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Mike’s Comeback Story!

Mike Thiem is no stranger to injury.  In fact, when you look at his medical history, it appears he is good friends with it!  Fortunately for us at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute (OPTI), Mike’s injuries have led him through our doors and as a result, we all have a friend in Mike.  Mike has overcome all of his injuries with a smile on his face and his presence in the clinic has been positive for not only our staff but for other patients as well.

Learn more about Mike’s Comeback Stories!!!

1. What were your injuries?  How did they happen?

  • Bilateral knee arthroscopies: These were due to multiple meniscus injuries from wear and tear after running 7 marathons, multiple other road races, and a life of being active and involved in sports.
  • R unicompartmental knee replacement: This was the result of an unsuccessful meniscus repair due to no blood flow to upper femur.
  • Bilateral rotator cuff tears: I tore the right rotator cuff jumping into a pool while thrusting my arms up in the air.  I tore the left one landing on it while diving to catch a ball in a “friendly” kickball game!
  • Bilateral carpal tunnel releases: I had carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive computer work.
  • Tendon transfer in R thumb/wrist: This was from degenerative osteoarthritis in my thumb.


2.  What was the toughest part about your injuries?

  • Probably the mental aspect of not being able to remain active.  The initial months of physical therapy were always the hardest.  However, I can honestly say that I looked forward to every physical therapy session at OPTI!  They made recovery and rehab as pleasant as possible!

3.  What have you learned from having to overcome physical injuries?

  • To go to OPTI for each and every physical therapy need!

4.  What activities do you enjoy now (including exercise, hobbies, etc.) after coming back from your injuries?

  • I exercise daily, usually low to no impact cardio (bike, elliptical), and weight training.  I run a little (short distance with our dog) about 3 times per week.
  • I enjoy snow skiing and water skiing.
  • I am also very active in working outside with maintenance of our house.

 5.  How did OPTI positively impact your recovery?

  • Confidence – The physical therapist at OPTI provided me confidence at every session that I was getting better (showing progress).  That is the mental aspect of the recovery.  It can be “long” but the encouragement made all the difference.
  • Knowledge – The entire staff is very knowledgeable about their craft.  Their knowledge transfers over to the confidence they instill in their patients
  • Fun – The staff at OPTI made rehab as fun as possible.  As I mentioned previously, I actually looked forward to each and every session!
  • Their approach to rehab takes the “pain” out of the process. The physical therapists at OPTI do not push their patients through pain.  The treatment is gentle and effective, especially immediately after surgery.
  • All of the above played a vital role in the “mental” aspect of the recovery/rehabilitation process.

6.  Is there anything else you would like to share that might help others who are going through injury?

  • Go to OPTI.  No need to look anywhere else.  I did go to 2 different PT clinics for a few of my injuries prior to learning about OPTI and my experiences were good.  However, my experiences at OPTI were always GREAT.  I walked out of OPTI after every session in a better mood than when I went in.
  • Understand that you WILL recover but it may take time.  Don’t push yourself too hard or get frustrated.  (OPTI can help you with that!)

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute is an outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy clinic with it’s main location at 144th & Dodge and it’s secondary location inside of the Omaha Sports Complex on 144th & Giles.  OPTI is the BEST place for physical therapy in Omaha!


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