Industry Series: Captain Lawrence Murphy

Patient Captain Lawrence Murphy Patient Captain Lawrence Murphy

Because most of Delmarva is classified as fairly rural and is surrounded by water, we often treat patients who work in specialty industries – that are also physically demanding – related to our geographic location, such as watermen and farmers. These careers are economic drivers for Delmarva and are extremely important to sustaining our way of life. For these people, a substantial injury could lead to months away from work, which could contribute to area economic losses. When these workers need our physical therapy expertise, we must provide the support we can so they are able to get the help that is needed right away, with the goal of returning to their jobs as soon as possible.

Captain Lawrence Murphy is a self-employed waterman making his living off of catching and selling crabs, oysters, and clams. He grew up and currently resides on Maryland’s “Mid-Shore” on Tilghman Island. In April 2013, Captain Murphy had to get both of his knees replaced because of everyday “wear and tear”. After his knee replacements, he became a patient of Shawn Carter, Jr., DPT at Tidewater Physical Therapy’s St. Michaels clinic.

Captain Murphy was treated by Shawn and the rest of the team at the St. Michaels clinic for eight weeks and it took about a year for his knees to fully recover. He no longer has to do exercises for his knees; however, he does have to limit the pressure he puts on them.  If he has to fix something on his boat, he is not able to rest on his knees; he either has to find another way to position himself or lay on his back while he fixes his boat.

Captain Murphy was making great progress with his knees, however, in April of 2015, he faced a setback that caused him to return to see Shawn and his team for further physical therapy. While walking, he was hit by a truck that caused a significant injury to his shoulder. The injury made it difficult for him to board his boat, harvest clams from the water, or even steer his boat without causing discomfort.  However, the physical therapy prescribed to him by Shawn, coupled with completing his at-home exercises has helped Captain Murphy recover at the pace that is expected.

Both of these misfortunes have affected Captain Murphy immensely. Being that his career is so physically demanding, his knee replacements and shoulder injury both set him back substantially. Attending physical therapy sessions at our St. Michaels clinic gave him his life back; he is able to complete both activities necessary for his career and activities that he enjoys.