Rehabilitative Therapy

Our Providers

Morgan Francis, PT, DPT, CCRP

Morgan Francis graduated from Marymount University with a M.S. in physical therapy in 1999. She then worked as a physical therapist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. for three years. She received her certification in canine rehabilitation (CCRP) from the University of Tennessee in 2003. Morgan is among the first in the world to earn this certification. In 2007, Morgan received her doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) from Marymount University. She has practiced animal rehabilitation at the Regional Veterinary Referral Center since 2002.

  • Dr. Griffin graduated from the University College Dublin, Ireland in 1995. He did an internship at the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1996 and an internship at The University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He completed his surgical residency at Penn in 2000. Dr. Griffin passed his ACVS board certification examination in 2001. He was a lecturer in surgery at Penn before joining the staff of the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in 2001. Dr. Griffin is the author of several scientific and review papers and textbook chapters. He lectures regionally on topics related to surgery and surgical oncology. He is especially interested in surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, joint replacement and orthopedic surgery.

  • Dr. Rand S. Wachsstock is a graduate of The University of Illinois. Dr. Wachsstock taught both there and at Yale University. He has actively practiced emergency medicine since 1984 and believes comprehensive state-of-the-art medical care should be readily available to all pets. He owns and operates The Emergency/Critical Care Service at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, Virginia. In 2005 he was appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Radiation Advisory Board and in 2011 to the Task Force on Lyme Disease. Dr. Wachsstock is a co-founder of Radiocat, a veterinary practice dedicated exclusively to the care and treatment of feline hyperthyroidism.


Rehabilitative Therapy
  • Rehabilitative therapy is used to enhance, accelerate and optimize function after surgery or injury. It may also be used conservatively prior to surgery or prophylactically if an animal is at risk for disability. Rehab has a positive effect on bone healing, recovery or damaged neurologic tissues, muscle, tendon, ligaments and cartilage. Studies have shown that early and continued mobilization is beneficial to the recovery of tissues. Prolonged periods of rest can have an adverse effect on tissue healing. It is important to achieve the proper balance between rest and activity. Treatments may help with strength and range of motion deficits, balance problems, edema and pain control, lameness, poor endurance, gait deviations, decreased activity or function, and weight loss. Specific treatments are determined after an in-depth evaluation is performed. The evaluation may include, but is not limited to: strength, range of motion, limb circumference, balance, function and gait. Any precautions are obtained through discussions with the supervising veterinary specialist and/or referring veterinarian. Goals are set based on objective and subjective findings as well as client expectations, but ultimately focus on returning the pet to their previous level of function.

  • Treatments vary depending on the diagnosis, precautions, objective findings and subjective reports. Some of the most frequently used modalities are ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, phototheray, therapeutic exercise, functional activities, swimming, underwater treadmill, joint mobilization and range of motion exercises. Home exercise programs are provided to clients to support treatments given in the hospital. This increases client involvement and will improve compliance upon discharge from rehabilitative services.

  • Veterinarians should refer their clients to the Regional Veterinary Referral Center’s, Rehabilitative Therapy program. All cases will be reviewed by a board certified surgeon prior to the initiation of therapy.

  • Many conditions are appropriate referrals for rehabilitative therapy. They include, but are not limited to:

    • Orthopedic Cases
      • Cranial cruciate ligament repairs
      • Elbow dysplasia (fragmented medial coronoid process/OCD)
      • External fixation
      • Hip dysplasia
      • Legg Calve Perthes
      • Limb salvages
      • Medial patellar luxations
      • Musculoskeletal oncology
      • Osteoarthritis
      • Osteochondritis dissecans
      • Post-op femoral head and neck ostectomy
      • Post-op total hip replacement
      • Rotational pelvic osteotomy
      • Subluxations
      • Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy
    • Neurological Cases
      • Brachial plexus avulsions
      • Degenerative myelopathy
      • Disc disease
      • Fibrocartilagenous embolism
      • Lumbosacral stenosis
    • Health and Wellness
      • Endurance Training
      • Weight Loss
    • Splinting
      • Custom splinting is available for various needs such as carpal hyperextension injuries, nerve deficits or areas in need of immobilization.