The Rest of the Story

The rest of the story…

…….current treatment strategies in physical therapy that can lessen the pain and increase his mobility.  We knew that we would either get him in better shape and better prepared for surgery OR we would be able to more comfortably delay that surgery until he was older while maintaining a good quality of life.  It was a win-win situation working together.  We performed many manual therapy, or “hands-on” techniques, including long axis hip traction.  We combined these with specific exercises focused on mobility, strength and function.

The more we performed long axis traction in the clinic, the better movement he obtained, the less pain he had and the more he was able to exercise comfortably. We wanted to figure out how to do this at home with ropes and pulleys so he could do it more often and have more control over his destiny.  It was cumbersome and a real pain in the butt to set up at home, but doing this 20 minutes a day, he really started seeing more improvements.  I knew there were some home spinal traction devices that were very popular for bulging discs and spinal pain so I knew there must be a specific hip traction device. Turns out, there was not.  Knowing how much it was helping him, I thought about inventing some kind of device that could help a lot of people like him, but felt there were just too many obstacles, too many unknowns and frankly, I didn’t have any money and didn’t know how to go about it.  I just let it go for 10 years and kept moving forward with my career……..

In 2008, as I was running along the waterfront in Downtown Portland, Oregon, I was unfortunately surprised to learn that I had a genetic heart disorder.  I had emergency open heart surgery and had to take 6 weeks off of work. After 5 days in the hospital,  as I was waiting in my wheelchair ready to check out, I looked up on the wall and saw a quote from Samuel Johnson that struck a chord in me somehow. It read, “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” Seeing that quote and thinking about my life following this very scary ordeal, there was just something about it that stuck with me.

I returned to work and hip intra-articular pathology had become my particular area of focus and special interest in my practice.  I was still treating many individuals with hip OA. As I was performing long axis traction to my patient, they just stated, “wow, this feels really good, I wish I had something at home that could do this.” And that was the final straw. I thought about Samuel Johnson, I thought about the impossibility of me inventing something, and after a lot of encouragement from my wife, I decided to go for it.

I hired a patent attorney to perform a patentability search and they concluded that there was not anything like it in the world.  I began my patent application, hired a mechanical engineer and the rest is history……………Am I proud? You bet I am!  I went from this crazy sketch on a piece of notebook paper in 2008 recovering from open heart surgery to now helping individuals all over the world serving 25 countries and counting.  There were a lot of challenges to overcome, but in the end, I guess Samuel Johnson was right!

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