Monday, May 2, 2016

The Long Road To Recovery

L: A healed patella, taken in late April, R: A fractured patella, taken at the beginning of February.
We saw our fifth (and hopefully final) new doctor today for R's knee, and it was not a great appointment. We've seen some great doctors, and this one was no exception, but today we heard, "maybe you should think about another sport."

Close up of February x-ray
After 4 months of dealing with her injury, we finally got a diagnosis, which includes a sleeve fracture (although they'll never know for sure because by the time we got the scans she'd been healing for 3 months), and/or Sinding-Larsen-Johannson syndrome.  While the fragmented piece is healing (although you can see above that the patella has some elongation still), she still has quite a bit of pain. Under the care of some of the best doctors in the nation (um hi, Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa?!), R will continue working through another month or so of physical therapy and working back up into competition. At least that was the plan until today.

Today, we were told "there are lots of great sports out there" that aren't as hard on your body, and that it is going to be a long road ahead, strengthening her quads, tendons, and getting back into shape. If she has another injury like this it could mean she's done. On the ride home we had some time to internalize this, and R said that she's up for the long haul. She'd rather work hard to get back to something she loves than find an "easier" sport.

I'm so proud of my tiny princess. It takes a lot of perseverance and passion for a sport to work through these frustrating set-backs, especially coming off of such an awesome season and wanting to move on to bigger and better things. While today's appointment didn't necessarily go the way we wanted, her Iowa City doctor and her physical therapist are both optimistic about getting her back into the gym. We have appreciated all the kind words, healing vibes, and prayers from our friends and family over the last several months! It's nice to finally have some answers and a plan for treatment.

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