Meet Dr. Brooks

Name: Debbie Brooks
From: Originally from Stockton, CA but have lived most of my life in AZ, grew up in Casa Grande and have been in metro PHX for 30+ years now.

Occupation: Veterinarian – did 3 years of postdoctoral training in surgery and just do referrals for other vets in their practices.

A brief overview of her story: In Feb 2017 I was at one my clients (now ex-client) and had been setting up the surgical suite, when I came out of the room, he was manhandling a dog that he slammed into my right knee bending it about 90 degrees and hyperextending it. From then on, it was a downhill spiral and in August my orthopedic surgeon told me the only way I would get back to normal function was a knee replacement. That took a few days for me to mentally process but I had seen my radiographs so I knew how bad the damage was. The injury eventually consumed pretty much every part of my life, my knee was so painful I had to decrease my workload, couldn’t sleep, and had to stop all my activities. My primary hobby is training and running my dogs in agility trials. That all came to a screeching halt until I got my knee replacement in November.

How were you feeling prior to working with Fischer Insitute to aid in your recovery? Honestly, my life sucked!!! Walking was so painful, working was a challenge since pretty much all the procedures I perform require me to stand. I was in constant pain and had trouble sleeping. Couldn’t do the things I normally do for fun and to stay somewhat grounded. The injury affected every single aspect of my life.

How do you feel Fischer has made an impact on your journey? I was able to return to running my dogs in agility trials 11 weeks after my knee replacement! And you DO have to run to do agility with your dogs. I feel so fortunate to have been able to go to Fischer, especially when I hear about experiences others have had after knee replacement. Instead of tailoring my rehab to what insurance thought I needed, my rehab was tailored to me and to get me back to my normal life. I’m not an athlete, but I was treated just like the pro athletes there. And Fischer is like family – I still go in to visit my friends there when I can.

What is your favorite part of coming to PT? I loved watching the athletes who were either rehabbing or preparing for the MLB season or the NFL combine. So inspiring to see the things they could do! And I loved feeling like I was just as important to the staff as those athletes.

What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Waiting to finally get in for my knee replacement. Once it was done, at least I was going forward instead of spinning my wheels in the mud.

What are you most excited for now looking at the future? I still work with a trainer who used to work there – he is responsible for me going to Fischer immediately after my surgery, and between that and watching the pro athletes, I know I can continue to improve my fitness and my ability to run and handle my dogs. I got tired of being told I couldn’t do something because I was 60+! Age has nothing to do with my recovery, it was effort and guidance. And it is really nice to not be in pain and living on pain meds, to be able to work and sleep normally. I never realized just how much my constant pain affected me until it was gone. I can’t believe how much different and better my life is now than the first day I walked into Fischer Institute.

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