Heal a Wound, Save a Leg: One Patient Shares Physical Therapy Experiences at Mercy Hospital Logan County

December 2, 2014

By Mercy's Jaclyn Bardin

GUTHRIE, Okla. – For 73-year-old Jim Tresner, therapy services offered at Mercy Hospital Logan County saved him time, money and possibly his leg.

Erin Scammahorn, manager of physical medicine at Mercy Hospital

Logan County (pictured in black shirt), works with a patient on a

stationary bicycle during a physical therapy session.

Tresner has diabetes and has suffered from some of the complications of his disease, including the development of diabetic wounds. Patients with diabetes have decreased blood flow, which can cause wounds to heal at slower rates than individuals without diabetes. If wounds are not properly treated, patients may face amputation of the limb.

Tresner considers himself lucky to have access to wound care services at Mercy Hospital Logan County. The therapy staff has taken care of his diabetic wounds three times. His most recent diabetic wound was treated about two or three times per week for almost a year.

If these services were unavailable in the Guthrie area, Tresner said he doesn’t know what he would have done. He has no family members in Guthrie and does not drive out of town due to trouble with his eyesight. He said he would have had to ask friends to take him to appointments.

“It would have been an impossible imposition,” said Tresner, of Guthrie. “I would have had to find some other means. It would have been enormously inconvenient and expensive.”

Wound care treatment is provided by specially trained physical therapists who remove old skin, thoroughly clean the wound and wrap the wound in several layers of compression bandages that help the wound dry. If these services were not available, Tresner said he would have likely had to undergo an amputation of his leg.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the people there,” he said. “They were just really amazing in their skill level and the quality of their care. There is no need to go to Edmond or Oklahoma City for a wide range of these things. It’s a very cheerful atmosphere and you feel good about going, even if you don’t feel good physically sometimes.”

About two years ago, Tresner also saw physical therapists at Mercy Hospital Logan County for a torn rotator cuff. Through therapy, he was able to strengthen his rotator cuff enough to avoid surgery.

About Therapy Services

Therapy services are appropriate for a variety of patients, whether they need assistance with back, neck, arm or leg pain; are recovering from an injury or surgery; need to make a few changes to their routine to manage pain; want help after having a stroke or in dealing with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis; or are overcoming weakness after a hospitalization.

Mercy Hospital Logan County offers physical, occupational and speech therapies. Physical therapy builds muscle strength, enhances range of motion, and improves mobility, balance and coordination. Occupational therapy develops skills for independent living so patients can prepare meals, do laundry, drive and complete work-related tasks. Speech therapy helps patients who have difficulty communicating due to speech, language, memory or cognition problems. Among the services include:

  • Physical therapy for orthopedic injuries; orthopedic or developmental delays in children; joint replacements; balance and coordination deficits; neurological impairments; wound care; chronic pain; spine surgery; and physical weakness
  • Occupational therapy for hand, wrist and elbow pain; post-surgery treatment; neurological deficits; and to help patients perform household duties after total hip replacements
  • Speech therapy for neurological deficits, difficulty swallowing and for the effects of Parkinson’s disease and stroke

“We always tell patients that we can get them back on their feet and make them smile and laugh all while sweating,” said Erin Scammahorn, manager of Physical Medicine at Mercy Hospital Logan County. “I am very proud of our therapy services and our ability to accommodate the varying needs of our patients to help them meet their goals. Therapy is often hard for the patient and we are there to encourage them and ensure they follow through with their care.”   

To contact Mercy Therapy Services at Mercy Hospital Logan County, call 405-260-4213. Mercy accepts Medicare, Medicaid, SoonerStart and most other major insurance plans, as well as private pay. Contact your insurance provider to determine if you are covered for services and if you need a referral from your primary care provider to begin treatment.

Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 34 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and two orthopedic hospitals, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.