Dr. Stephen Enquidanos has watched and helped patients overcome long odds as an Orthopedic spine surgeon for many years. In April of 2009, Dr. Enguidanos overcame his own set of circumstances to move toward his dream. The dream was qualifying as one of the best triathletes in his age group for the Kona, Hawaii Ironman World Championships. There was a problem along the way. First, he had to overcome a torn anterior cruciate ligament and surgery. More importantly, he had to overcome the rehabilitation. PT Solutions’ Physical Therapist in Niceville, FL, Scott Rusin, PT, directed the rehab program. He notes, “Quite often we work with patients and they have simple goals after surgery, such as: ‘Let me play with my children or go back to work.’ Not Dr. Enguidanos, he wanted to complete in an Ironman triathlon shortly after the surgery.”
Most patients would report that post-ACL surgery is long and hard. Scott Rusin, PT explains, “That his patient this go around worked harder and longer than most.” Scott notes, “Dr. Enguidanos would not only perform the standard program but spent months and hours on a stationary bike since in the early stages of rehab you can not return to running.” In between his own long surgeries and difficult work schedule, Dr. Enguidanos spent many hours in the PT Solutions’ Niceville clinic at Twin Cities Hospital.
So by November of 2009, the patient had returned to athlete again, and he was at the starting line at Ironman Florida in Panama City, FL. He made it through the race with very little run training due to the knee and minimal bike training on the roads. In fact, most of his bike training for the Ironman was on a stationary bike indoors. He only acquired a triathlon-equipped bike just prior to the race. In 2009 Ironman Florida, he accomplished his goal of finishing his first Ironman triathlon in a time of 11 hours 22 minutes and finished 103 out of 403 in his age group. Pretty impressive for anyone to complete the race but to perform this well after an ACL surgery 7 months earlier.
Dr. Enguidanos was not satisfied yet, and he entered the Louisville, Kentucky Ironman in August of 2010. There, he overcame stomach issues on the way to completing his second Ironman triathlon, to finish with a time of 12:07. Definitely not the time he wanted or the day he wanted to experience. However, Dr. Enguidanos was not done there.
Dr. Enguidanos returned back to Panama City, FL, in November of 2010 for the cold and chilly 30 degree day for Ironman Florida. Through guidance from PT Solutions and a whole lot of heart, he was prepared for this day. To qualify for the World Championships, he had to finish in the top 5% of his age group. After nearly two years of overcoming obstacles, he overcame even more on this day. He threw down an overall time of 9 hours 38 minutes. His time was comprised of a 56 minute 2.4 mile swim, 4 hours 58 minute 112 mile bike ride, and the knee did not seem to bother him this day with a 3 hour 34 minute Ironman marathon. Dr. Enguidanos finished 5th in his age group, in a very strong European dominated field. He achieved his dream and qualified for the 2011 Ironman World Championships. Congratulations Steve and we look forward to watching next year. Thanks for being a part of team PT Solutions.
You can watch coverage of the 2010 Ironman World Championships December 18th on NBC from 4pm to 6pm eastern time.