Physical Therapy is a very useful set of treatment modalities that can help patients overcome trauma, painful conditions, injuries and in rehabilitation after surgery. The Foot & Ankle Institute offers four types of physical therapy which are performed in the office at both locations: Hydrotherapy, Therapeutic Ultrasound, Interferential Stimulation and Iontophoesis. Hydrotherapy involves the use of a powerful medical grade whirlpool machine. It is used to help with healing of abrasions, burns, diabetic and venous stasis ulcers, and after laser surgery. A special medical grade disinfectant solution is used, and the patient often undergoes hydrotherapy prior to debridement or cleaning of the wound using surgical instruments. Therapeutic Ultrasound involves the use of a medical grade ultrasound machine that uses a special crystal, known as a piezoelectric crystal that emits a high frequency sonic vibration that is outside the range of human hearing. Ultrasound is useful for imparting deep heat, decreasing scar tissue, and reducing inflammation. It is effective for treating a wide variety of painful foot & ankle conditions, as well as after trauma, injury or surgery.
Interferential stimulation uses two- or four electrodes placed on the skin, and can often be administered simultaneously with ultrasound. It uses a pulsed field of electricity to reduce muscle spasm and decrease the sensitivity of inflamed or irritated nerves. It is effective in treating many sprains, strains, as well as after injury or surgery. Iontopheresis involves the use of a specialized physical therapy machine that uses a field of electricity and a delivery patch to administer medication, usually some form of cortisone, without the use of a needle to inject the medicine. The medication, usually the exact type that is used for injections, is applied to a specialized patch called a colloidal delivery system. The patch is then applied over the desired treatment area, and a second electrode is placed on the opposite side of the foot or ankle. The treatment usually takes about 15-20 minutes, and is painless. A typical course of treatment requires 6-8 treatment sessions performed once- or twice a week. Dr Gavin also sends many of his patients out to local physical therapy centers where a more intensive therapy regimen can be administered