Category: News

Football Injuries

Football season is in full swing!! A backyard pickup game or a high school football game, football can be a rough sport, that can have potential for serious injuries. TOC- The Orthopaedic Center would like to share some tips on how to prevent spine injuries while you are playing football this season.


Train, Stretch and Warm-up

Playing football is an intense sport and involves the entire body. If you’re not physically prepared, you may suffer a back or neck injury. Strength training will improve your core muscles. Stretching will also increase the flexibility of your muscles and tendons, reducing injuries during practice or games. Also, remember to warm up for 20-30 minutes before any practice or game to ensure your body is prepared for the physical demands of football.

Maintain Your Gear

Football requires a lot of protective gear, including pads. As you prepare to gear up, make sure your gear is in good shape by inspecting your equipment. Inform your coach or the equipment manager if any of your gear is ripped, missing straps, or cracked so it can be replaced. Make sure your helmet fits properly, and the chin strap is positioned properly to prevent neck and head injuries. Always check your helmet for cracks if you take a big hit out on the field. Safety equipment is designed to help prevent serious injuries, so make it a habit to inspect it on a regular basis.

Use the Correct Tackling Technique

Always tackle with your head up and your opponent facing you, and never lead with the top of your helmet. Concussion, whiplash, and even spinal fractures can result from tackling your head down. Because of bad tackles, many players have suffered career-ending and debilitating injuries, so make sure you follow the rules and know how to tackle properly.

Don’t Play with Injuries

Football players are known for their toughness and ability to “play through injuries.” If you are injured, you should see a doctor or a trainer right away. This is especially true for neck and back injuries. A hit to the spine can result in paralysis, so don’t ignore neck or back pain; instead, see a doctor before returning to the field.

At TOC- The Orthopaedic Center, we love treating athletes. Their passion for the game shows in their commitment to their team each week. We admire these players, and we want them to be able to keep playing the game they love for a long time. That’s why we always advocate safety, not just for football players but for all athletes. If you’ve sustained an injury to your neck or back on the football field, schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at TOC. Good luck and be safe this football season!

TOC is pleased to provide its patients with Alabama’s largest group of sports medicine specialists. Seven of our providers have completed a fellowship in sports medicine, and an additional three providers have a keen interest in the field. In the North Alabama region, TOC works with more than 40 athletic trainers to provide treatment for athletes at 24 schools.

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Dr. Nadella to Begin Seeing Patients in Guntersville

Dr. Saranya Nadella will begin seeing patients at TOC Guntersville, effective August 11, 2022. Dr. Nadella specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She provides her patients with spinal injection procedures, including:

  • Facet injections
  • Epidurals (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
  • Sympathetic blocks
  • Discograms
  • Myelograms
  • SI joint injections
  • EMG/nerve conduction studies
  • Botox® injections

About Dr. Nadella

Dr. Nadella completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1998. She practiced psychiatry for 3 ½ years in Florence, AL, and completed her Interventional Spine Fellowship at Alabama Orthopaedic and Spine Center in Birmingham, AL. She is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in the subspecialties of Pain Medicine and Electro Diagnostic Medicine (EMG/NCS). She is also certified with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners.

Dr. Nadella will be seeing patients at TOC Guntersville every two weeks, and she will continue her practice at TOC Huntsville. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nadella, you can do so by calling (256) 539-2728 or by clicking below.

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Memorial Day Hours

Soldiers Raising the American FlagIn observance of the Memorial Day holiday, all TOC locations will be CLOSED on Monday, May 30.  The Walk-In Clinic and the Pediatric Injury Clinic will also be closed.  We wish you a safe and peaceful holiday!

Employee Appreciation Day 2022

To ALL of our exceptional employees,

Thank you for your warmth, compassion, and commitment to taking care of our patients! We are so grateful for your dedication to your work and your involvement in Team TOC. We wanted to highlight some employees from all corners of TOC who exemplify the core values of our company: compassion, integrity, purpose, servanthood, stewardship, and teamwork.


