Because of my orthopaedic care, I can tumble again!
I was a gymnast for 10 years and I absolutely loved it! I was working towards level 8 when I was injured during practice. I was working on my tumbling on floor and when I landed my back flip full twist, I smacked my ankles together. My right ankle took all of the impact and as a result my ankle joint became engulfed with scar tissue and fluid. Because of this I could no longer walk flat-footed, instead I walked on my tip-toes. It was almost like my foot was frozen in a downward position. After trying physical therapy and every brace and cast imaginable, I had two different surgeries to remove the scar tissue and drain the fluid from my ankle joint but with no success.
The scar tissue returned each time. At this time I was still going to gymnastics, but could only do uneven bars and conditioning/strengthening. After over a year of walking on my toes we traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Amy Mcintosh was my pediatric orthopaedic surgeon up there and she was fabulous!
She realized that since I had been toe-walking for so long that there was no way my foot would ever be flat on the ground again without surgery. To think about it better it is just like working out and doing toe raises and feeling your calf muscle tighten except mine was permanent.
Dr. Mcintosh performed a gastrocnemius recession on my right calf muscle which in simpler terms means she lengthened my calf muscle to allow my foot to go flat on the ground again. After I was able to walk flat footed, the scar tissue began to break up on its own.
I started a new therapy program where I basically learned to walk again after limping and toe-walking for over a year and a half. My therapy program was essentially the same type of rehab that someone who just had a stroke would do.
I started completely over from scratch. Now, because of all of that work I can do almost anything pain free. I had to quit gymnastics because I had been out of the sport for so long that I lost all of my strength but I supplemented it with coaching gymnastics. I still demonstrate skills for the kids and I can still do a little bit of tumbling which is exciting!!
This summer I even hiked all over Kenya while on a Medical Mission Trip. Because of the awesome care I received I am currently a sophomore pre-med student at Baylor University in Waco, TX with hopes to become a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon!
I now want to be able to help kids and teens return to the things they love to do. I have a real passion and heart for this now! Because of my orthopedic care I can tumble, flip on a trampoline, make it to class on time, and most of all someday help kids like me.