“Always running.” That’s what Tony Williams, 50, is always doing and it’s also the name of his company, Always Running, where he helps people safely reach their fitness goals. “We stress taking care of your body first,” says Tony, and he often suggests Virginia Mason to clients when they have concerns or get injured.
About 15 years ago, Tony was out for a run and had so much pain in his leg he had to stop after a quarter mile. At Virginia Mason, dead cartilage was found behind Tony’s kneecap, probably from an injury he had sustained 10 years earlier when his knee took the brunt of a collision with a light pole. The dead cartilage was cut away and holes drilled into the bone to create “trauma,” allowing scar tissue to form so the knee would essentially repair itself.
Tony was told that when the knee was fully healed, it would be as good as new. “Today the only way I can tell which knee had the problem is to look for the scar,” he says.
As a trainer, Tony found that many of his clients returned to training too soon following surgery, either because they were ignoring or hadn’t fully comprehended their doctor’s instructions. He began to go to appointments with his clients so he could hear the instructions they were given and could work with them more effectively.
When he sat in on the appointments, he says the medical people at Virginia Mason never had the attitude of ‘you’re just a coach.’ “They’ve always welcomed me, and we’ve had a lot of great outcomes because we’re all working together to help the patient,” he adds, “I like that they are very straightforward. They say, ‘this is what the problem is, this is what you need to do and this will be the outcome.'”
Tony is well known in the fitness community and says he gets calls every week from people asking where they should go when they’re having a physical problem. “I always tell them Virginia Mason,” says Tony. “They’re the best.”
This story originally appeared on VirginiaMason.org. Meet other patients who got back to the activities they enjoy with the help of an expert medical team from Virginia Mason Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.