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In Celebration of Our Patient’s Success: A Time To Trust

When it comes to your health, finding professionals you can trust may seem like a daunting task. However, when pain interfered with her livelihood, Debbie Melchiorre had no other choice.

“I’m an Operations Manager at TJMaxx and I have a very busy life. I have two sons and a grandson. The knee took over; it slowed me down so much. I used to get my errands done on my lunch hour and it got to the point where I’d just sit in my car. Even sitting, I had pain. Everything just revolved around the knee. One day a week I’d take my mom for lunch, I mean, I had my whole routine. Everything stopped. On my days off, I just sat at home and put the leg up, but it still hurt.”

Unsure what to do, Debbie called her son, Jason, who underwent ACL reconstruction and subsequent physical therapy treatment. Jason encouraged her to see his orthopedic surgeon for a consult.

“The doctor did a scope and right after surgery they came out and told my husband it was a lot worse than they thought. I’d probably have to get a knee replacement.”

However, Debbie’s doctor prescribed physical therapy following the arthroscopic chondroplasty to rehab her knee. She contacted HealthQuest Physical Therapy in Clinton Township.

“I knew I wanted to go to HealthQuest and see Ryan (Vinson). He was my son’s therapist; and Jason is totally back to normal. So, I started therapy and Ryan worked with me. He gave me so much direction, far exceeding my expectations. He’s just always concerned. Before I came here, I didn’t know how to tighten my quads; to be honest, I didn’t even know what a quad was. They never made me feel ignorant. I just kept learning and learning. They all get along so nice here; everything’s so up, it’s real clean and you just feel very comfortable. All of the aids are very nice. You know, sometimes you go to the doctor and wonder, do they really know who I am? Here, they all know my name and I know theirs.”

While Debbie was learning a great deal and enjoying the treatment experience, her knee pain never subsided. Ryan Vinson, MPT outlines Debbie’s case: “Debbie’s post-op prognosis was poor, secondary to the degree of damage to the cartilage on the weight bearing surfaces of her right knee. After regaining most of her strength and range of motion, her pain was not well controlled. A total knee replacement seemed to be her next logical treatment choice.”

“I’m 52 years old. I told Ryan, I am not getting a knee replacement. Just fix this knee for five years.” Ultimately, Debbie’s pain became more than even she could bear. Debbie agreed to undergo knee replacement surgery and opted to return to HealthQuest for post- operative rehabilitation.

“Even when I came the first day, five days after my surgery, it wasn’t that bad because I already knew how to do the exercises. It helped a lot that I came the two weeks before. I would recommend that to anyone just to boost your confidence,”

“Debbie no longer walks with pain,“ Ryan explains. “She returned to work earlier than expected, with considerable gains in strength, range of motion and functional capacity.”

“I don’t know if you realize how this has changed my life. It’s like I got a second chance. I’m happy again and I’m so grateful. We just had my grandson’s second birthday and I could climb into the little train we rented. Now I can play and run around with him.” Debbie knows her experience has already inspired friends and fellow patients. She welcomed the opportunity to share what she considers the most important thing she learned.

“I realized I had to trust someone, because I was not getting a knee replacement. I’ve had pain in my life, but I’ve always felt I could overcome it; I could fix it myself. So I had to learn to take some direction from another person. Anything I asked Ryan, it was never too much. He agreed to look at and explain my x-rays and MRI. He didn’t have to do that. He gently helped me understand why a knee replacement was probably inevitable. He was very honest. You just don’t meet many people like that.”


This information was provided by HealthQuest Physical Therapy and Wellness Centers: Return to Work, Return to Life, Return to Play.  To learn more about HealthQuest Physical Therapy services and how we can help you recover from an on-the-job injury, regain your independence and get back to living your life, or return to the physical activities you love visit our website at

8 Convenient Locations
Oakland County, Michigan Facilities
Rochester Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, Clawson/Troy

Macomb County, Michigan Facilities
Romeo, Shelby Township, Clinton Township, and Macomb Township
Call now for your Free Physical Therapy Consultation


Written by Brooks Juneau

August 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm

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