Category Archives: Rehabilitation

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Detroit Skating Club | Olympic Figure Skaters and Beaumont Sports Therapy

by Alex Patterson Tichy, Beaumont physical therapist, DPT, Detroit Skating Club

Detroit Skating ClubIf you’ve been watching any of the figure skating events in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, you’ve probably heard the announcers mention the Detroit Skating Club on more than a handful of occasions. The Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is home to 13 Olympic figure skaters from five different nations that are currently competing at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Within the Detroit Skating Club, Beaumont has a sports therapy clinic that has provided care to these Olympic athletes in their preparation for the Olympic Games. Elite level figure skaters train on average five hours per day, six days per week, year round. The intense training regimen combined with the inherent demands of the sport on the athlete’s body often lead to overuse injuries. As a Beaumont physical therapist, I partner with a certified athletic trainer, Jennifer Taylor,  to help these athletes return to the ice as quickly as possible.

The jumps, spins, footwork and partnering elements performed by figure skaters require a high degree of precision. As a result, alterations in technique secondary to injury and lost training can be detrimental to the athlete. Our job is to quickly assess the skater’s injury, determine what aspect of training may be the cause of the injury and create a back to sport plan that will allow the skater to return to the ice as quickly as possible. Treatment of the Olympic athlete involves ongoing communication between the therapist and the skater so that rehab techniques facilitate the back to sport process. We often need to develop padding systems to relieve pressure from the skating boots or find sports tapping methods to relieve pain that do not restrict movement or interfere with the skater’s ability to perform elements on the ice.

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Dancing to Make a Difference | Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan

by Lauren Sofen, PT,  pediatric physical therapist, Beaumont Children’s Hospital


Showcasing my dance moves at     DMUM 2013.

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan (DMUM) is the largest student organization on campus, raising funds and awareness for pediatric rehabilitation.

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan improves the quality of life for children with disabilities by:

  • developing relationships between college students and participating families
  • raising funds in a creative and energetic manner to support pediatric rehabilitation programs
  • educating the campus and community about our cause

DMUM has been a staple funding source to the Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont Children’s Hospital for the past 16 years and is in fact one of the reasons I work at Beaumont today. I joined the Beaumont team in September as a pediatric physical therapist, after a decade away from metro Detroit. During my time away I worked in some of the leading hospitals in the world, in a variety of settings including completing a pediatric residency in Philadelphia, but there was always something missing…

I was working with top physicians, the latest technology and an international population of patients, but I was missing the aspect of my job that got me passionate about PT in the first place – there were no programs to improve kids’ skills and well-being outside of the clinic atmosphere. DMUM provides funding for equipment and a wide variety of special therapeutic programs that go on throughout the year at a significantly discounted rate for families. This discounted rate is most notable because these programs are supplementary and not covered by insurance.

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ACL injury sidelines Lindsey Vonn from Sochi Olympics

by James Bicos, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist; voted Top 10 Sports Medicine Surgeons by Sports Illustrated for cartilage issues

(Photo via Franck Fife/Getty Images)

(Photo via Franck Fife/Getty Images)

In the sports world, we had heartbreaking news today. Lindsey Vonn will not be able to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Vonn, age 29, is one of the most successful skiers in U.S. Olympic history and a winner of four overall World Cup championships. She sustained a partial tear to her already reconstructed ACL in November 2013 and although physicians said that she may be able to heal the injury and compete in the Olympics in Sochi this year, she did not feel that her knee was stable enough to compete.

Lindsey is very familiar with knee injuries. In 2007, she suffered a partial tear to her ACL of the same knee she injured now. At that time, it was treated without surgery and she went on to compete at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Unfortunately, in February of this year, she suffered a horrific accident at the World Championships in Austria. That is where she completely tore her ACL, her MCL and she had a tibial fracture. She underwent immediate surgery and rehabbed to the point of trying to make a run for the 2014 Olympic Games. Then the unimaginable happened, she tore her ACL again, just 9 months after the surgery that was supposed to fix her enough to get a gold at the Olympics.

Three thoughts come to mind: Bad Luck, Olympic Pride, and She Will Be Back!

