Denise Sweeney MD manages an active lifestyle with a successful medical practice so it was no surprise that when a complete ACL tear threatened to curtail her activities she took a proactive approach to her rehab. “I interviewed several physical therapists in the area and was met with discouragement when I informed them that I did not intend to have surgery. Sac Spine was the only office that felt confident they could help me regain function and avoid surgery. I felt confident that, even if I ultimately did require surgery, I would be going into it stronger.”

Dr. Sweeney injured her knee while skiing thru heavy wet snow; she felt a pop which later was confirmed to be a complete ACL tear via orthopedic exam and MRI. “When I started therapy I could not straighten my leg and I was having pain daily. I had specific goals I wanted to reach and my therapist assured that I did so. She used a combination of exercise and deep muscle manipulation with great success, my sessions were intense.”

We were able to meet Denise’s goal of avoiding surgery and regaining her active lifestyle. She recently enjoyed skiing with her family at Sugar Bowl. “Sac Spine is the only place I would trust with my physical therapy. I am such a fan that I now refer my patients here as well. Since finishing PT my whole family has joined the RHWC (on-site). Regular attendance has led to an incredible improvement in my overall well being.

I came to your office after having my 3rd knee surgery on my left knee. I previously had a lateral release and a tubrucle transfer and this time I had a patellaectomy and realignment. I have been dislocating since I was 13 years old. This last surgery was to done to be less bone on bone than what I was before in hopes of postponing a knee replacement. Dr. Tai is hoping that by shaving off half my patella I will not be bone and bone as much and won’t be causing as much damage as was there before.

I have really enjoyed working with everyone at your office and have been very pleased with how fast I was able to walk without my crutches and how fast I was able to get my range of motion back so I don’t really have a limp anymore. It has only been 4 months, and I feel like I have reached these goals faster than was expected. Marsha has been so great at working with me and helping with the other things that can flair up when one joint is not working like it should (i.e., hip issues etc.). She has paid very close attention to my gait and movement and has gone beyond just working on my knee.

Being that this was my 4th knee surgery total, I have spent a fair amount of time in PT and this has been the best experience and the fastest recovery I have had. I pride myself on working hard to get back to “normal”, but having someone guiding you and working directly with you has made a huge difference. I know in the past at PT I have been in and just been given exercises to do at home, and not have someone really look at your movement and measuring your range of motion and staying on top of your recovery.

My surgeon has told me that there will be certain limitations to what I can and can’t do to make sure we don’t end up with the amount of damage we had in that joint when he operated. I am hoping to be able to be pain free first and then to be able to go back to most of my regular workouts with some slight modification after a bit more time. I look forward to biking, spin classes, and maybe some modified boot camps here in the future. I know I need to be a bit less reckless than I was in the past in order to be able to have a high quality of life with exercise without pain and more surgery.

My biggest fear in having this surgery was trying to recover from this type of surgery at my age. Working with your staff has really helped me realize that I can get through this recovery and have a very active life from now on. The mental aspect of the recovery was my biggest concern and probably why I waited so long to have the problem fixed. I was told it would take anywhere from 9 months to 1 year to recover from this type of surgery, but I feel like I have come a long way in a very short period of time.

I would recommend Sac Spine to anyone who asks and really appreciate all of the efforts on my behalf.


As if being a kid these days isn’t hard enough?!?! The last thing a young girl wants to deal with is the prospect of major ankle surgery and the general disruption of her transition into high school. This month’s success story is a wonderful young lady named Sarah that was referred to Sacramento Spine with a torn Achilles tendon after an unfortunate accident on a trampoline. Concerned about a tremendous amount of pain and the potential surgery, Sarah was unsure if she would be able to return to cheerleading and the high level of activity she enjoyed prior to the injury.

Unsure of what to expect, Sarah came away pleasantly surprised by her rehab stating, “I loved all the games that Dave came up with in the pool and on land that did not seem like work. Going to physical therapy was fun!”. In a long rehab, there are plenty of difficult times, but our primary concern is making sure patients are able to enjoy the experience while meeting the goals. And meet them she did, Sarah was able to join the high school cheer team and even run a 5K without any pain or limitations upon discharge!

Finishing with another quote from Sarah, “Working with Marsha and Dave was GREAT!! They were awesome with their patience and knowledge as I worked on rehabilitating my leg. I believe the success of my recovery was because they knew how to handle my type of injury. Thank You Sacramento Spine and Physical Therapy.”

How do we define success? At Sacramento Spine & Physical Therapy we like to define it in terms of how many people we help. This month our Folsom success story is Joe T., a patient referred from of a pain management group anticipating an upcoming spine surgery. He was plagued by pain that rarely went below a 5 out of 10 and often rose to 8 out of 10. His mobility was limited by pain and his medication intake was quite high.

His program began in the warm pool and progressed to land as time passed. Soon he was incorporating independent exercise days to supplement our skilled physical therapy treatments each week. In his words, Joe said that we liked the fact that he was able to relearn how to move without hurting, how to exercise without increasing his pain. And ultimately his ability to return his mobility without pain, which allowed him to become more functional.

When comparing to previous physical therapy experiences, Joe said that the staff at Sac Spine seemed more qualified and showed good flexibility in their care of him. He also felt the variety of exercise choices (pool, gym, clinic) made him feel that there were many tools available to help his conditioning. He feels that now he has the tools to continue to stay strong and consistent. He now feels confident that he will return to work as well as prevent the need for surgery at this time.

Joe has overcome the fear of not having his pain resolved, of having spine surgery, and of not ever returning to work. In short, his fears have been replaced with him getting his life back!