Patients First, Injuries Second: PT Todd D. Smith of Procare Physical Therapy

Patient success

Todd Smith, owner of Rochester N.Y.’s Procare Physical Therapy and PXC Sports Performance, has nearly 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist. We recently asked him about his practice and one of his favorite patient success stories. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about your practice. What sets you apart from other practitioners in your area?

I have had the opportunity to work with some highly skilled clinicians as well as some amazing clients and athletes throughout my career. In 2005, I opened a sports performance training center in an unfinished basement in a small outpatient clinic where I worked as a staff PT.

In 2011, I finally decided it was time to move on and open my own PT practice and sports performance center. My current facility offers clients and athletes 10,000 square feet for rehab, training and sports simulation activities. We are located in a town with nine PT clinics, so having the specialized, well-equipped facility to be able to offer what others cannot is a significant piece of what separates us from our competition.

We’d like to talk about a patient success story you’re especially proud of. Tell us about the patient. How did they learn about your practice?

Preparing for this interview, I was thinking of all the athletic success stories I have witnessed, both from the rehab side as well as the sports performance side. But as it came time to put my thoughts on paper regarding one patient success story that I was especially proud of, my thoughts continued to go back to one of the real-life heroes I had the privilege of working with.

The success story I wish to share involves a serious motor vehicle accident, where a police officer who was broad-sided on his motorcycle, sustained a complex crush injury to his lower leg. This patient arrived in significant pain, unable to bear weight. While the accident resulted in a small chip fracture, most injuries were related to soft tissue trauma.

His therapy was complex, involving soft tissue work, joint mobilization, stretching, kinesiotaping and a progressive strength program. The patient was very eager to try and return to his previous role with the police department, but more specifically wanted to be back on to the motorcycle for the police department.

After months of rehab, progressive increase in strengthening, agility and eventually a running program, this officer was able to return to full active duty, including riding his police motorcycle. The gratitude expressed from this particular patient made all the effort worth every second. He was thankful for achieving a successful return to all the roles he cherished in his life: police officer, husband and father.

What advice would you give PT students today? For instance looking back at your own career is there anything you would do differently?

My advice for younger PT students is to take each patient as a person first and foremost, and an injury or condition second. Remember, every person you work with is someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, etc. and is relying on your expertise to return them to their full life activities.

If new PT’s have any interest in pursuing private practice, make sure to spend time working on your business skills, not just your clinical skills. As a private practice owner, you will be responsible being competent in both areas in order to be successful.

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