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Julia McMillan - February 2016

3DPT names Julia McMillan as our Patient of the Month for February

Congratulations to Julia for being out patient of the month for February. Julia is an amazing athlete who has dealt with a condition that limited her ability to run. She had pain and burning in both feet that was eventually diagnosed as Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome after three years of testing and treatment. Julia had two surgeries to remove a muscle in the back of each knee and let the blood flow down to her feet properly. This is a very rare surgery, and she had to go to the Cleveland Clinic for the procedures. She worked hard during her rehabilitation, and continues to work hard with her trainers to get back to the sport that she loves.

3DPT: Can you tell us what brought you to 3D?

Julia: I was introduced to 3D in the fall of 2012 after a summer of unsuccessful physical therapy for what was said to be plantar fasciitis. Someone had told my parents that there was a great new PT place in Medford so we decided to give it a go. I immediately connected with the staff upon my evaluation, and after a few sessions I was in love! I feel lucky to have been a patient (OG!) for almost three and a half years, and I am so grateful for the love and support the staff has shown me on my long journey to recovery.

3DPT: What was the most difficult part of your rehab?

Julia: Everything! Each phase consisted of new, weird, and sometimes unexplainable challenges! Ken and I had to figure out a rehab plan on our own because there wasn’t and still isn’t any research or information on recovering from a popliteal artery entrapment release surgery. We had to communicate on a daily basis to figure out an appropriate plan for each upcoming session. Plus, I had the release done in Cleveland, Ohio, so it was impossible for the surgeon to constantly monitor me. It was all really frustrating because we were in the dark and had no clue what I should or shouldn’t do. It was definitely easier the second time around, but there was still a lot of educated guessing going on.

3DPT: What part of your rehab stood out the most?

Julia: The part of my rehab that stood out the most is doing drills on the skills ladder. I have this vivid memory of running through the drills as fast as I could (which wasn’t that fast) about three weeks after my first surgery. My new, healthy left leg was working normally, while my right leg slowly was becoming paralyzed. I remember almost tripping towards the end because my right leg was moving slow and getting in the way of my left leg! It was at that moment when I realized that the surgery had definitely worked and that all of the pain was going to be worth it. Running through the ladder has been my favorite exercise since then!

3DPT: What are your goals running this year (other than not having pain)?

Julia: My goals are to appreciate every second that I am able to run, to get back to where I was speed-wise prior to my surgeries, and, once I get there, to become the best runner I can be. Nothing is holding me back anymore so the sky is the limit! For now though, I have to accept the fact that it’s going to take some time for my “new legs” to get used to running fast again. My coaches have been helping me to not be so hard on myself and to focus on my little achievements in winter track. I’m pretty stubborn though. The sprints coach, Truzz (Petruzzi), and I have this ongoing joke when I talk about dropping time. He always moves his hand down slowly and steadily to represent how I’m going to improve as the months go on, and I take my hand and move it down as fast as I can!

3DPT: What are accepted foods you will eat?

Julia: My OCD only allows me to eat things with consistent textures like bread, pasta, and yogurt. It’s hard for me to eat pizza without scraping everything off of it because I don’t like the feeling of sauce in my mouth. I eat a lot of bland things and Ken likes to make fun of me for it! For the record though, I eat my cheese sandwiches with ham on them now!

3DPT: Where is your favorite place to visit?

Julia: 3DPT when I’m not injured, obviously!

3 Dimensional Physical Therapy
170 Route 70 W, Suite 19, Medford, NJ 08055 (609) 714-3378
115 Route 73 N, Unit 80, West Berlin, NJ 08091 (856) 335-4938

Jeff Sallade, PT, DPT, OCS, SCSKen Guzzardo, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
Ryan McDevitt, PT, DPTJoe Strazzullo, PT, DPT
Jessica Jennings, PT, DPTChuck Bachi, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
Leah Guzzardo, PT, DPT, PCSSarah Glynn, SPT

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"The team at 3DPT is made up of dedicated and caring Physical Therapists whose expertise and hands-on approach are what I seek for my patients. It is their fundamental philosophy that has made my professional experiences with them nothing short of exemplary."

     -      Dr. Kathryn Gollotto, DO - Orthopedic Reconstruction Specialists