Patient Invites Physical Therapy Team to Wedding After Extraordinary Recovery

Patient Invites Physical Therapy Team to Wedding After Extraordinary Recovery

By Professional Physical Therapy

Josh’s story begins on the football field in early December. He was cutting (making a quick change in direction) and felt a pop in his knee. After a visit with his doctor and then an MRI he was diagnosed with an ACL tear. He needed surgery. This was devastating news because Josh was planning a proposal in January and a wedding only a few months later!

ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure. Generally, recovery takes about 9 months to regain strength and power in the injured knee. It will typically take 9 to 12 months before athletes can return to their sport. Josh had his work cut out for him.

How Josh Prepared

Before surgery, some patients with an ACL tear start Physical Therapy to reduce pain and swelling. It is necessary to restore the knee’s full range of motion and strengthen muscles before surgery. Josh started his journey to recovery with 5-6 visits at Professional Physical Therapy in Garden City, NY. He was introduced to a pre-rehabilitation program and started working with Jessica Tau, PT, DPT, ATC, CKTP. During these visits he became physically and mentally ready for surgery.

Starting Physical Therapy After Surgery

Josh continued PT, 3 days after surgery, walking into Professional with a locked brace in a straight position, on crutches. He entered the clinic and told Jessica, that he needed to get on one knee and propose in only 4-weeks. Jessica’s first comment was, “We can get you on one knee with a lot of work, but someone might have to help you get up.” Their work continued and a friendship began, as Jessica worked closely with Josh treating the whole patient, not just his injury.

Josh’s Treatment Plan

Josh’s fierce determination and mind set made the recovery journey possible. With that in mind, Jessica created the following customized treatment plan, specifically to meet Josh’s goals.

  • Manual therapy, to decrease swelling and tightness in the knee.
  • Soft tissue mobilization, to decrease tightness in the hamstring.
  • Patella mobilization, to get kneecap moving the right way.
  • Passive range of motion exercises, used to support movement of knee.
  • Electric stimulation, to help activate and train the quadricep muscle how to fire.
  • Tactile cuing with exercise, supports muscle activation.
  • Hip and knee strengthening, can help improve single- leg balance and proper function and stability of the knee.
  • Range of motion exercises, can help overall leg mobility.

Initially Josh scheduled his PT sessions 3x/week. As his strength improved, he transitioned off table exercise work to more standing, balance and squatting mechanics – eventually practicing the proposal.

Early Results: The Proposal

The early treatment plan proved successful because he was ready to propose late January as planned. He visited the clinic the morning before the proposal. With the help and support of Jessica and the Professional staff, he practiced several times getting on one knee, unsupported. Later that day, his proposal was successful, and she said, “Yes!”.

Continuing PT to get Wedding Ready

After the proposal, a new goal was set. Josh wanted to not only dance at his wedding but join in a few family traditions that included jumping with his guests and bride. Dedication from Josh, Jessica and the Professional staff resulted in continued recovery milestones.

Work progressed that focused on building quadriceps strength, but also working on single leg strength. This enabled the leg that had been lagging behind during the past few months to get back to normal. New treatment included:

  • Running program
  • Agility exercises
  • Jumping workouts

Jessica recalls during one session; Josh forgot his agility brace. This was an important component to his session. But there was no time to go back and get it. Determined not to miss his session, Josh called an Uber to pick up the brace from his home and bring it back to the office. Now that’s true dedication!

Josh’s Results

We are thrilled to share that Josh got married 5 months after his proposal and invited his treating therapist Jessica and Stephanie Gil, a physical therapy assistant to the wedding.  Jessica shared that his hard work and commitment to PT during his recovery was exceptional. She adds,

“I was honored to be invited to Josh’s wedding. Working with Josh and being able to share his special day was by far the most humbling experience in my career. Josh had absolutely no problem dancing the night away!”

Josh, Bride, Jessica, and Stephanie at wedding.



A few weeks after the wedding, Josh was discharged, but unable to return to sport yet. He continued his recovery at Professional’s Step-Down Program. The program enables you to maintain and, in some cases, improve your recovery results at one of our participating clinics. It allows discharged patients to have access to the clinic’s facility and equipment and is a great way to transition from post-rehab to full function. Contact us to find out if you have a participating clinic near you.

As a patient, you can expect the same individualized recovery plan no matter what your goal is, using the most state-of-the-art technology and practices to get you back to enjoying life. If you’re in need of physical therapy or wish to consult with our skilled physical therapists, visit Professional Physical therapy.

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