nothing to implicate the knee as the source of Mark’s pain. My evaluation then turned to the spine, which began to show a relationship to his knee pain.”

“I told Scott I was having some sharp pains that ran up and down my whole leg. I had been having hip pain for quite a while. You know, as you get older, you start getting aches and pains. Scott had me do some stretches and addressed my posture. I was surprised at how fast we could see a certain amount of results right away; that’s how we knew this was actually a back problem.”

Unfortunately things got worse before they got better. While awaiting a prescription for physical therapy on his back, Mark’s symptoms intensified. “I could not even walk on the leg at one point. I was on crutches.”

Finally, prescription in hand, Mark returned to HealthQuest for physical therapy on his back. Scott outlines his diagnosis, treatment and results: “Mark presented with lumbar radiculopathy, creating symptoms from his low back and down his right leg. We applied electrical stimulation early on for pain relief. Treatment consisted of manual traction, lumbar extension exercises and postural re-education. Within four visits his right knee pain decreased substantially and he was discharged after only six (visits). His home program incorporates lumbar extension and core strength exercises.”

Discharged from therapy, Mark is confident he has the tools to address his symptoms effectively. “Since I left (HealthQuest), I’ve done my back exercises and stretches, in fact I did them at the gym this morning. Now, I know how to recognize the problem and deal with it when I feel it coming on. Then, if I do strain my back, I know how to correct it.”

Mark shares his insights about physical therapy:

“It’s more than just knowing the business, knowing the body; you’ve got to know how to read the person, and to me that’s very important. It’s a communication thing, to find out what’s actually going on. Scott really listened and always went out of his way to make himself available. Also, as a patient, you need to communicate effectively and let the therapist know what’s going on. You have to cooperate with the therapist. If he wants you to do certain things, you’ve got to be committed to doing it. It’s not going to work if you only do it once a week.”

Mark shares his personal experience:

“I’ve worked in service my whole life and maybe Scott leads the way (at HealthQuest in Rochester), because the whole staff here is friendly. I noticed right away that people knew my name when I came in. Scott is very good with the young people that work here and obviously whatever he does rubs off on them. He is an exemplary person and if he was my employee, I’d do everything to keep that guy here.”

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Written by Brooks Juneau

June 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm

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