A Fresh Start at 62 Thanks to New Knees, Great PT

For as long as he can remember, Tom Gayman has been very active.

As a high school athlete, Tom put all of his energy into playing basketball. During his freshman year in 1975, his excessive and repetitive cartilage tears left him no option but surgery. By the time sophomore year rolled around, his right knee blew out, requiring yet another procedure.

Fast forward 40 years and arthritis, pain and immobility kicked in. Tom knew his ongoing cortisone shots weren’t going to cut it and that he needed to do something drastic if he wanted to keep his active lifestyle and career in commercial real estate.

“I told myself in 2018 I’m just going to do it, I’m going to help myself; that’s my M.O,” Tom explained.

So, in January of 2018, Tom had his left knee replaced. He chose ARC Physical Therapy+ Urbandale based on the prime location and positive reviews he found online. And from the beginning, he had a great experience with Physical Therapist Charlie Flatness.

“Charlie was very detailed, he asked a lot of questions and took the anxiety out of the physical therapy process. He told me it wasn’t going to be a picnic and that I’d need to carry out my end of the deal, then he laid out a plan. The whole process impressed me,” Tom said.

Charlie Flatness, MS, DPT, approached Tom’s situation with a clear plan from the beginning. As a seasoned physical therapist with more than 18 years of experience, his favorite part about the job is helping his patients return to their normal lives, all while getting to know them.

“I like to help people get back to doing whatever it is they need to do. It’s rewarding to see people get better and know that I had something to do with that process. I enjoy getting to know folks. I always try to find some kind of common ground with patients, which makes my job easier and more enjoyable. I think if we, as therapists, connect to patients on a personal level, it is a win for everyone,” Charlie explained.

After Tom was treated, he returned back to work but knew it was only a matter of time before he was going to replace the right knee. When the time came, he returned back to the place he knew he would receive the best care—ARC Physical Therapy+ and his friend, Charlie.

“I’ve been treated by other physical therapists in the past for other issues, but Charlie’s better; he’s detailed, understanding, and personable, and he always shares exactly what we’re trying to accomplish with each exercise, keeping the end goal in mind.”

“I’m a pretty high energy person, and I’m used to being on my feet, walking a lot. Charlie is a great coach. He got to know me and recognized it was a challenge for me to sit still and rest, so he helped me create patience. He was upbeat, and we had great conversations, but he was always aware of what I was doing and made sure I did things right; he challenged me.”

Tom recently got the all clear by his doctor and returned to the work he so enjoys. Two functioning knees allows him to continue to live his best life, traveling with his wife and spending time with his grown children and three grandkids.

The bottom line: “If you need physical therapy, you need to go to ARC Physical Therapy+,” Tom said.

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