The debilitating pain in your back shadows you like a yapping puppy. You visit your primary physician, but the pain persists. A chiropractor is your next stop, but the pain persists. A friend suggests a physical therapist might be the panacea you’re desperately seeking, but the pain persists.
You repeatedly spin the medical wheel in a frantic search for a remedy. You rush from medical appointment to medical appointment, a process that eats up time and money, aggravates your worsening condition each time you enter and exit your vehicle, and causes you to wonder whether these practitioners in this medical puzzle are working in concert. The medical wheel spins. But what you discover is you’re merely going in dizzying circles.
And then you find yourself at Performance Spine & Sports Medicine (PSSM), where the wheel stops spinning.
PSSM offers exceptional orthopedic medical care, sports medicine and pain management with an emphasis on nonsurgical solutions and treatments. At its 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Newtown, an experienced team of medical physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists and physical therapists practices a team-based approach to health and wellness all under one roof.
“Most patients come to see us from a fragmented care model—an orthopedist in one office, a chiropractor in another and a [physical therapist] in another,” says Kevin Hsu, M.D., medical director at PSSM. “And they’re not always communicating with one another. Every entity doing something individually is not a comprehensive care plan.
“At Performance Spine & Sports Medicine, patients will get the care and result they desire,” he continues. “We do it all in one place. So patients can save time, energy and gas by having all their care under one roof. And we’ve properly scaled up the size of this private office to provide all these services. Patients love the care and attention they receive, and the professional and modern ambiance. No expenses were spared in the design and floor planning of the office.”
The staff at PSSM coordinates a patient’s care and tailors a customized treatment plan to optimize his or her health and wellness, regardless of the type or extent of the injury. Its disciplinary health clinic integrates medicine, physical therapy, chiropractic and podiatry all at one venue.
Whether a patient’s concerns are due to an aching shoulder, cranky back, balky knee or elbow, Dr. Hsu is the first person they see. Board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and a diplomate of the American Board of Pain Medicine, Dr. Hsu will conduct a one-hour evaluation consisting of X-rays and electro-diagnostic testing to assess the patient’s condition and needs.
The patient will then be evaluated by chiropractor Christine Fagan, D.C., for possible structural issues. They will work with the whole body to correct a variety of ailments, from minor aches and pains, to shoulder pain, to tennis elbow. The patient will also be examined next by one of PSSM’s caring physical therapists, Jenn Mandell or Katie Palmer, DPT, to assess any functional challenges. The benefit to their patients is that this clinical team of doctors is working closely together.
“The focus of our physical therapists is on fostering patient independence,” says Dr. Mandell. “Initially, the treatment plan is one-on-one time, manual therapies to get out of pain quickly to start real work in rehab. After that, patients work on independent exercises and are taught skills needed to manage their own symptoms so they don’t have to repeatedly return to care.”
Patients may and can also be examined by podiatrist Philip Jimenez, DPM, who will assess whether the cause of a patient’s lower extremity or back pain might be caused by a foot ailment.
“We are a fully comprehensive medical environment,” says Mattias Wiederholz, M.D. “We have better outcomes for patients than those with fragmented services because all our doctors and therapists are on the same page with each patient.”
PSSM also offers the latest in strength evaluation and assessment equipment. Its sports-performance platform offers computerized laser and sensor technology, which enables clinicians to quantitatively and objectively analyze patients’ movements. The data is used to develop appropriate strength and conditioning programs, prerehab programs or physical therapy programs.
PSSM offers OptoJump, an innovative computerized gait analysis system and measurement that brings a new philosophy of assessment and optimization of performance to the world of competitive sports. It is designed for the development of a specific and customized training program for the athlete, based exclusively on precise objective data.
OptoJump is an optical gait-measurement system consisting of an LED transmitting and receiving bar that makes it possible to ascertain the abilities or physical fitness of an athlete in a simple and immediate way, creating over time a real database that makes it possible to compare values for that athlete or different athletes, even at a distance of months or years. OptoJump makes it possible to measure flight and contact times during the performance of a series of jumps with an accuracy of one-1,000th of a second.
“This technology is used extensively by athletes in Europe such as players on AC Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid and now in China to obtain quantifiable evidence to determine biomechanics,” says Joseph Jimenez, M.D. “Oftentimes you hear on TV, strength experts and coaches talk about using biomechanics, but they’re just using visual observation. It’s still very subjective and incomplete. We go further than that; with the data we get with our technology, we can better attack the problem with objective data. It’s more than just visual observation that others use; the best part is we have an exclusive agreement to use this technology and distribute it in our area.”
PSSM has taken this technology to recreational leagues and high schools to assess athletes for concussion studies throughout the Delaware Valley. They just recently became an official ImPact testing site for pre-concussion assessments. PSSM concussion assessments go so much further than their industry peers because they do both the ImPact cognitive test and use OptoJump for computerized biomechanical assessments. Using both tests allows PSSM to get a truly cognitive and biomechanical assessment of an athlete’s pre-concussion profile. That way, should the athlete ever get a concussion, they have the athlete’s baseline numbers before the concussion was inflicted.
“We do more computerized biomechanics analysis than anyone in the area,” Dr. Jimenez says.
PSSM also offers advancements in non-operative orthopedic medical care such as regenerative treatments like PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), in which blood is drawn from a patient, spun down, and platelets with stem-cell capabilities are extracted and re-injected into the damaged area, such as a torn ligament, to help accelerate healing. Among those on whom PSSM has performed this procedure is New England Patriots cornerback Ras-I Dowling, second-round draft pick of the 2011 draft, and Donald Jones, starting wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills.
In addition to being concerned about the well-being of its patients, PSSM is also intimately concerned about issues in its communities, donating money to scholarships and the local Fraternal Order of Police.
“We want to be socially relevant,” says Dr. Wiederholz. “Philanthropy is one of our company principles. It’s all part of making life better for people and giving back to the community that gives us so much.”
Performance Spine & Sports Medicine
828A Newtown-Yardley Road, Newtown, PA 18940 | Phone: 215-504-2223 | Fax: 215-504-2141
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Website: www.PSSMnewtown
Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.
Kim Billingsley is a freelance photographer from Doylestown.