Tina and Matt’s Story: ‘Dr. James Has Always Led Us Down the Right Path’

As veterinarians, Tina and Matt Stonecypher enjoy being caregivers for dogs, cats and other small animals. But in 2017 they found themselves on the receiving end of care provided by Jeffrey James, DO, a sports medicine specialist with Premier Orthopedics, part of Premier Physician Network. Tina was training for a marathon when her heel pain began. She decided it was due to a previous hamstring pull and frequent bouts with plantar fasciitis.

“So I pushed through the pain and ran the marathon, but it hurt!” she remembers.

In the weeks that followed, when the pain wouldn’t subside, an athletic trainer recommended she meet with Dr. James. Within days, Tina had an appointment. “He knew exactly where to push, the center of my heel, and it was excruciating,” she vividly recalls. On-site X-rays quickly confirmed Dr. James’ suspicion: Tina had a fractured heel bone. “He gave me a boot and said the pain would go away immediately, and he was right. I was nearly in tears because for the first time in weeks I was pain-free.”

Tina did as Dr. James advised and wore the boot for the next eight weeks. “It healed beautifully, and I gradually returned to running,” she says.

While Tina’s foot was healing, husband Matt’s shoulder was hurting. “I’m not sure how it happened; I’m not into sports and don’t recall exactly when the pain began,” he says. Matt just knew the pain was intense when he moved his arm a certain way. “Because Tina was so happy with Dr. James, I figured I may as well see him too,” Matt says.

Like Tina, Matt got an appointment within days. X-rays confirmed there was no structural damage and his examination confirmed Dr. James’ hunch, a frozen shoulder. “I was grateful that the X-rays could be taken and viewed right there at his office, so I walked away from that one appointment knowing what was wrong,” Matt says. Although he had never heard of frozen shoulder, “it’s not something animals get!” he laughs. Dr. James explained that with physical therapy and a shot of cortisone, the shoulder would heal. And it has.

Before the year ended, Tina saw Dr. James again, this time for swelling on the top of her foot. “He took one look at those X-rays and pointed to a ganglion cyst. He used ultrasound to verify it,” says Tina. With Dr. James’ assurance, Tina is letting the foot heal without further treatment. “I’m lacing my shoes differently, but won’t do anything further unless I have to,” she says.

Both Tina and Matt appreciate Dr. James’ friendly, matter-of-fact approach to their injuries. “He has always led us down the right path, and by following his instructions, our problems resolved,” says Tina. So when daughter Katie injured herself during Taekwondo, they knew exactly who she should see. Katie has since healed, leaving daughter Alison, a swimmer, as the only family member who has not become a patient of Dr. James. But the Stonecyphers know they have a doctor they can rely upon should Alison or any other family members need sports medicine care.