It started out as a normal work day for package delivery driver and Delta County resident, Jeremy Sanchez. He was carrying out his daily tasks when he stepped up into his truck, as he usually did, but this time he heard a loud popping noise come from his knee.
“I fell to the ground and immediately noticed my knee had caved in,” said Jeremy. “I knew something bad had happened when I couldn’t straighten or bend my leg.”
It turns out that Jeremy completely tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and damaged his meniscus, a c-shaped piece of tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and the thighbone. After numerous tests and an MRI, Jeremy underwent surgery on June 23, 2022, for a knee replacement and a patellar tendon replacement.
“I was injured in high school on the same knee so they had to replace the bone on my knee,” said Jeremy. “One of my biggest challenges with this injury is not being able to do what I used to do. It’s a mental battle as much as a physical one. I just want to get back to my every day of being able to play sports and be with my two daughters.”
It turns out, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that ACL injuries affect as many as 250,000 individuals annually in the United States. Despite the commonality of ACL tears, the road to recovery is still a long and strenuous one that requires a quality team of healthcare professionals. For Jeremy, that team included the physical therapists at the Delta Health Outpatient Therapies and Sports Performance Clinic.
Jeremy has been in physical therapy for over six months to treat his injury and to help him along the recovery process. He has worked with multiple therapists at Delta Health, but Peter Brown, PT, DPT has been his primary therapist.
“I was referred to Delta Health and they have a great program here,” said Jeremy. “From the moment I walked into the building, everyone was warm and welcoming. They push you in a way that is safe yet makes you stronger and better every single day. I should start running and jogging soon [and I can’t wait]. I appreciate this team and everything that they do.”
Having a previous history of a knee injury, Jeremy thought he knew what to expect from his physical therapy sessions. He says he used to think of them as torture and was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case at Delta Health. Jeremy said the team took their time and assessed the injury and gradually pushed him.
“Delta Health Rehab is actually the largest rehab provider in Delta County, and our goal is always to treat the patient using a holistic approach,” said Manuel Delgado, MS, PT, and Director of Outpatient Therapies and Sports Performance. “We have the same goal as they do of getting them back to living the life they love. We want them healthy and active with an independent state of living. We’ve been so thrilled with Jeremy’s progress and how much he has improved.”
Jeremy grew up in Delta, Colorado and played sports growing up. He loves hunting, fishing and spending time with his daughters. Jeremy runs cattle on Blue Mesa and loves living the ranch lifestyle.
“We actually took over my Grandfather’s ranch operation when he passed away,” said Jeremy. “We want to continue it on in his name, which is another reason why getting healthy and healing this injury is so important. I want to get back to business and take care of what I need for me and my family.”
Keeping a positive mindset on his journey to healing has helped Jeremy stay focused and hopeful. He said the Delta Health Rehab team has supported him throughout the journey and has shown him how to stay strong if he finds himself bogged down from not being able to do the things he used to do physically.
“I would highly recommend the Rehab program at Delta Health,” said Jeremy. “They all do a great job, and even though Manuel is the Director, he is always coming in and interacting with patients and the staff. It makes for a nice environment and a nice place to be receiving physical therapy.”
Jeremy’s road to recovery continues, but he is hopeful and knows that very soon he will get back to doing the things he loves most.
To learn more about the Delta Health Outpatient Therapies and Sports Performance Clinic, call 970.874.2250 or visit deltahealthco.org/rehabilitation-therapy/. There are locations in Delta, Paonia and Cedaredge.