Atlanta Opera Violinist Back on Her Feet Thanks to Emory Orthopedists!

Fia Mancini Durrett, Atlanta Opera Orchestra Violinist and Emory patient, recently played her violin for Emory Sports Medicine physician Sam Labib, MD and his clinic staff. Fia made a deal with Dr. Labib that if he could help rid her of foot and back pain, she would play her violin for him in clinic.

Dr. Labib held up his end of the deal, so on her last visit to the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Fia brought her violin along.



Since moving to Atlanta from Houston, Texas in 2004, Fia has been a tenured member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and has served as a visiting professor at Georgia State University. She was the first violinist of the Vega String Quartet, artists-in-residence at Emory University, and also co-founded Fringe Atlanta, which puts gifted composers, musicians, and visual artists together to showcase their talent.

Fia Mancini Durrett, Atlanta Symphony Violinist

When she began experiencing pain in her feet and back, Fia decided to visit a doctor. The pain in her feet began after running, and her back pain followed a year later. The foot pain began as a dull ache and turned into chronic soreness that reached into her ankles and shins. The pain in her back was somewhat minor at first, a pain that went down into her leg, but became severe along with numbness and tingling.

Fia was unable to exercise or even go on simple walks with her family because her foot pain was too intense, so she visited numerous foot specialists to try to find the cause of her pain. Unfortunately, Fia was misdiagnosed with plantar fasciitis and underwent numerous procedures for this condition. After these procedures were unsuccessful, her chiropractor referred her to Emory Sports Medicine, where she first saw Dr. Ken Maunter for non-surgical intervention for her back. Dr. Mautner diagnosed Fia with a herniated disc and was able to eliminate her back pain through epidural injections before referring Fia to Dr. Sameh Labib to evaluate the problems in her feet.

After two years and several visits to multiple other doctors, Fia saw Dr. Labib and he diagnosed the cause of Fia’s foot pain to be medial plantar nerve entrapment within 10 minutes of the exam. To treat the condition, he performed tarsal tunnel release surgery on Fia’s left foot, while also repairing the damaged nerves and plantar fascia. She is now 6 months into recovery and is able to go for walks of about a mile and has resumed her everyday tasks, like running errands and going to the park with her daughter.

Fia notes that she still has to take time to rest during the day, put her feet up, stretch and do her strengthening exercises, but with the severity of her injuries and the type of surgery she had, she is right on track.

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About the Experts

About Dr. Sameh (Sam) A. Labib
Dr. Sameh LabibSam Labib, MD, is a sports medicine fellowship-trained surgeon and director of the foot and ankle service at Emory. Dr. Labib started practicing at Emory in 1999. He is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery.

He has lectured both nationally and internationally at many orthopedic meetings. His research has been published in several journals, including the JBJS, Arthroscopy, Foot and Ankle International and the American Journal of Orthopedics as well as numerous video presentations and book chapters. Dr. Labib is Board Certified in orthopedic surgery with additional subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine Surgery.

For the past 5 years, Dr. Labib has been nominated by his peers as one of “America’s Top Doctors” as tracked by CastleConnelly.com.Dr. Labib has a particular interest in problems and procedures of the knee, ankle, and foot. He is the head team physician for the athletic programs at Oglethorpe University, Spelman College, and Georgia Perimeter College. He is also an orthopaedic consultant to the Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Tech and Emory University.
About Dr. Ken Mautner
Ken Mautner, MDKen Mautner, MD is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Mautner started practicing at Emory in 2004 after completing a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in PM&R with a subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine. Dr. Mautner currently serves as head team physician for Agnes Scott College and St. Pius High School and a team physician for Emory University Athletics.

He is also a consulting physician for Georgia Tech Athletics, Neuro Tour, and several local high schools. He has focused his clinical interest on sports concussions, where he is regarded as a local and regional expert in the field. In 2005, he became one of the first doctors in Georgia to use office based neuropsychological testing to help determine return to play recommendations for athletes. He also is an expert in diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound and teaches both regional and national courses on how to perform office based ultrasound. He regularly performs Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for patients with chronic tendinopathy. Dr. Mautner also specializes in the care of athletes with spine problems as well as hip and groin injuries.

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