Bad Luck

Over 100,000 ACL reconstructions are done each year. And as with any surgery, there are a certain number that just don’t heal, are not strong enough to get back to sport, or because of other factors we don’t understand, certain people are just prone to retearing the ligament.

In the case of Lindsey Vonn, her surgeon is one of the best around, so how could this happen? There is a known retear rate of ACL reconstructions. No matter how good you are, a few will tear again. Studies have shown that rate is anywhere from 3 – 6 percent.  In addition, there was a tight timeline. The level of sport that Lindsey needed to get back to pushes the limits of healing and ACL reconstruction repair techniques. I believe that if Lindsey had more time to recover from the first injury that she would not be in this position. The same thoughts also go for her need for the knee to hold up to going 80 MPH down a mountain.

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Holiday gifts to promote childhood speech and language development

by Kristina Frimmel, pediatric speech pathology supervisor, Beaumont Children’s Hospital

The holidays are here!  And with them comes the barrage of toy catalogs in the mailbox.

beau_giftsThere are many great gifts for kids out there that will captivate your little ones for hours and hours while providing the added benefit of promoting healthy childhood speech and language development along with other important childhood skills. As you start checking things off that holiday gift list, consider the following tips from the Speech and Language Pathology Center at Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

In general, when picking out toys for your child look for gifts that introduce your toddler to new concepts, like cause and effect (ball poppers, wind-up toys, hammer toys, etc.) or toys with different textures (soft vs. hard, fuzzy, squishy).

As you browse online or travel through the aisles, think too about how you will encourage your child to interact with the toys. This may be the greatest opportunity for parents to turn a toy into driver of healthy speech and language development. For example, look for:

  • ways to increase verbal expressive skills. For example, your child must say “go” to make the car go down the ramp or must say “more” to get the bunny to hop.
  • ways to increase comprehension skills. Ask your child to respond to requests or questions about the toy. For example: give me the big car, show me eat, touch the phone, what is the baby doing?
  • ways to increase functional play skills: Help your child learn about the world around us by using common objects and playing appropriately with each item (i.e. talk on phone, make the car drive).

Here are a few holiday gift ideas that lend themselves particularly well to positive childhood language and comprehension skills development: Continue reading

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Hannah’s Story | Beaumont Children’s Rehabilitation

by Sarah Thiel, pediatric speech and language pathologist, Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Seeing a child walk, communicate or even eat when they previously couldn’t is a wonderful experience. That’s why we smile when our patients come through the door. We’ve had the honor of working with Hannah Smith and her family at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Center for Children’s Rehabilitation for more than a year now.

Hannah and occupational therapist Megan Meloche are all smiles during a recent therapy session as they work to overcome symptoms related to dysphagia, a swallowing disorder.

Hannah and occupational therapist Megan Meloche are all smiles during a recent therapy session as they work to overcome symptoms related to dysphagia, a swallowing disorder.

Hannah is a beautiful 6-year-old girl with a bright smile of her own. She’s incredibly friendly and waves to everyone she sees in our department, every single time she comes in.  She lights up our treatment sessions with her sweet attitude and willingness to participate wholeheartedly in every activity.

The progress Hannah has made since we first met her is incredible. She’s worked with Beaumont Children’s Hospital pediatric rehabilitation specialists in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy over the past year.

When she began therapy for dysphagia, a pediatric feeding and swallowing disorder, Hannah was able to eat only pureed foods. She received the majority of her nutrients through tube-feeding.  Now, she is actively taking bites of a variety of  foods, and is willing to try new things every week.

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The Facts About Groin Tear Surgery

by Peter Perakis, M.D., Acute Care Surgeon, Beaumont Hospital, Troy

(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

The World Series has ended, the MLB season is over and Detroit Tigers fans are still getting over a tough loss to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. While there were many factors that contributed to the series loss, one of the spotlights was on the injury of MVP third-baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Even though Cabrera was playing through his injury for the past few months, as soon as the Tigers’ season ended, surgery to repair muscles in his groin was scheduled.

How common are groin tears?

