I have played soccer and danced since I was 4 years old. I added cross-country & track as a third and fourth sport in middle school. Being a multi-sport student-athlete has always made me happy and proud as I enjoy the variety of the activities and the many friends I have made along the way. Often, I would change from my soccer cleats to my ballet shoes in the back of the car as my mom or dad shuffled me from the fields to the studio.
From my earliest days as an athlete, I was always managing pain in my ankles and feet. At first, I thought it was normal and I would play through it. My pediatrician would refer to it as growing pains or overuse, so I would persevere and keep going. As I continued to play, I started to become very prone to twisting my ankle and my parents became more concerned. I visited many podiatrists and orthopedists and they would help me find some relief with insoles, braces and hundreds of physical therapy visits, however they could never diagnosis what I was dealing with.
I started to question myself. I wondered why doctors and coaches didn’t understand my symptoms as they would often refer to phantom pain or say they didn’t see anything wrong. They made me feel small and unheard. My parents always supported me and kept trying to find answers and finally we made our first visit to HSS and my life was forever changed.
I first met Dr. Fabricant and I immediately realized that he believed me, that he was listening to my description of my symptoms and that he was determined to help me. His evaluation was thorough, and I could tell he was considering everything that I said. He realized my ankles were loose, but he suspected something else was going on. This is when he called on Dr. Scher to join the evaluation. I was now amazed as these brilliant men discussed my case and started to form a diagnosis. Dr. Fabricant’s expertise was in the ankle, while Dr. Scher focused on a condition known as tarsal coalition. Together, as a team, they solved my case.
Two surgeries later, each to correct a similar condition in both feet/ankles, I am Back in the Game. Dr. Fabricant tightened my ankles while Dr. Scher loosened my coalition. I needed to get tighter and looser at the same time, but I had two of the world’s best in the operating room with me. Every single member of the HSS team during every step of my journey was incredible and supportive. From the nurses, administrators, anesthesiologist, physical therapists, brace specialists, food services and many more I realized that I was surrounded by people that were working together, as one team, to get me Back in the Game.
I miss my visits to HSS. However, I am thrilled to have resolved my issues. To me, the most important part was finding two amazing doctors that believed what I was saying to them, they truly listened to me and shared every detail about how they were going to approach my condition. My case was so unique to them that they published it in the HSS Annual Report, so, in a way, I felt famous. I successfully played the Fall soccer season at Our Lady of Lourdes HS and picked up lacrosse as a new sport this Spring. Thank you Dr. Fabricant & Dr. Scher - you truly got me Back in the Game.