An 81-year-old Houston area Army Veteran confined to a wheelchair for over a year and a half is crediting staff at the Houston VA’s Tomball Outpatient Clinic with providing him aggressive and expert treatment that has him up on his feet again. Paul Anderson of Magnolia, Texas had struggled with mobility due to a foot ulcer. For months he was unable to walk unassisted, relying on his wheelchair for mobility as the ulcer continued to worsen. “I had lost all hope of getting my wound healed because I had been to four private doctors and nothing was helping,” said Anderson.
Then Anderson came to the Tomball VA Outpatient Clinic and met physical therapist Conrad Clemente, PT, DPT. Clemente, who worked in Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury unit for eleven years and is known for his expertise in wound care, provided Anderson with wound care treatment that ultimately saved him from having to undergo potentially long-term wound care therapy at a private hospital. Clemente aggressively debrided the foot ulcer on two separate occasions, leading to the closure of the wound and healing of the entire ulcer.
“Dr. Clemente healed an ulcer in two short weeks that private doctors could not heal in a year and a half”, said Anderson. “Now I’m up on my feet walking and getting stronger every day. I’ve even enrolled in physical therapy and look forward to making a full recovery.”
Many Veterans suffer from neuropathic ulcers that can cause them to have altered gaits, orthopedic deformities and infections at the ulcerated site, Clemente explained. These ulcers are typically found on places like the surface of the foot or the heel; sites of painless and minor repetitive trauma.
“I sympathized with Mr. Anderson’s reluctance to undergo other therapies, including 5-day-a-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy for five weeks, “ Clemente said. “I assessed his wound and knew that with proper wound care treatment here at our Tomball VA Clinic, healing could progress quickly and he would be able to bear weight more easily and become mobile again.”
The VA’s Tomball Outpatient Clinic opened in October of 2013 and already provides top quality health care to more than 4500 Veterans. Area Veterans receive primary care, mental health care and numerous specialty care services, including physical therapy, at the Tomball location. Clemente helped launch the opening of a special wound care clinic in Tomball in July of this year.
“At the VA, our physical therapy services include patient-centered evaluations that allow us to develop treatment plans promoting the ability to walk, assisting with pain issues, restoring function and preventing disability,” Clemente added. “Our ultimate goal is to allow these Veterans who have served our country, to live healthier and active lives.”
For more information about the services at the Tomball VA Outpatient Clinic, call 281-516-1505.