Kelley Chance
MA, Rad Tech for
Dr. Patrick Boyett


Kelley has been with TOC for 10 years. She is committed to her team and is a problem solver. She is confident, hardworking, and reliable. “Kelley is an asset to TOC. She is trustworthy and always finishes the job.”
-Shea Whitt

Joan Clark
Medical Records


Joan has been with TOC for 19 ½ years! She has a great personality, good work ethic, and is reliable. She is fun to work with, knowledgeable, and caring. “Joan is a dedicated and loyal employee who likes her job. She has been a good employee for TOC, and she deserves recognition.”
-Karen Whiteley

Shiela Coleman
4th Floor Registration


Shiela has been with TOC for just under 6 months and has already made a huge impact on her team! She never fails to do everything to help any situation, and other employees can vouch that she can always be relied on. “Shiela is a strong addition to our team and a huge benefit to TOC.”
-Bailey Mitchell

Kristi Conner
R/OT MA for Dr. Smith


Kristi has been with TOC for 15 years. You can always depend on her to get the job done. She stands out in her leadership, teamwork, dependability, and enthusiasm for her job. “Kristi is such an asset to our team. She is a great leader that always goes above and beyond. We are not only a team, we are a family.”
-Jeremy Gaertner

Amy Fowler
Call Center Specialist


Amy has been with TOC for 4 years. Her personality and commitment to her job make her a valuable team member. She is always very helpful, a great employee, and is a joy to be around. “She means a lot to all of us in the department. She is very helpful, always willing to help when anything is needed to be done. She is a delight to work with, and very hardworking.”
-Robin Duey

Brian Kimbugwe
DME Lead Fitter


Brian has been with TOC for over 6 years. He goes above and beyond for his patients and the TOC staff. He is very knowledgeable and patient. Everyone says, “I love Brian!” His smile and positive attitude are infectious. “Brian is an integral part of our team. Not only is he very knowledgeable, but he is such a caring, kind, positive person.”
-Brandon Strode

Renee Mann
Physical Therapist Assistant


Renee has been with TOC for 17 ½ years. She is a constant team player and is always willing to do whatever is needed to take care of our patients. She often stays late or works through lunch to get patients in. Renee has an incredible demeanor and attitude and is very professional. “Renee is a leader in the clinic in both professionalism and teamwork. I am thankful for the way that she makes the Huntsville clinic a better place to work by improving the culture.”
-Jeff Keith

Lisa Mitchell
Call Center Specialist


Lisa has been with TOC for 4 years. Her personality and perseverance make her stand out. She is very helpful and always available and willing to listen when needed. She is a team player. “Lisa means a lot to all of us. She is always available, dependable, helpful, dedicated, and willing to do the job that is needed to be done.”
-Robin Duey

Susan Patterson


Susan has been with TOC for 4 years. She is always willing to step up to anything new that’s thrown at her and never without a loss in productivity. She is a wonderful asset to the coding team professionally and personally. “Susan is one of our seasoned clinic coders, and her work is always very dependable. She has a very strong work ethic and is a wonderful asset to TOC.”
-Julie Zuidema

Sharon Sentell
AR Appeals


Sharon has been with TOC for 24 years. She is ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile to go to bat for our providers and make sure claims are processed properly and fairly. She is an excellent teammate and a genuine friend who strives for us all to be successful. She is great at answering questions and is a wonderful mentor. “Sharon is a superstar when it comes to her expertise with the claims appeal process.”
-Julie Zuidema

Tracey Syler
LPN/Team Lead for Dr. Parks


Tracey has been with TOC for 10 years. Tracey will help anyone that asks. She is kind to patients, very dependable, and provides medical assistance for emergencies almost always. She is also generous and a great cook! “Tracey is a leader to not only her team, but for many others at TOC. And she puts up with Dr. Parks and Tom!”
-Kathleen Miller

Jennifer Tompkins
X-Ray Tech


Jennifer has been with TOC for almost 6 years. She is a problem solver and is willing to learn new skills for the benefit of her team. Jennifer is not only awesome to work with, but you can always count on her for a nonjudgmental ear and helpful words. “Jennifer is always willing to help out others, and not just in the radiology department. She is very resourceful and looks at the big picture when solving problems.”
-Marti Roland

