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South County Physical Therapy, Inc. helps high school athlete return to sports

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2016

Contact Information:
Eric Cardin, SCPT Executive Director, 508-389-9912

WESTBOROUGH _ When Westborough High School (WHS) athlete James Coffey experienced his third dislocated knee while covering second base during a fall league game in 2014, the young competitor underwent extensive knee surgery in an effort to one day return to sports. A week after the procedure, Coffey began intensive therapy at the regionally recognized practice, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT) and soon afterwards, went on to surpass his own expectations for recovery.

The surgery was performed at Children’s Hospital in Boston, by renowned orthopedic surgeon Mininder Kocher, Associate Director of the Sports Medicine Division and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. On Boston Children’s Hospital’s website, Kocher credits an injury similar to James’ for sparking his interest in healing.

“I entered medicine because of pediatric sports medicine. I had surgery on my knees as a high school and college athlete in basketball and track. I was fascinated by my surgeons’ ability to make a diagnosis, surgically fix injured tissue, supervise my rehabilitation, and get me back to what I loved doing. I feel privileged to be a part of that with my patients.” Kocher wrote.

Dr. Kocher’s unwavering confidence in the surgery’s success rate inspired Coffey to move forward with the procedure, and ultimately return to the sports he loved: baseball, basketball and golf.

“It was my first move towards stepping back onto the basketball court,” Coffey said. “My situation was also helped by friends and family supporting me with well wishes, including my father who helped guide me through the whole process, as he also had similar injuries and surgery in high school.”

One week after the operation, Coffey began intensive therapy with SCPT’s Nancy Siegal PT, MS, Director of the practice’s Worcester location.

“It was immediately apparent that James had a strong drive to reach his objectives,” Siegal said. “His intent was to return to sports, and he was eager to do the work. He knew it would take dedication to his home program as well as what we did in therapy, to return to his prior level of play. James and I would talk about the frustrations, and we would agree on clear goals together,” Siegal added.

At the beginning of therapy sessions, Coffey’s quadriceps muscle was very weak and barely contracting. Siegal worked to decrease the swelling around the knee and get the quadriceps muscle firing effectively through electrical stimulation, which helped to facilitate and assist muscle contractions.

“From the first day I started working with Nancy, I knew that we would be a successful team, and that she would be able to help me get back to my daily routine of sports, as quickly and safely as possible,” Coffey explained.

Though it took a prolonged period of time to rebuild lost strength, Coffey made steady progress throughout his six months of therapy.

“When I finally stepped onto the basketball court after a year’s absence, my head was spinning. A wave of emotions hit me— I was so excited to be back on the court, I was proud of myself for my hard work that got me to that point, yet I was still a little fearful of another injury,” Coffey said. “From that moment, I have not looked back, and have elevated my game to the best it has ever been, due in large part to my long rehab process with Nancy and Eric Cardin at SCPT.”

In the last game of the season against Quabbin Regional High School, Coffey was the leading WHS scorer with 16 points, including four three-pointers and six rebounds. He was named as a Mid-Wach All Star at the end of the season and selected to be a member of the Mid-Wach B All Star team— the only player from Westborough chosen to participate from the 2015-’16 season.

“Throughout this process, I’ve learned you cannot achieve your true potential until you are willing to exceed your own goals and expectations, and you have to be willing to listen to people who have experience and your best interests in mind,” Coffey said.

Just as Coffey was encouraged by the therapists at SCPT, those same therapists who worked closely with Coffey were inspired by his resilience.

“The strength to persevere through therapy, with a goal of performing better than before an injury, comes from within each patient. SCPT gives its patients the needed treatment program and helps patients apply them. At the end of the day, it’s the patient who makes the decision to follow through with their home exercise plan. That motivation is the cornerstone to a complete recovery, and James had that motivation,” said SCPT Executive Director Eric Cardin.

For 30 years, South County Physical Therapy, Inc. has been dedicated to providing its patients with quality, personalized rehabilitative care in an environment that is safe, comfortable and compassionate. As a privately owned company, the organization has given back to numerous charitable organizations in the communities it serves, and seeks to make a difference in promoting wellness and health awareness. The company offers six locations in Central Massachusetts that include: Auburn, Charlton, Millbury, Westborough (East Main Street and Oak Street) and Worcester. For more information, visit

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