A starting sophomore lacrosse player at Ursinus College, Courtney Cortese, was in the midst of a game when she heard a loud popping noise from her right knee. She fell to the ground in pain.
Courtney was in shock, as she had never experienced any previous injuries other than a sprained ankle.
“From the sound and feeling of this, I knew it was bad,” says Courtney.
Her intuition proved correct - she had managed to tear her right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and would need reconstructive surgery.
“It was really tough,” Courtney says. “Being an athlete is part of my identity.”
Several weeks later, Courtney met with Penn Medicine surgeon John D. Kelly, IV, MD, to discuss repairing the injury. After a successful surgery, she was tasked with her next step to recovery - physical therapy. Both her college trainer and Dr. Kelly highly recommended Penn Therapy & Fitness.
Courtney began her physical therapy a few weeks later with Brian Leggin, PT, DPT, OCS, at Penn Therapy’s Valley Forge location. Brian’s focus was to increase mobility in her right leg and break down scar tissue.
Courtney worked hard and made great progress, but she eventually plateaued. Brian knew that no amount of rehabilitation or exercise would break down her scar tissue and suggested Courtney consider another surgery.
Following Brian’s advice, Courtney underwent a second surgery to remove the scar tissue and then eagerly returned to physical therapy. Thanks to the therapy plan Brian and his team developed, she was able to regain her full range of motion and strength.
Although she was apprehensive, Courtney returned to lacrosse in a limited capacity and eventually made it back to full participation. Unfortunately, ten minutes into her first game back in her junior season, she sustained a rupture of her left ACL. This required another reconstructive surgery and a referral to physical therapy. Without hesitating, Courtney chose Penn Therapy & Fitness.
Courtney pushed herself harder than ever in therapy to get back to full recovery. Brian, along with Karen Havlicsek, PTA, and James Arnone, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT, tailored individual therapy just for her.
Courtney credits Penn Therapy’s challenging and rewarding rehabilitation plan with helping her to achieve her goal – to get back on the field for her senior year. Not only was it a successful season, but it also was injury free. Brian came to a game to watch his former patient play.
“Other than the knee brace, you would not be able to tell that Courtney had reconstructive surgery on both knees!”
“The ability to work as hard as Courtney did for as long as she did speaks volumes about her mental toughness, character and work ethic,” Brian says.
“I would 100 percent recommend Penn Therapy & Fitness,” Courtney says. “They’re just so involved in your life and rehab care while managing to go above and beyond. No other place does this.”
For more info about how Penn Therapy and Fitness can help with your recovery, call 877-969-7342 or visit us at PennPartners.org.