Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – Sparks brings hope and healing


By Rosie Preston

During this holiday season, I’d like to show my appreciation for the men and women who are employed at Sparks Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic. Each day is brand new because the clinic treats so many patients. The clinic is a provider established in Rainbow City and specializes in physical therapy. In my case, I became affiliated with Dr. Daniel Sparks after breaking my knee.

I was walking to the kitchen for a midnight snack. I consider it a time of ‘comfort and peaceful silence!” My right foot had gotten tangled with my comforter when I took the fall. I felt something was wrong but did not know what it was until I tried to get up using my left leg, and it just wasn’t happening! But I was able to scream for help, and my roommate finally heard me and was able to get me to the sofa. I started making calls to find an orthopedic doctor who could see me soon. Luckily for me, Sparks had a cancellation that day. I used ice on my knee trying to handle the swelling until I entered the clinic.

I don’t think that I’ve ever been so glad to see a doctor! I guess you could say that I fell somehow knowing that he was my doctor at first sight! 

Dr. Sparks performed knee surgery, and within a few weeks suggested physical therapy. My knee was healing, so he recommended 12 therapy visits to Sparks’ physical rehab. He explained how it would further help my knee. I will be forever grateful that Dr. Sparks was available that day I hurt my knee.

During my first rehab appointment, I was evaluated by Cory Fuller, PT, DPT, OCS. He is the Clinic Director at Sparks Physical Therapy. He has a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Alabama and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; Cory also is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. In the professional world, he would be called Dr. Fuller, but he chooses to be casual with his clients. Cory shared his reason to go into physical therapy. He has a passion for human mobility and loves being able to form relationships with people.

Watching a therapist help his patients was very interesting. Cory told me the evaluation part becomes a little tricky. His patients already have a physician’s diagnosis, and he gives them a physical therapy diagnosis or are sometimes diagnosed combining several impairments which helps to treat the patient. Here is an example: “Mrs. Smith has a physician diagnosis of “Right Knee Arthroscopy with Lateral Meniscectomy.” Once she was evaluated by a physical therapist, she would receive a physical therapy diagnosis of “pain in the right knee, decreased range of motion in the right knee, edema in right knee and difficulty in walking. At this time, I would also take comorbidities into consideration. Mrs. Smith had comorbidities of diabetes and obesity, as well as fibromyalgia. I would also explore her prior level of activity before prescribing (this would also take comorbidities into consideration. Mrs. Smith had comorbidities of diabetes, obesity and fibromyalgia.

I would also take into account the prior level of activity before prescribing, which is the word you should use when talking about giving someone exercises) a treatment plan. I am the director of the clinic, but we also have three other physical therapists capable of performing evaluations just like me. Each physical therapist has a physical therapist assistant that can carry out a treatment plan for patients as well.”

Cory said all of the therapists encourage people to exercise at home once they are discharged, and that each patient receives a home exercise program that is very individualized and printed for them to carry home. Every employee wishes you a Happy New Year from Sparks Clinic and Sparks Rehab Therapy for 2021!

Keep Smiling, Rosie

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