Testimonials: Physical Therapy

Alan Gunnerson – Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery

Image of Mr. GunnersonMy name is Alan Gunnerson. I am a 57-year old male that spent several years with increased lower back pain, and over the past two years, extending down my left buttocks and leg to my left foot. I found myself only able to sit for a short period and then had to stand, again, only for a short period. I described myself as a yo-yo; there was no comfortable position. Come to find out that I had spinal disk compression between L4 and L5 and spinal stenosis within the disk area that was irritating my sciatic nerve.

Because I also have an older pacemaker—one that is not MRI compatible—the only scanning I had completed was an initial PET/CT, a follow-up CT scan, and an x-ray before my lumbar operation.

After two 6-week physical therapy sessions that made my pain worse, except for the traction table, and several lumbar epidurals—four to be specific—and an additional cortisone shot on my left piriformis muscle area, I was sent to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson to evaluate my condition. Before seeing Dr. Carlson, I even attended a lecture that described spinal cord stimulation.

Dr. Carlson diagnosed that I had disk compression between L4 and L5 and spinal stenosis that was causing irritation of my sciatic nerve and the only treatment left was to perform a lumbar laminectomy to relieve my sciatic nerve pain.

I had my lumbar laminectomy—a decompression procedure—at the Mary Immaculate Surgical Center on January 16th, 2019. Dr. Carlson removed roughly half of my lamina and bone spurs that were causing the compression of my sciatic nerve. It did not take long for me to feel relief—relief of pain that I had not felt for almost two years.

I was able to go back to work part-time in a week and full-time in two weeks; although with lifting restrictions. At the time of writing this testimonial, I am seven weeks out from my surgery and am no longer on the 20-pound lifting restriction. I am starting physical therapy shortly to strengthen my lower back and core.

Every person’s situation is different, and for me, although I did not want to have another surgical procedure, the lumbar laminectomy worked. For someone that may have similar circumstances, I would recommend talking with your doctor about this type of procedure.

Alan Gunnerson

Kyle Haymes – Physical Therapy After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Image of Dr. Jamie SwaleI had a lumbar spinal fusion surgery in August 2018 at OSC with Dr. Jeffrey Carlson. He referred me to OSC Physical Therapy with Dr. Jamie Swale and Victoria Skay. These women were great. They listened to my concerns and goals as I wanted to get back to my active lifestyle quickly. The balance between being careful but still challenging was perfect and they got me back to running and swinging a golf club within 6 weeks.

I am five months post-surgery and still using the stretches and exercises they shared with me during my PT. I could not have been more pleased with the entire OSC staff and especially Jamie and Victoria.

Kyle Haymes

Kyle Haymes – Multi-level Lumbar Spine Fusion Surgery

I had chronic back pain due to a herniated disk for 16 years due to an injury as a teen. Fortunately, for the longest time, I was able to manage the pain with physical therapy and chiropractic care. I live a very active lifestyle that includes distance running, golf, boxing, weightlifting and playing with my two energy-filled Australian Shepherd dogs.

In early 2018, the pain that I had felt time and time again was suddenly much worse. I attempted the forms of treatment that had previously demonstrated positive results, but to no avail. I had seen a chiropractor for a couple of months, but I was not getting the results that I was hoping for. After spending each day and night on my living room floor for three months, I sought care from an Orthopedic doctor in town. He was great! We tried a spinal injection in hopes that it would prevent a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, it was not successful. He was wonderful and referred me to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson at OSC, as he no longer performs spinal surgeries.

The first time that I met Dr. Carlson, he was honest, direct, and straightforward, which I appreciated. I asked him if he was in my situation (as we were looking at my MRI) what he would do. I never felt pressured as he recommended a spinal fusion to fuse L3, L4, L5. I was sold. From that day forward, I could not have asked for a better experience. The attention, care, and responsiveness from the OSC staff and Dr. Carlson was second to none throughout the entire process. The day of surgery, I walked out of the hospital and felt like I was 15 years old again.  (See attached x-ray image of my lumbar fusion)

As I write this testimonial, I am five months post-surgery, and I feel great. There is nothing that I want to do that I cannot do. The pain is non-existent, my range of motion is greater, and my quality of life is as it should be. I am running, working out, and I can assure that when the weather warms up, I will be on the golf course. I followed the doctor’s orders and went through Physical Therapy with OSC’s Dr. Jamie Swale and Victoria Skay, LPTA. They were wonderful as well!

I could not be more grateful for Dr. Carlson and the OSC staff. Do not try to suffer through the pain. Seek advice and wise counsel. I wish I would have met Dr. Carlson 15 years ago.

