I am 16 years old and have been a gymnast since the age of seven. I love to compete in vault and bars.
In the summer of 2017, I began to experience pain in the lower right side of my back. I was initially diagnosed as having SI joint pain. I went to physical therapy and to a chiropractor for treatment. However, my pain remained. Tumbling and pounding in my routines made my symptoms worse so I was not able to do that.
After two years of trying to get relief, it was recommended for me to see Dr. Adam Anz at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida. As part of my exam, Dr. Anz asked me to walk down the hallway. Immediately, he diagnosed me with hip dysplasia in my right hip. He referred me to Dr. Michael Ryan at The Hip Center at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama who specializes in treating hip dysplasia.
In August of 2019, I had my first appointment with Dr. Ryan. He discussed and explained the procedure called periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) that was needed to correct my condition. Prior to leaving the office, Dr. Ryan’s team scheduled my surgery date.
After my surgery, I had to stay three nights at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. All the nursing staff and physical therapist was extremely nice in taking care of me there. Once I was discharged from the hospital, my family and I made the 4-hour drive back home to Mississippi.
Over the next three months, I continued my physical therapy in Mississippi. Kirby, Dr. Ryan’s athletic trainer, was encouraging and told me that I could go back to gymnastic training, conditioning and strengthening after completing my three months of physical therapy. I was very glad to receive that news but of course, I was still restricted to no pounding in my training.
In January 2021, I am excited to report I will be making my return to gymnastics in my first competition since my surgery a year ago. It has been a three-year journey from pain to recovery. However, I am grateful to Dr. Ryan and his team for helping me get back to doing what I enjoy.