Peter Savic has worked in the hospitality industry for the better part
of a decade.
“I have a passion for hospitality, and for a long time I’ve
had a dream of opening a restaurant with my wife, Megan, who is a chef,” he says.
Last July, just when Mr. Savic decided to move forward with his restaurant
dreams, an injury abruptly interfered.
He was with his family in Colorado, loading their cars for the move back
to Georgia, his home state, when an Achilles tendon injury forced him
to the sidelines.
“While packing up our belongings for the move, we briefly left some
items outside unattended,” Mr. Savic recalls. “When we realized
a passerby had taken some of the belongings, I started running toward
the apartment leasing office to see if they could help me track the thief
down. But I didn’t get far. I heard a snap, felt a pop and fell
to the ground.”
When he arrived at his new home on St. Simons Island, the pain still hadn’t
abated, So Mr. Savic met with
Denny A. Carter, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with
Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery. An MRI scan of his foot revealed that Mr. Savic had a severe tear in
his Achilles tendon — a thick, fibrous cord that connects the calf
muscles to the heel bone.
While discussing treatment options, Dr. Carter explained that surgery could
offer a small advantage over more conservative measures, like physical
therapy, in terms of reducing the likelihood of reinjuring the tendon.
“Historically, we’ve treated a lot of Achilles ruptures with
surgery,” Dr. Carter says. “However, more recent studies show
that if you do the rehabilitation appropriately, you can often obtain
equivalent results with nonsurgical treatment. Surgery is sometimes still
the best option, which is why I always discuss the options with every
Mr. Savic was hesitant to have surgery, and after weighing the pros and
cons of his treatment options, he ultimately decided to move forward with
Dr. Carter was very supportive of my decision when we met,” Mr. Savic
says. “He reassured me that no matter what route I chose, I would
be well taken care of. If I trusted the process, he said we’d get
through it together.”
Grateful to be back on his feet
Mr. Savic began several weeks of physical therapy at the Health System’s
Outpatient Rehabilitation Care Center on St. Simons Island. He also wore
a special boot designed to help heal his tendon. Mr. Savic enjoys spending
time outdoors with his family, and in addition to putting his restaurant
dreams on hold, his injury also limited his mobility. With help from physical
therapist Lisa St. Pierre, Mr. Savic began to recover his ability to resume
daily living activities.
Ms. St. Pierre taught him special exercises to help rehabilitate his injury,
including low-intensity, repetitive motions, as well as resistance training.
Gradually, they worked on more intense activities, such as using a treadmill.
“Lisa was super knowledgeable about my injury and what type of therapy
was needed to help me recover,” Mr. Savic says.
By winter, Mr. Savic was fully mobile, walking without crutches and continuing
physical therapy exercises at home.
What’s more, he was easing back into family activities, like kicking
a soccer ball with his son, and resuming plans for the restaurant. He
credits his physician and physical therapist for helping him to understand
his injury and treatment options and guiding him to heal safely.
“I felt in control of my recovery and empowered,” he says.
“That was important to me.
”Mr. Savic adds, “I’ve got my life back on track, and
we’re scheduled to open our restaurant, the Canopy Restaurant, this
spring in Darien.”