Kyle Haymes

Jeanne Tinney – Physical Therapy

image of Dr. Paige TretterI went to OSC due to my hand’s tingling, having numbness, and extreme pain. I decided to stay with OSC and go to their Physical Therapist.  Dr. Paige Tretter did acupuncture and I began my treatments with the center. After a few weeks, the pain in my hand began to ease. The tightness in my shoulder began to loosen and was able to strengthen the muscles with physical therapy and at the gym. I would recommend OSC to all my family and friends.

Jeanne Tinney

John Costulis – Physical Therapy

Image of Jim Koske, MPTOSC Physical Therapy has an outstanding team (Jim, Josh, Audrey, Zack, Rachel) to help you resolve any orthopedic issues you might be having. They care and focus on meeting your needs. They are dedicated to ensuring your success.

John Costulis

Rosalind Greenaway – Physical Therapy

Image of Paige TretterMy name is Rosalind Greenaway. I would like to say “thank you” to Dr. Paige Tretter and her staff at OSC Physical Therapy Center for the exceptional care given to me over the past three weeks. The personnel were knowledgeable, respectful and quite caring and I really appreciate the quality of service I received. I am very satisfied with the outcome.

Rosalind Greenaway

Jim Obrien – Multi-level Lumbar Spine Fusion Surgery

X-ray image of Jim Obrien's spine surgeryI had been having back issues for about 15 years. I had been getting various treatments for primarily severe pain associated with muscle spasms, which was caused by spinal bone movement. Injections worked to lessen the occurrences, but I still was concerned about the painful episodes happening. Basically, it was affecting my Quality of Life.

I had two MRI’s over a 14 month period and the images really helped to show the degradation of my condition over time and solidified my choice to go ahead and have the spinal fusion needed to fix the problem.

During that 14 months, I also sought advice from two other Dr.’s and they provided excellent input. I had a 3 level spinal fusion (S1 to L3) and Dr. Jeffrey Carlson did an excellent job. (See my post-surgical x-ray image to the left) His recommended recovery time and post surgery treatments were spot on. I am 8 weeks out from surgery now and have no restrictions. Physical Therapy is a good thing to do and I am currently doing that.

My lessons learned from this are that you are in control of what you do for your health. Use the data the Dr.’s provide and get advice from others. Dr. Carlson never pushed me to surgery, it was my decision and I am glad that I did it now. Again, the surgery went well and his team, the hospital staff and the PT team were fantastic. Thanks for improving my Quality of Life.

Jim Obrien

Janice Irwin – Physical Therapy after Hip Replacement Surgery

Image of Dr. Jamie SwaleDr. Jamie Swale and Fred Wintermantel, LPTA,  did a wonderful job with my therapy. I had a hip replacement and was very much in need of therapy. They were professional and knew how to motivate me to improve. I actually looked forward to going to therapy, as I always felt better afterward. I sincerely appreciate their hard work with me. The whole staff was friendly and helpful. I would recommend them highly. Dr. Swale and Fred, thank you!

Janice Irwin

Sheridan(“Butch”) Barringer – Post Surgical Physical Therapy for Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Image of Tom Toothaker, DPTI just completed rehab for my right shoulder reverse replacement surgery. Dr. Martin Coleman of Orthopaedic and Spine Center (OSC) in Newport News was my surgeon.

I did my physical therapy at OSC under Dr. Tom Toothaker. Dr. Toothaker designed a therapy program for me and monitored it closely, often leading me through the entire session himself. He and the entire staff were very supportive in helping me achieve goals. The PT assistants and others made sure I followed the regimented program at every session. The folks at OSC PT are professional, very knowledgeable, friendly, and caring people, who had my full confidence. Besides Dr. Toothaker, I was ably assisted by Rachael, “J,” Victoria, Zach. Max, Audrey, and Josh. I can whole-heartedly recommend these terrific folks for anyone needing any kind of physical therapy. In fact, I have just started therapy for improving my balance, which has affected me for years following a bad fall.

Sheridan (Butch) R. Barringer
Newport News, Va. 

James Walls – Physical Therapy for Lower Back Pain

Image of Dr. Cody LeeworthyI was experiencing severe lower back pain, and could not stand straight.  I could only get relief lying flat on the floor. I tried chiropractic care, heat, cold, and electrical stimulation. Nothing worked. I saw an orthopedic specialist who referred me to Physical Therapy Clinic at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center.

After a few therapy sessions with Dr. Cody Leeworthy and exercising at home, I was standing straight and pain free.

James Walls