Knee Injury

In September 2020, George Patek nearly lost his leg in a car accident. He sustained an open distal fracture of his tibia and fibula, above his ankle, and underwent surgery at that time.

George had surgery and participated in physical therapy that same year. But his fracture still wasn’t healing nearly six months after the accident.

“I was in constant pain, hopping around on one leg,” George says. “I was feeling hopeless and lost, convinced that my pain would never go away and that my mobility would be forever limited.”

He moved back to western Pennsylvania to be with his parents and family and started shopping for canes to help him get around easier.

As luck would have it, George’s niece had personally completed physical therapy at UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s outpatient rehabilitation location in Uniontown for a softball-related shoulder injury. She recommended that George give them a try.

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Healing with Specialized Treatment

George first came to UPMC Rehabilitation Institute in September 2021, a year after his accident. His fractured bones had still not healed, and he had very little strength in his leg.

Physical therapists Corey Dascenzo and Jim Burns met with George, reviewed his medical records, and evaluated his current condition. They designed an individualized exercise program and began working with George to help him regain his strength.

“The people here are great,” says George. “From the minute you walk in the front door, everyone is so friendly and helpful, they motivate their patients, and they get excited every step of the way as we make progress!”

About three weeks into rehab, a specialized treatment method — blood flow restriction — (BFR) was added to George’s exercise program. When provided by trained physical therapists, the use of BFR can increase strength and promote healing without using heavy weights and stressing injured limbs.

In George’s case, within seven weeks of adding BFR, his strength increased and his scan showed that his fractures had healed. He now had solid bone in his tibia and fibula.

George is now walking, running, and hoping to play hockey again. “Thanks to UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, I am pain-free, and I have a positive outlook on my future.”

About Outpatient Rehabilitation in Uniontown

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute outpatient rehabilitation location in Uniontown is conveniently located in northwest Uniontown. The location offers free on-site parking and is handicap accessible. Outpatient rehabilitation services at the Uniontown location include:

  • Balance therapy.
  • Blood flow restriction therapy.
  • Functional capacity evaluations.
  • Hand therapy.
  • Industrial rehabilitation.
  • Neurorehabilitation.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Speech therapy.
  • Sports rehab programs.

For more information about UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, or to make an appointment, call 1-888-723-4277.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

About UPMC Rehabilitation Institute

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute offers inpatient, outpatient, and transitional rehabilitation, as well as outpatient physician services so that care is available to meet the needs of our patients at each phase of the recovery process. Renowned physiatrists from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as highly trained physical, occupational, and speech therapists, provide individualized care in 12 inpatient units within acute care hospitals and over 80 outpatient locations close to home and work.