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Danny Lavargna

In September of 2016 I committed to hiking the Appalachian Trial, and I knew there was a problem. Several years previously I had learned of a Labral tear in my left hip that had left me injury prone. I’m not sure when the tear happened, but like most things, it was likely a combination of nature and nurture. Years of aggressive physical activity and an imperfect body left me with systemic back and knee injuries that would take me out of commission for months at a time. On top of that, my hip was bone-on-bone and in the early stages of arthritis that likely would result in a full hip replacement before 50.

Before embarking on a 2,200 mile hike, I knew this issue needed to be addressed. So I went to the person that I trust and has been helping me for years, Bryan Graham. He knew exactly what the problem was and got me an appointment with Dr. Carrera right away. We discussed a lot of things, but the number one issue was the recovery. I had planned to start hiking beginning of March and the surgery was now promptly scheduled for end of October. This left me just over 4 months to go from hip surgery to hiking over a marathon a day with 35lbs on my back.

I committed to recovery and training full-time, and Bryan gave me every opportunity to succeed. I was diligent about doing the physical therapy exactly as prescribed and not missing a session, particularly the first 4-6 weeks post-op. I had help from friends and family because the early stages of recovery are not easy. I was never in pain, but I needed a lot of help from the people around me early on. Once I was back on my feet, Bryan built a training program that would get me ready for my hike. I was in his gym every day, and by February I had progressed from the Anti-Gravity treadmill to the Force (added resistance) treadmill. I was ready.

On 5 March I started my hike from Springer Mountain, Georgia and on 9 October (less than one year from surgery) I finished on top of Mt. Katahdin, Maine. I hiked over 2,200 miles. I ate an incomprehensible amount of calories. My biggest day was 33 miles, and every bone and muscle in my body hurt except my hip. I know I would not have been able to complete my goals and live the life I wanted without addressing my hip. I look back now having completed a significant life goal with gratitude for Bryan, Dr. Carrera and all the people that helped for their contributions to my success.

Kim Jeansonne

After not being able to run, bike, swim, drive or even sleep without having pain, I owe my ability to do all these things again without pain to Dr. Carriera and Bryan Graham MPT. Seven months ago, in constant pain, after trying to cure myself with stretches and rest, I finally decided to seek professional help. I went to see Bryan Graham. He informed me that he thought I had a possible Labrum tear. He gave me Dr Carriera’s phone number and told me to go see him that he is the best orthopedic around to deal with this type of injury. After the shock of the possibility of needing surgery set in I made an appointment with Dr. Carriera. From the first time I met him he had a great bedside manner and listened to all my complaints and concerns. Since the MRI did not show a clear tear, I wanted proof that I needed surgery. Dr. Carriera took the time to explain why he thought I needed surgery and the whole surgical process. He even has a book that he hands out to all surgical patients explaining what to expect from pre-operation to physical therapy. Four months later I had the surgery and have been pain free ever since. I even ran a 5k, 3 months after the surgery, and felt no pain.

Beginning with the initial appointment and all the way through to the end of the physical therapy, Dr. Carriera and Bryan Graham collaborated on my appointments. Physical therapy for a labrum tear is 12 weeks of stretches and exercises starting the day after surgery. I did not have to worry about discussing Dr. Carriera’s decisions with Bryan Graham and vise versa. I knew that they were discussing my progress each step of the way. Dr. Carriera works closely with Bryan Graham on the physical therapy aspect of the surgery even though they are 83 miles apart. Both professionals want to make sure the patient has a successful recovery. This close collaboration seems to help with the progression of physical therapy.

Bryan Graham has one advantage over other physical therapist in the area and that is the Alter G treadmill. This treadmill is great. One week after my surgery I got to actually walk! You do not realize how quickly you forget how to walk. The Alter G treadmill is an antigravity treadmill. To try to explain: from the handle bars down the treadmill is covered with this hard plastic like material. This compartment fills with air. You wear special shorts that zip into the compartment. The treadmill first lifts you completely off the ground to calibrate how much air it needs to lift you. At this point Bryan Graham picks the percentage of your body weight that you can walk with. The first time I got to walk I was only walking at 30% of my bodyweight. My feet were barely touching the ground. It was the best and weirdest feeling. Through my whole physical therapy process I was able to use the Alter G. I gradually increased the amount of body weight until I was able to run at 100% of my bodyweight on my own. I will definitely go back and use the Alter G for some training runs to help increase my speed back to what I was.

