A typical day for Hunter is spent in the clinic providing routine patient care for the Army's most elite soldiers. Many of his patients are in top physical condition, but often suffer from musculoskeletal injuries received during training exercises.
Hunter checks reflexes on patient

WINEGARNER: Hey, it's me, Dr. Winegarner.

MALE: Hello, sir.

WINEGARNER: How's it going, man?

MALE: Good.

WINEGARNER: What brings you in today?

MALE: Uh, back's been hurting me for a while now.  I've been doing a lot of PT, a lot of weight lifting, and I'm getting pretty, pretty sore in my lower back.  It's starting to shoot down my leg.

WINEGARNER: Is that new or has that been going on for a while?

MALE: Off and on for probably about a year.

WINEGARNER: Most of our Green Berets are in top physical condition. They're much more physically fit than your average soldier, just because of the physical requirements of their training.  That's a standard that they're held to.

Really what we're worried about is any type of nerve problems, so if our guys have just jumped out of an airplane and all of a sudden have back pain, they can sometimes cause some bulging in one of their desks in between the vertebrae, and that can press on a nerve and cause some pain in some of the radicular symptoms that he's kind of describing, with pain shooting down his left leg. What I'll do with these guys is I'll make sure that on their way out they'll go and check in with our physical therapist that's here in the building and get on the schedule with them, and that allows for some good continuity of care. We have some systems in place to inform our command, the commanders of the soldiers, as to what limitations they might have, medically speaking. So that's a big part of being a military doctor, is just keeping in mind that our soldiers are very active, and what kind of -- we have to always think of what kind of limitations they might have as far as their job is concerned.

From here, we'll walk down the hall to our physical therapist and go get him on the schedule for some back rehab. 

Hunter Winegarner, M.D.
Time Hour: 
Time Text: 
11:30 AM
Share Title: 
Special Forces Battalion Surgeon: Seeing Elite Soldier Patients

Redirecting your request...