Alternative Treatment Modalities of Achilles' Tendon Ruptures: A Comparative Analysis
Kaye, Alison G.
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In preparation for writing this paper, I had secured an internship at Mercy Occupational Medical Service (MOMS) in Detroit, Michigan. My goal: To identify a patient with a particularly interesting injury, and follow his or her particular case through treatment and rehabilitation, while familiarizing myself with the various aspects of the injury in general. For several weeks I made the two and one half hour commute from Kalamazoo at least twice a week, working alongside physicians and physical therapists as they evaluated and treated patients who had been injured at their place of employment. I had the opportunity to observe and learn about several interesting injuries and conditions, yet failed to find anything that had enough substance and character to truly intrigue me. Then one morning, as I walked into the clinic, Dr. Daniel Fink greeted me and told me that there was a patient being evaluated by a therapist that he thought I would like. It was then that I met Mr. Gary Monger, a police officer who was receiving physical therapy after suffering an Achilles' rupture. Dr. Fink had explained to be that Mr. Monger had refused surgical repair of his tendon, and had instead chosen immobilization through casting. Surprised by the idea that mere casting could replace surgical intervention with the same expectant results, I began studying the basics of Achilles' tendon ruptures, and soon discovered the varying opinions and controversy that surrounded such an injury. My interest had been stirred. I requested, and quickly received, Mr. Monger's permission to use his experience as a case study, which served as the basis for this project.