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Andrea Vira

Woodbridge, NJ
  • Andrea Vira in the photo 1
  • Andrea Vira in the photo 2
  • Andrea Vira in the photo 3
  • Andrea Vira in the photo 4

In October of 2016, I sustained a severe injury at gymnastics practice. I fractured my radial head, dislocated my ulna, and tore my annular ligament. A few months after my accident, I had surgery in an effort to help the alignment of my elbow. However, after the surgery I was unable to pronate my hand, flex my arm to ninety degrees, and extend my elbow to about forty-five degrees. My range of motion was so terrible that I struggled with putting my hair up in ponytail. After that surgery, my parents and I decided to go to Hospital for Special Surgery. There, I met Dr. Hotchkiss and his team. They said another operation was needed to address the resulting complications of the previous procedure. As a result, I was fitted with an external fixator. For the first time since my injury, I felt like things were finally getting better. I was determined to flex and extend my arm completely, but I still felt some pain in my elbow. Dr. Hotchkiss and his team felt another procedure was necessary to help alleviate my pain. The surgery was a success, and I went to therapy every week for six months. Thanks to my occupational therapist, John, I was able to move my arm in ways I had not been able to since my injury. Now, I am able to push in a chair, comb my hair, touch my shoulder, and wash my face. I do not think I was ever so happy to perform task as simple as touching my shoulder. My range of motion and comfort have tremendously improved. Though I am not able to go back to competitive gymnastics, I am glad that my arm moves freely without pain. My return to normal life could not have been possible without Dr. Hotchkiss, Kate, John, and the entire HSS team! Thank you for all that you have done for me.