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Watching for Red Flags: Paxton’s Story

Watching for Red Flags: Paxton’s Story

It’s unusual to hear an 11-year-old complain of pain in both legs, but when Paxton Sherfey, of Bunker Hill, WV, told his mother his pain was unbearable she knew -"something was not right."

After eight months of “pushing through the pain,” Channing Sherfey made an appointment with his pediatrician Dr. Leda Duck, who diagnosed Achilles Tendinitis in his right leg and Sever’s disease in his left leg.

Achilles Tendinitis is a common injury in adolescents that usually accompanies an increase in activity or a growth spurt. It is a preventable injury and is treated effectively with physical therapy. Dr. Duck immediately referred Paxton to Winchester Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation | Cork Street for pediatric physical therapy where he teamed up with a pediatric certified specialist, Angela Eberle, PT, DPT, PCS. During her initial evaluation, she learned Paxton had a growth spurt and started playing baseball when his leg pain began.

The treatment plan Angela recommended would enable him to make positive progress quickly. Paxton went from dealing with pain that severely limited his day-to-day routine to being able to participate in sports again, pain-free! By week two of physical therapy, Paxton was already showing major signs of improvement with little to no pain.

His treatment included:

  • Patient and family education
  • Stretching
  • Home exercise
  • Ice
  • Time on a treadmill
  • And Wii Fit sports

Angela created a Red Flag tip sheet to help identify signs and symptoms of preventable injuries like Paxton's.

Boy in trainingIf left untreated, pain from Achilles Tendinitis can continue to worsen and ultimately lead to more debilitation. In severe cases with adolescents, it can result in an avulsion fracture of the heel from the Achilles tendon pulling away from the bone at the insertion site. Luckily, Paxton was able to get treatment before this happened.

Paxton’s main goals in therapy were to get back to boxing and playing baseball. His motivation and determination undoubtedly helped him achieve these goals and more. He and his family received a home exercise program to maintain the strength and flexibility needed to continue sports participation. With the education he received, Paxton now knows he needs to focus on stretching and strengthening at the start of a new sporting season in order to prevent this type of injury from recurring.

Boy in therapy

If you or someone you know could benefit from an evaluation, talk to your doctor about outpatient pediatric therapy and other services offered through Valley Health Rehabilitation Services.