Fall 2013

Getting Patients Back On The Green After Surgery

When Jim Thomson steps on the golf course he thinks about what a long journey he’s had. There was a time when he was unsure if he would walk again, much less swing a golf club. Intense back pain and numbness in his left leg led him to neurosurgeon Mark Redding, MD, at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Dr. Redding performed a nine-level, T9-illium decompression and fusion on Jim.

When Jim began physical therapy, he wore a TLSO brace and used a rolling walker. Even basic standing exercises initially posed a challenge for him. After two months of dedication to his home PT program, he was able to wean off of the brace and decrease his visits to the office.

“Six months after his surgery, Jim was pain-free and anxious to get back on the golf course,” said Graham Claytor, PT, MPT, SCS, CSCS, manager of the Physical Therapy Department at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. “That’s when we began training sessions with him through our golf program.”

The Golf Rehabilitation & Fitness Program at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates features Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified instructors. The program was developed for patients like Jim who are recovering from surgery and need physical therapy to regain mobility and return to a game they love.

Jim was assessed using the TPI-based performance evaluation and a program was developed to address his deficits. Ten months after his nine-level spinal fusion, Jim was discharged from physical therapy and has now returned to golf without restrictions.

“I may be slower than everyone else,” said Jim about returning to the golf course, “but I’m out there and I’m happy.”

To learn more about the Golf Rehabilitation and Fitness Program and view patient videos, go to www.GolfRehabAndFitness.com.

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