Derrick Townsend
MA – Floater


Derrick has been with TOC for 9 months. Everyone loves Derrick! He is kind, hardworking, and always helpful. Teams ask for Derrick regularly and always sing his praises. Many teams have tried to steal Derrick, but he remains a free spirit! “Derrick is dedicated, dependable, very flexible, kind, funny, and an asset to TOC!”
-Kathleen Miller

Desiree Wallace
Athens Registration

Desiree has been with TOC for 6 months. She is a hard worker, and her positive attitude helps her stand out. She is dependable and always willing to help others. “Desiree is an asset to her team. She is a dedicated employee.”
-Shea Whitt

What to Expect in Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

by Scott Stein

“Physical terrorist!”

I’ve heard it so many times. Most new patients are uncomfortable with the idea of physical therapy because they are afraid or unsure of what to expect regarding how much pain they will experience during their first physical therapy session.

However, during your first visit, your therapist will discuss your injury or surgery, your medical history, and your current pain level. At this point in the process, we really just want to get to know you.

Following your initial consultation, your therapist will collect some baseline data concerning your condition. They’ll measure your range of motion, strength, and other important points. Your therapist will then discuss their findings with you and develop a treatment plan.

As part of your treatment plan, your therapist will help you restore your range of motion and strength, as well as provide you exercises to do at home.

Our goal as physical therapists is to give you a treatment plan that helps reduce your pain, rather than prolong it.

Scott Stein has been a licensed physical therapist for over 30 years. Scott recognizes that many types of treatments are necessary for optimal healing. Scott continues to practice this philosophy utilizing both traditional and non-traditional treatment approaches as he develops programs and assists his patients. Working with many types of athletes, Scott is also a certified Retül Bicycle Fitter and Cycling Coach.  He is married and the father of two children. He loves to bicycle, exercise, and cook healthy meals.

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Michael McFarland – Patient Story

In April of 2012, Michael McFarland was involved in a horrific car accident. His car was caught in the guardrail, and the guardrail slid through the floorboard of his car, pinning Michael into his vehicle. Michael was a young professional, newly out of the Marine Corps, now in a horrible state.

Michael was rushed to Huntsville Hospital where Dr. Leberte met him in the ER, ready to take on Michael’s injuries as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon. Michael knew the state of his leg was terrible, but really didn’t understand how grim until sometime later. Dr. Leberte operated on Michael a few short hours later, and his operations continued every other day for some time. He performed a total of 8 operations to save Michael’s leg. Michael says that, from the beginning, “Dr. Leberte had excellent bedside manner and was very positive.” Over the course of treatment and recovery, Dr. Leberte told Michael that the situation was grim. Not only was his leg in complete jeopardy of being saved, but once he was on the mend, he would have to learn to walk again.

“He didn’t let me get defeated – he helped me climb my way back up.”

As you can imagine, the long recovery was both physically and emotionally taxing. “God, my grit, determination, faith, Dr. Leberte, and my family, friends, and support system pushing me to move forward truly saved my leg. From that day until today, Dr. Leberte and I are connected on a personal level.” Michael went on to say he had many setbacks, physically and emotionally, but Dr. Leberte was with him every step of the way.

“I can walk now. I look at him, and along this path, I have acquired a friend. I feel like we have been through this together and feel a strong connection with him. He is real with me. He is honest with me. He has my back, and I have his back. I know as long as I need him, he will be with me every step of the way.”

Michael is now married with 2 kids and sees the world in a whole new light. To be honest, visiting with him was refreshing. I found someone who appreciates God winks and finds purpose in hard knocks as much as I do. The 45-minute to hour-long phone call brightened my day and gave me an even greater appreciation of the role our providers play – they have the ability to truly change someone’s life, and we have an entire network of folks who are truly grateful for what they are doing.

by Leah Beth McNutt

Dr. Leberte is a member of The Orthopaedic Center Trauma Team. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery. He provides expert care for patients with simple to severe musculoskeletal injuries and related complications such as hip and knee problems. Dr. Leberte offers advanced surgical procedures to preserve function and relieve pain in young and elderly patients. In addition to fracture care, Dr. Leberte provides general orthopaedic surgical care including joint replacement surgery.

Request an appointment today!