As a competitive swimmer since the age of six years old, utilizing my arms have always been a key component for success in the sport. Problems started in 2008, when I was tripped on the tennis courts playing soccer in gym fracturing my radial head on my left elbow. After 6 weeks of being casted, I went through vigorous physical therapy to ensure that I could get back to the sport I loved. Unfortunately, a year later I broke the same exact spot by falling down the stairs in my house. After another 6 weeks of physical therapy, what I thought fixed the injury ended up not completely healing. Whenever I would swim the butterfly, backstroke, or freestyle, I would feel severe numbness in my left ring finger and pinky. Confused as to what was causing the problem, I would ice and heat after each practice hoping that this would ease the pain, but it didn't. Senior year of high school, my parents and I made the executive decision to check out what was actually going on with my elbow. After reviewing my MRI, Dr. Kang told me that my ulnar nerve was "as developed as a 50 year-old male body builder's." She advised that I get a cubital tunnel transposition because my ulnar nerve had become very swollen and irritated.
Dr. Kang not only performed a surgery but she has transformed my life in significant ways. From swimming 4 miles and lifting weights everyday to not being able to carry my textbooks and/or hold my prom dress on the hanger because my elbow would get stuck I knew that this needed to be done. The surgery took max 2 hours and 30 minutes and I was released from the hospital that day. After surgery, I got range of motion back in 3 days and slowly but surely got back to using my elbow. This operation has allowed me to accomplish goals in which I never thought I could do before since I was in so much pain. I am currently on the Union College Varsity Swimming Team performing at levels I didn't even think was possible. Coming in top 20 in two events in the Liberty League has been a magnificent accomplishment and I don't think it was possible without Dr. Kang's expertise and positivity.