Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Patients who need comprehensive evaluations and conservative treatment of orthopedic conditions will benefit from an appointment with our physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatry) specialists. Physiatrists treat a wide array of problems affecting the musculoskeletal system, including sports and spine disorders. We have expertise in the diagnosis and comprehensive  care for the whole person.

Our physiatrists hold subspecialtiy certifications in sports, ultrasound imaging, electrodiagnostic testing, acupuncture, and pain management. They also have special interests in performing arts, the use of ultrasound  for diagnosis and treatment of joint and nerve disorders, acupuncture to assist with both diagnosis and treatment of myofascial disorders, manual medicine, hip and spine disorders and their links to hip deformity, gender related disorders in addition to general musculoskeletal and orthopedic disorders.

Make an appointment today by calling 314-514-3500, or request an appointment online.

Our Team

Patients who need comprehensive evaluations and conservative treatment of orthopedic conditions will benefit from an appointment with a physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatry) specialist at Washington University Orthopedics.

Treatment Approach

Our physiatry team recognizes the importance of maintaining function, physiatrists have the expertise to help patients resolve their problems and prevent a recurrence. The primary goal is to reduce pain and improve function, and understanding that pain can be perceived differently by each person is important.

Our physiatrists provide many nonsurgical treatment options, and will work with you to personalize your treatment plan based on your individual needs and goals. Diagnostic tests may be recommended, and patients with nerve injuries may undergo electrodiagnostic testing combined with ultrasound visualization to better assess nerve injuries when indicated.

Customized treatment plans could include any of the following recommendations: 

  • Mechanism of injury education
  • Aerobic exercise education
  • Medication and supplement recommendations
  • Education to reduce inflammation
  • Healthy lifestyle recommendations
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Medical massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Regenerative medicine procedures
  • Ultrasound guided procedures
  • Fluoroscopic guided procedures
  • Smoking cessation
  • Orthosis

If a surgical referral becomes necessary, physiatrists work closely with our orthopedic surgeons to provide integrated care that maximizes a return to functional mobility.

Specialized Services

Sports Medicine
Our physiatry specialists are board-certified in sports medicine, and provide conservative solutions to sports-related injuries. Our specialists have a vast amount of experience treating athletes, working with many professional sports teams and organizations within the St. Louis area, as well as providing medical coverage for high schools and performing arts studios across the St. Louis region. 

Medical Program for Performing Artists
The Medical Program for Performing Artists provides dancers, musicians, actors, artists, and singers with quality medical  treatment in a timely manner. Our goal is for performers to return to performance at full function and reduce their risk for future injury. 

Orthopedic Injury Clinic
Our physiatry specialists are providers at the walk-in Orthopedic Injury Clinic. Patients are seen for acute bone, joint or muscle issues such as a sprain, strain, fracture, or sports-related injury. The Orthopedic Injury Clinic is available in South County and Chesterfield, for patients ages 5 and above. 

Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine can be used for a wide-range of  musculoskeletal conditions, but is particularly helpful in patients with chronic tendon injuries and joints with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. Treatment options include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and possibly mesenchymal stem cells.  

Acupuncture
Our experts in acupuncture have received training outside of the country and offer a unique method of treatment that modulates the anatomics structure, often the myofascial system that is the source of the disorder and pain. Tiny needles are inserted to stimulate specific points to be modified. For some disorders, pain reduction is experience during the treatment.

Research & Clinical Trials

For information on current clinical trials related to orthopedics, or to make an appointment with a specialist with Washington University Orthopedics, please call (314) 514-3500 or toll free (866) 867-3627.

Meet Our Team

Heidi Prather, DO

Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Vice Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Chief of Section in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
PM&R Musculoskeletal Sports Medicine Fellowship Co-Director
Director of Orthopaedic Spine Center 

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Abby L. Cheng

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery

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Dale Colorado, DO, MPH

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurology

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Jeremy Hartman, MD

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery

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Devyani Hunt, MD

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurology
Co-Director, Medical Program for Performing Artists

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Adam LaBore, MD

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurology

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John Metzler, MD

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurology
PM&R Musculoskeletal Sports Medicine Fellowship Co-Director

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Nathan Olafsen, MD

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

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Scott Simpson, MD

Scott Simpson, MD

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery

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Chi-Tsai Tang, MD

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
PM&R Sports Medicine Fellowship Co-Director

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Allison J. Modglin, MMS, PA-C

Physician Assistant

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Corri Payton, MSN, APRN, BC

Adult Nurse Practitioner

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Patient Stories

Tanya Strautmann - Hip Labral Tear

In her 12 years with the St. Louis Ballet company—during which time she danced many lead roles and rose to international acclaim—principal ballerina Tanya Strautmann had missed only one day of class and performing. So when hip pain forced her to take two days off in the Spring of 2008, she knew she had crossed the threshold from what she calls “good pain” into “bad pain.”

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Read Tanya's Story

Patient Education

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