Care Worth Counting On

When the CEO of Special Olympics Texas injured his Achilles tendon, he trusted the Sports and Injury Clinic with his treatment

Reviewed by: Tim Martin and Anthony “AJ” Johnson, MD, FAOA, FACS, FAAOS
Written by: Lauren Schneider

Close-up of a man wearing yellow running shoes grabbing his ankle in discomfort.

Every year, participants in Law Enforcement Torch Run events benefitting Special Olympics convene for the Law Enforcement Torch Run International Conference. This year’s conference, held this week in Round Rock, includes a Torch Run as well as meetings and other events focused on advancing the mission of Special Olympics. Among this year’s participants is Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics Texas (SOTX), who was treated for an Achilles tendon injury last year at the Sports and Injury Clinic within the Musculoskeletal Institute at UT Health Austin.

Tim first became aware of the clinic because two practitioners, Anthony “AJ” Johnson, MD, and Tammy Noel, MSN, serve as Clinical Directors for SOTX; Dr. Johnson has been involved with Special Olympics since the 1990s. Although he lives and works near San Antonio, Tim says he sought treatment at the Musculoskeletal Institute because he was so impressed with the level of care the clinic’s providers offered at Special Olympics events. “Watching how they interact with pretty much everybody they come across, you can tell this group is something special.”

Convenient, individualized treatment

After Tim sustained his injury, he was evaluated at the clinic the very next day. At that appointment, he underwent x-ray scans, received a diagnosis, and met with the physical therapy team, who worked with him to develop an individualized recovery plan.

“Achilles tendon injuries are very common, but in most cases, they can be treated with minimal time away from work and without surgery,” says Dr. Johnson. “Our comprehensive treatment model is perfect for these types of injuries because the physical therapists are integrated with the rest of the team.”

Because Tim is based in San Antonio, follow-up appointments with the physical therapy team were conducted virtually. “In addition to our nutrition and social work services, our physical therapy lends itself very well to telehealth,” says Dr. Johnson. The next time Dr. Johnson saw Tim, at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Summer Games in Orlando, his condition had drastically improved.

“The best of hands”

A headshot of Tim Martin wearing a green shirt and necktie.

Growing up as an athlete, Tim was always apprehensive about visiting the doctor for fear of bad news that would affect his abilities, a fear that only grew with age. “As you get older, you get nervous every time you get an injury like that, especially one as painful as the Achilles tendon. All the fears come to your mind: is this going to take away my mobility? Is this going to limit how I live my life?”

His fears were assuaged by his Musculoskeletal Institute care team. “I dread going to the doctor, but they change your whole perception,” he says. “From the time you get in the room until the time you leave, you’re assured that you’re in the best of hands. You couldn’t ask for a better experience.”

For more information about the Musculoskeletal Institute or to schedule an appointment, click here or call 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737).

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.