Conney Dahn

Dear Dr. Carreira, As I finished my 10 mile run on Saturday (August 2, 2014) I remembered that this time last year I could not run at all! This month one year ago I started the process of being diagnosed and having surgery for a labral tear and a detached hamstring. I had been to see Bryan Graham because in the past when I had pains he could fix them and I would be back running. Not this time! He confidently referred me to you to see what you could do. Several times you asked me about biking or swimming instead of running. But I wanted to run! You explained what I needed to have done and that I would be in therapy for six months and would not be totally healed for a year. My surgery was scheduled for October 23. The next day I was in therapy with Bryan. The second day after surgery I had no more pain and was able to stop taking pain medication. I was on my way back to the road!

After my second post-surgery visit I was dismissed. I was to have physical therapy until Bryan cleared me. Week 2 in therapy I was allowed to walk for twenty minutes in the Alter-G Treadmill. In December, 2 months after surgery I was allowed to run on the Alter-G. The end of January I progressed to the regular treadmill. The first week in February I was released to the road. It was slow but I was running!

March 1 I ran a 5K, placing first in my age group. I am currently running 25-30 miles a week with NO PAIN! It’s hot but there is no pain! On August 24, I will begin training for a half marathon in October. THANK YOU! I am doing what I love because of you and Bryan! Blessings!!

Kimberly Gates

Marathoner? Ultramarathoner? You must be talking about someone else! How did I get here? The honest answer is with a lot of help from everyone at Oceanside Physical Therapy and StretchZone.

Back in June 2013, I thought I’d start training on my own for the Space Coast marathon in December. However, a pelvic stress fracture stopped me in my tracks later that month. It felt devastating to go from marathon training to not being able to pick up my leg without being in pain. There was no hope, or so it seemed, and I was crushed. From what I had been reading online, pelvic stress fractures could mean 4, 6, even 8 months or more of no running.

As luck would have it, the day my stress fracture was diagnosed, I was at the Oceanside Physical Therapy office for the Halloween Half Marathon kickoff party. It was the first time I met Bryan Graham, and I shared my predicament with him. To my surprise, he didn’t give me the standard “no running for a while” speech. In fact, he showed me the AlterG and explained that I could continue to run at a reduced bodyweight. This would allow me to keep a certain amount of fitness without the pounding that could worsen my stress fracture. Finally, a light was appearing!

Over the course of about 4 weeks, I completed my physical therapy at Oceanside and was able to use the AlterG 3 times each week. By slowly returning to running at my full body weight, my bones were incrementally reintroduced to what was going to be expected of them. I truly believe that my successful recovery was due to working with Bryan (a runner himself), being diligent about doing the physical therapy activities he recommended, and using the AlterG.

Since the stress fracture, I’ve gone on to run 2 long distance relays, one half marathon, two full marathons, and one 6-hour ultra. The training plans that Bryan set up for me were amazing: they laid out what to do on each day and what type of pace to have. I need that and credit his help in getting me two new PRs taking off 9+ minutes for both my half marathon and full marathon times.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Renee & Grace from StrechZone! They’re both runners too, so they “get it.” StretchZone appointments always leave me feeling refreshed, energized, and ready for another run! No matter how good I think I am at doing my own stretching, there’s nothing like having someone else stretch you.

So what’s up next? Bryan’s going to help me tackle my first 50k! With his guidance and coaching, I’m excited about this new adventure and the training that’ll be involved.

Take it from me: an injury can feel like the end of the world, but Oceanside Physical Therapy can get you back to where you were and propel you from there! I’m running proof! 🙂

Katie K., Patient

Bryan takes time to listen and really hear what’s happening with his patients. Knowing that Bryan is a runner like me, I knew he’d be able to help my condition. Now, I won’t go anywhere else!

Dr. Dominic Carreira
Orthopedic Surgeon, Hip And Foot Specialist For The Miami Dolphins

Bryan has the qualities that I look for in a therapist: he is intelligent, detail-oriented, and thorough. Bryan stays up-to-date on current techniques, demonstrates excellent judgement, and is progressive thinking. I give Bryan my highest recommendation.

Dr. George L Caldwell, Jr. Orthopedic Surgeon Head Team Physician for The Miami Dolphins

Bryan is a well respected physical therapist in the area. He is compassionate, diligent and our patient progress exceptionally well with his hands-on approach.

Lee C. M., Patient

I felt confident choosing Bryan Graham for my rehabilitation after labrum surgery. Bryan convinced me with his comprehensive knowledge of my condition and compassion. Oceanside would be my first pick, if I need a rehab program in the future.