Groin pain is a common complaint and may result from a variety of causes, including osteitis pubis, fractures, arthritis, bursitis, hernias, muscular pain, tendonitis, tearing or avulsion of a tendon or ligament, urologic conditions, connective tissue diseases and nerve pain. The anatomy of the region is fairly complex, so a team approach to groin injuries is optimal and may require coordinated input from a sports physician, general surgeon, urologist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, gynecologist, radiologist and physical medicine and rehab specialist.

What causes groin tears?

A groin tear can be triggered by quick movements, twisting, turning, sprinting, bending forward, kicking and performing sit-ups all of which are common movements in sports such as baseball, soccer, hockey and football. Avoiding overuse of the thigh and lower abdominal muscles may prevent weakness or tear.

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Beaumont Doctor Climbs Mount Olympus after Cardiac Rehab

Dr. Alexander climbingby Thomas J. Alexander, M.D., Beaumont gastroenterologist and cardiac rehabilitation patient

What’s your Olympus?

Beaumont’s cardiac rehabilitation program is staffed by highly-trained nurses and physiologists who are attuned to the special needs of the cardiac patient. I say this not just because I work at Beaumont, but I was a patient there as well. The degree of medical supervision is quite unlike what one commonly finds at most local health clubs. Staying within your heart rate and perceived exertion ranges is the mantra we all learn. We’re also educated regarding potential adverse signs and symptoms – and the need to decrease exercise intensity when these occur. Our resting and exercise vital signs and heart rhythms are periodically monitored, giving us a measure of reassurance. A defibrillator and crash cart are also available for rare emergencies that may occur. Strength and balance training are emphasized in the Advanced Training program; staff taught me how to progress from moderate to vigorous exercise, sensibly and safely.

My initial goal in cardiac rehab was to prevent another cardiac “event,” and there is plenty of scientific evidence to support this notion. As I progressed, I found that I was able to do things I previously could not have done, even decades earlier. Hey, muscle is probably the only organ that one can get to regenerate. Soon, I set my sights even higher.

I decided to climb Mount Olympus in Greece.

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Physical therapy patient says thank you with magic

by Rik Cryderman, Supervisor, Pastoral Care, Beaumont Hospital, Troy

It was pure magic when Kathy Oppedisano, a retired Utica elementary school teacher, celebrated the completion of her rehabilitation at Beaumont Hospital, Troy by entertaining staff and patients with her amazing talents – as a magician.

With slight of hand, this modern-day Merlin made candy appear in an empty bowl, transformed the blank pages of a coloring book into technicolor images and turned a few scarves and stars into Old Glory.

Kathy wowed the audience and said thank you for her stay. The only trick the staff didn’t want her to perform was to disappear! It was evident why she was such a popular teacher. On this day, children young and old found wonder in her magic.

Three-year-old’s speech progress melts mom’s heart

Troy is a charming and happy 3-year-old with an infectious laugh. His bright eyes and incredible attitude can light up a room. Until recently though, something was missing from the friendly and energetic little boy’s life – words.

Troy’s inability to speak made it very difficult for him to do a number of things, including making friends. His mother shares the following story:

Other kids Troy’s age would attempt to play with him, and gosh did he ever want to play. When they would ask him his name or if he wanted to play, Troy wouldn’t respond. Too many times I heard, “Oh, he’s just a baby.” The other kids would then run off thinking he was too young to play with them. Troy would stand to the side and quietly watch the other kids, unsure of how to involve himself. He looked so sad! After a while he would just come sit with me and cuddle.  It broke my heart to see him left out.

Troy with Mehreen, one of his rehab peeps.

Troy poses with Mehreen Kakwan his Beaumont speech pathologist.

In April, Troy’s mother brought him to Beaumont Children’s Hospital for evaluation by the experts in our Pediatric Speech and Language Pathology department. He was diagnosed with severe verbal apraxia – an inability to consistently coordinate the parts of the mouth involved in speech (lips, tongue and lower jaw) to create words and sounds. Troy was also diagnosed with a severe expressive language delay and a moderate receptive language delay.

With financial assistance provided through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Lions Clubs of Southeast Michigan, Troy began treatment in June. Much of the treatment features a play-based approach that allows Troy to incorporate toys he chooses himself into each session. His favorites so far have been the doll house and barn.

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