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Features Health & Wellness Highlands hospital meets growing need for physical therapy services

Bruce Dillard of Cashiers received physical therapy at Highlands Cashiers Hospital’s Physical Therapy Center after undergoing both a right and a left total knee replacement.In 2010, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center treated nearly 16,000 patients. The Center provides therapies for outpatient, surgical, rehabilitation and longterm care services, allows local and seasonal residents access to services close to home and often makes a significant difference in attained levels of physical function and capacity.

“There is certainly a growing need for more rehabilitation services in the area, and since our expansion to the Cashiers community a few years back, we have been able to meet those demands,” said Alan Frederick, physical therapist and program director. “I believe the recent growth particularly reflects the addition of Amy Nader, Cashiers Physical Clinic’s supervising physical therapist, and our excellent staff. We continually receive positive feedback of satisfaction and appreciation from our patients. Having both locations allows us to accommodate the increased patient load and has enabled us to expand our specialized services and rehabilitation programs.”

Bruce Dillard, of Cashiers, has benefited from local physical therapy services. Dillard came to the Cashiers physical therapy center in May 2010 after undergoing a left total knee replacement. “Soon after I began therapy, I had to see my surgeon again for a manipulation [while under anesthesia, the knee is bent at the joint to improve the range of motion] due to tightness and built up scar tissue,” said Dillard. “After the manipulation, I was immediately placed back in therapy. The physical therapy staff worked through a holiday weekend in order to re-start my treatment and jump start the healing process.”

Dillard’s story doesn’t end there. Last month, Dillard traveled back to his surgeon for a right total knee replacement. “It’s not unusual to see a situation like Dillard’s,” said Amy Nader, PT. “An injury to one knee joint can sometimes place the uninjured joint under additional stress, in turn, causing damage. He diligently comes in weekly for his treatments and since has made tremendous improvement. Our staff has no doubt that Dillard’s condition will continue to improve and make a full recovery.”

Local Highlands resident, Chuck Cooper, has been visiting the center three times a week for the past two years and is quick to praise Frederick and his staff. “The clinical expertise and core values of compassion and respect, demonstrate their firm commitment to providing high quality care,” said Cooper. During his early adult life, Cooper was involved in an automobile accident, severely injuring his neck and back. Later on, he developed degenerative lower back and cervical issues that greatly affected his mobility. Cooper underwent cervical spine surgery in February of 2009 and soon began rehabilitation at HCH. “My weekly treatments have gotten me back on my feet, granting me the freedom to continue with my day-to-day activities. The Physical Therapy team, Dr. Plauché and anesthesiologist, Dr. Shoptaugh, have worked closely together to devise a rehabilitation plan to help alleviate my pain and hopefully prevent future lower back surgery. The services they provide are priceless.”

“Our physical therapy program and its staff are the best I’ve worked with,” said Dr. Plauché, board certified orthopedic surgeon. “Each patient is provided with one on one attention, speeding recovery and improving prognoses, which large city hospitals, just cannot give. The program also allows my patients convenience for post surgery therapy and for individuals that have traveled off the mountain for surgery, the ability to come home for therapy.”

HCH’s Physical Therapy Center focuses on comprehensive treatment plans, educates patients and families and consults with various healthcare providers. Frederick and his team treat, evaluate, and rehabilitate individuals with orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions resulting from sports or work injuries, motor vehicle accidents or such conditions that have developed without prior injury, including arthritis and pre and post-op orthopedic surgeries.

“We are our very proud of the work done by our rehabilitation specialists. Our goal is to provide our area residents with tools and services to live a better life,” said president and CEO, Craig James.


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