The Skidaway Island Rotary Club welcomed Ernest Ledesma, owner of Ledesma Sports Medicine in Savannah, to our breakfast meeting last Wednesday.  Ernie graduated from the Physical Therapy program of Georgia State University and began his career in physical therapy with a University of Miami orthopedic group in 1992. Subsequently he came to Savannah to St. Joseph’s Hospital and after its merger with Candler Hospital he was appointed as the Outpatient Clinical Coordinator for the St. Joseph’s Hospital Campus Physical therapy Center.  Ernest left this Center to work in the private sector in outpatient physical therapy practice.
Ernie and his wife Kris, who is a physical therapist, have recently opened the first free standing privately owned physical therapy clinic in Savannah. In his presentation to us, Ernie described the nature of the maladies he can treat, the proximate cause of these problems, and the treatments he can offer. He and his wife take pride in offering, in Savannah, current and first time use of new treatment interventions to help their patients.

A graphic presentation to us showed the damage to various parts of our bodies:
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
Plantar Fasciitis
Muscle Strain
Achilles Tendonitis

Pain is our immediate association with these conditions, which are commonly suffered injuries usually associated with physical activity, not necessarily sports-related, caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress. The proper description of what happens is that muscles are called upon to absorb strain energy in excess of the strength of the muscle tissue available to deal with it. The result is interstitial tearing with associated inflammation, swelling and – yes, pain.

Ernie told us and showed us what he can do to alleviate these problems. He focused on two methodologies that can usually afford substantial relief and restoration of activity. The first is the “Grafton Technique” which employs bar-like instruments manipulated by a therapist and moved up, down, and across the affected area with some pressure with the objective of dissipating scar tissue. Ernie said that the patient can feel the dissolution of the “knots” as the pressure rides over the painful areas. The second methodology that Ernie is proud to offer is the introduction (the first in Savannah) of the Class IV Laser, the strongest laser that can be used outside a surgical situation. This treatment increases blood flow and oxidization to speed healing, causes the cells to begin healing themselves, and can be used in acute situations to alleviate pain as quickly as possible. Members of our club greatly appreciated knowing of these treatments, since many of us are golfers, tennis players, or otherwise in need of some help with bodies which don’t want to move as we might like them to do.
Pictured below are President Bill, Ernie Ledesma and Kathy Kleinsteuber.