Old Greenwich artist, Felicity Kostakis, first noticed the pain in her right elbow while playing tennis. Over the course of a year, the pain invaded her day to day activities to the point that lifting clothing from the washer or taking a jar from the kitchen cabinet was excruciating. “I began to do everything with my left hand,” Felicity recalled.
Even more worrisome, it interfered with her ability to paint. “I was so scared it was the end. Painting is what I do every day. It’s what I love,” she said.
Not knowing what was wrong and fearing the worst, Felicity made an appointment with sports medicine specialist, Dr. Katherine Vadasdi, director of the ONS Women’s Sports Medicine Center.
“Dr. Vadasdi was amazing and so kind. With a digital x-ray machine right there in the office, I had everything done in the same appointment. It was so easy,” she said. Dr. Vadasdi determined that Felicity had lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, probably due to Felicity’s renewed enthusiasm for the sport. During the consultation, Dr. Vadasdi helped Felicity purchase the proper elbow braces from an online source, and prescribed a program of physical therapy to get her better.
As a mother of two and art teacher, the time commitment needed for physical therapy seemed daunting. Yet, when she was able to get an appointment right away with Tanya Kalyuzhny, DPT, MDT, the director of physical therapy at the ONS Greenwich office, Felicity was immediately confident the time would be well spent.
“I could tell that Tanya was very knowledgeable and experienced from the get go,” Felicity explained. “Every time she treated me, she talked me through the entire process, so I knew what she was doing, what I needed to do, and why it was important. “
Treatment began with laser therapy and light weight bearing exercises and eventually involved advanced therapies such as Graston technique and dry needling.
“It was really a pleasure to go there. Everyone was so supportive, the front desk staff, the PT technicians and the therapists. They were always involved with what I was doing. I never felt like I was forgotten or ignored,” she explained. When Tanya announced that Felicity had “graduated” and didn’t need therapy anymore, Felicity was surprised at the void she felt in her life.
“I built a real friendship with Tanya,” she said. “It’s funny to say, but overall it was a pleasurable experience. I recommend ONS to everyone. We are so lucky to have their offices right here in our own backyard. “
These days, Felicity is back doing what she loves most. Painting canvases large and small, teaching art classes at Greenwich Academy and privately, and spending time with her husband and two sons. And she’s anxious to start swinging the tennis racket once the warm weather finally arrives.