FAQ

 

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What is a Physiatrist?

A physiatrist is a physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  The Advisory Board of Medical Specialties granted PM&R its approval as a specialty of medicine in 1947.  As America ages, quality of life is becoming an increasing concern.  The field of Physiatry is moving to the forefront of medicine and now sub specializes in a variety of medical disciplines, including but not limited to spinal cord injuries, sports medicine, brain injuries such as stroke, concussions and TBI, and pain management.  This branch of medicine is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries of nerves, muscles and joints, musculoskeletal disorders.  The physiatrist is either the team leader or consultant who diagnoses and performs all testing to confirm the diagnosis and develops an appropriate treatment program, monitoring and adjusting as needed.  Dr. Podhorodecki is a Board Certified Physiatrist who is also Board Certified in EMG (Electrodiagnostic Testing) and also Board Certified in the sub specialty of Sports Medicine.

What happens during the first consultation?

If you were referred to Dr. Podhorodecki, you will be asked to fill in a pain diagram and answer brief questions about your problem. You will then be asked about your symptoms and how they affect your everyday function. Your past illnesses, medications, drug allergies will be noted. If you had any previous MRI’s or other diagnostic data, please bring these with you, if possible. A physical examination will be performed to test your strength, coordination, reflexes, balance, and sensation and may include observation of you walking or getting in and out of a chair, etc.

What kind of treatments can I expect?

Once a working diagnosis is determined, an individual prescription or more testing, depending on the problem, will be organized. The physical therapy prescription may include heat, TENS, ice, ultrasound, laser, iontophoresis, massage and a series of exercises including stretching and strengthening, which will be upgraded with time and with your progress. We feel that the more effort you put into your physical therapy restoration, the faster and greater benefits to you. Medications, injections, splints, braces will also be organized if needed. WE do not provide services to patients under the age of 14, and minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

What if my doctor has diagnosed me already and has given me a prescription for physical therapy?

This is a direct referral for physical therapy. We welcome referrals from our colleagues, whether they are primary care doctors, orthopedists or gynecologists. You must bring this prescription as well as your insurance referral (if required) on your first visit. Please specify when you make your appointment that you have a prescription for physical therapy from your doctor and that you are a direct referral. After your first initial evaluation with the physical therapist, your doctor will be provided with a treatment plan of care to appraise him or her of the treatments you will be receiving. If your therapy becomes continuous (beyond a month), you may be recommended to see Dr. Podhorodecki to change, redirect or help with your treatment or management to get you better faster. This is however, your choice or you may continue physical therapy prescriptions from your own doctor every four weeks. Otherwise, Dr. Podhorodecki is most happy to examine you and help with your care.

What if I am referred for an EMG?

An EMG stands for Electromyogram. This is a specialized test, consisting of electromyography and nerve conduction studies. Both components go hand in hand, and provide vital information regarding your nerve and muscle function and integrity. Using a computer monitor, amplifier, loudspeaker, stimulator and high tech filters, the physician examiner places small electrodes over your muscles and delivers a small electric current, causing your nerves to fire. These signals are picked up by the computer and the information interpreted by the physician. There is no damage to your body with the shocks. If you have a pace maker or other implant or devices, please inform the physician prior to the study, so that measures may be used to protect it during the procedure.

 

The second part of the test involves a very small acupuncture-type needle to be inserted into various muscles. A sterile, single use needle is used and then disposed of after the examination. There should only be mild discomfort during the needle study, which is only short lived. Bruising is rare and also transient. There is virtually no chance to catch any diseases from the EMG needle and the chance of infection is also minimal. If you are on blood thinners, please inform the doctor. This is not a contraindication to needle testing but sampling will be limited and exercised with caution. If you have Lymphedema, that limb will be avoided. Please do not apply lotion or creams to your limbs on the day of the test.

 

After the EMG/Nerve Conduction Study, Dr. Podhorodecki will analyze the data; combine the information into a report. Your referring physician and your primary doctor will be sent a copy the next working day. Be sure to return to your referring physician to discuss the results of the study and for further management.

Co-payments are requested promptly at the time of visit.

We accept cash, checks, and credit cards.

There is a cancellation fee policy for physical therapy appointments (if cancellation less than 24 hours).