AlterG Patient Success Story

The AlterG® - One of the Tools PTS Offers to Ease Your Recovery

When Patrick Vaughan tore his Achilles tendon while playing basketball, he knew he’d need some kind of therapy to recover after surgery… and he feared the road to recovery would be a long one. A basketball coach, he knew his activity would be greatly diminished if he didn’t get the therapy he needed.

“I was kind of dragging my feet at first but physical therapy with the AlterG really has made a huge difference. I heard of it from a friend and contacted Tony Schupp, a Physical Therapist at the Washington clinic. He told me PTS had just gotten the AlterG and that it would help strengthen my Achilles tendon. He said it was a good way to get me running again.”


How Did the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill Make a Difference?

“Tony said the AlterG could help get me back on my feet, especially since I had been so physically active before the injury. Plus, I didn’t have to be at 100 percent to use the AlterG because I would start running at only half my body weight. Otherwise, I would have had to wait to implement a running program until I was at full capacity. The AlterG allowed me to ease into running again and gain my confidence back.”

According to Physical Therapist, Tony Schupp, “The Alter-G can allow clients to walk or run at decreased body weight in order to allow them to start working on normalizing mechanics.  This can speed up recovery and get clients back to physical activities at a faster pace.”


What Was Your Experience?

“It was a little bit different at first,” Patrick said. “I had to wear these special pants and needed to get used to that. But the running part was amazing! I remember telling Tony that I felt euphoric running again for the first time! I got that adrenaline high because I hadn’t done it for so long. After the surgery, I was down and it was just nice to be able to get back to running. It helped me to believe that I can recover from a pretty serious injury.”


How Does the AlterG Work?

“In the beginning, Tony walked me through step by step, to make sure I was pretty comfortable with the machine. As I started coming in more often, I knew how to run it myself. It’s pretty easy – just hit a couple of buttons and it determines what your weight is at, then you program it to how much body weight you want to put on your extremity and then you just go. It didn’t take much for me to learn how to use it. The experience was positive.”

Tony Schupp, PT, DPT explains, “the Alter-G works through “air-pressure differential”, which acts to unweight the person in the unit.  This allows for freedom of motion at reduced body weight and increased ease with walking and running.  It’s as simple as putting on a pair of Alter-G shorts over your clothes and standing in the unit for 30 seconds as it calibrates to you.”


What Were Your Results?

“It’s taken about a year since the procedure to get back into the swing of things, but I’m not really at 100 percent yet. The AlterG definitely helped me get my confidence back. I can also perform leg and calf raises in the machine – even jump – and all without putting my full body weight on my injury. So that helps me to work through it more quickly.

With respect to his recovery, Tony reflects that “Patrick made great progress in his time in the Alter-G, and would have had a much longer, harder time getting back to the athletic activities he loves doing if he hadn’t used it.”

“Although I dragged my feet in the beginning, I admit it’s made a huge difference. Literally, within the first two days, there was such a difference going to physical therapy, breaking up the scar tissue and helping me gain flexibility back in the leg and foot. I began regaining my strength. The AlterG was especially great because I like running and staying healthy, and I was able to do some of the activities I enjoyed even though I wasn’t fully ready. I’ve enjoyed the experience and recommend PTS. It’s only one of a few places with the AlterG. Plus, the staff is really friendly… just good people. They truly cared about me and my situation.”


For more information on the AlterG and the physical therapy that can get you back on your feet, contact us today or click here to see a list of our locations!