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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Always Have Plan B

 Always Have Plan B

When treating athletic injuries, it is always important to know various ways to help people with their problems. I was lucky to have great instruction in podiatry school that taught me to have a Plan B when Plan A did not work for a patient. Patients also had to be educated that if Plan A did not help them, come back, and we will see if Plan B works better.
In 1981, I joined Dr. James Garrick, orthopedic surgeon, and an orthopedic rebel if there ever was one. Dr. Garrick wanted many skilled docs and physical therapists surrounding him, helping his patients, so that he could spend his time in research, writing books, and doing surgery on patients who really needed it. He was the first doctor I ever heard say that you don't need to fix every torn ankle ligament, every achilles tendon complete rupture, and every knee meniscal tear. These injuries  could be treated conservatively, and that many foot and ankle fractures would heal fine with the right rehabilitation without surgery. What a mentor for my first days in practice! For most sports medicine injuries, Dr. Garrick had a Plan B different from what podiatrists and orthopedists were taught. Needless to say, he helped me develop many Plan Bs for my injured athletes over the 33 years we worked together.
As our practice grew, we hired more physical therapists, dance medicine specialists, athletic trainers, sports medicine MDs, other podiatrists, physiatrists, adolescent medicine specialists, and they all were trained differently. The blacks and whites of training became the grays of the art of medicine, which became the rainbows of a true sports medicine holistic approach. Plan A was carefully selected, and if not helping totally, Plan B, and C, and D could be called into play.
                                                                  In the last 30 years, this approach has been further molded by chiropractors, acupuncturists, body workers, personal trainers, nutritionists, and other healers. I clearly see that there are many ways to  help my patients get well. Any time I get tunnel vision on a problem, and the patient is not responding, a second opinion from a colleague can wake my creative side up, and a new Plan B can be developed. If I can impart anything on this topic it is that if you have a difficult problem that is not responding to treatment, see if a new Plan B can be found through the role for second opinions.

Golden Rule of Foot: When rehabilitating an injury, always have a Plan B.

The above is an excerpt from my book: Secrets to Keep Moving 




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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.