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Madeline Stromberg

Tuxedo, NY
  • Madeline Stromberg in the photo 1
  • Madeline Stromberg in the photo 2
  • Madeline Stromberg in the photo 3
  • Madeline Stromberg in the photo 4

I have been a runner since I was 8-years-old. I ran cross country, indoor track and and outdoor track from any distance from the 800m to the 5K. Starting in 5th grade I always had on and off knee pain that I ignored as it came and went, as I started running competitively the pain would get more consistent and much worse to the point that it would hurt to walk. I was always in a season and never wanted to let my coach down so I always tried to work through the pain. The summer of senior year I became captain of the girls cross country team, but instead of running with my teammates I cheered from the sidelines on crutches and became the emotional power of the team. Looking back I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I was on crutches because surgery became inevitable that summer before, and I was lucky enough to get it done at the best hospital in the country. After my experience at HSS I realized how lucky I was. Beforehand I was sad and terrified that I was going to miss the last season of my high school running career, but if I didn't move forward with the surgery I probably would not have been able to run for the rest of my life. A piece of bone and my knee was dying and on the brink of being gone forever which would have left me with arthritis and pain. I underwent a special procedure that resulted in bringing that bone back to life and mending itself to where it belonged. I was scared until the day of my surgery where I was welcomed by the most comforting and attentive staff I have ever encountered. It was like I blinked my eyes and It was done. It did take months of being on crutches and physical therapy, but I wouldn't have been able to get to that point if it wasn't for the sophisticated job that Dr. Peter Fabricant was tasked with, and I don't think he could have performed it more perfectly. He explained what he did and what was happening inside my knee. Each appointment after, he showed me how it was healing itself through the holes he drilled into the bone so that it got the nutrition it needed to live again.

I was able to run spring track my senior year pain-free and was able to hit the times I had achieved in the seasons before which was unfathomable. To this day after my surgery I have competed at the collegiate level and entered and placed in many 5Ks.

No matter how odd your injury seems, or how hopeless it feels to live a normal life again, I can attest that I have lived through that thought process, underwent surgery with the worst fears, and came out better then before, as I run and walk pain-free. It feels like a miracle, but I am no longer surprised at my recovery as I learned that I got my surgery at a place that creates them.

Thank you for reading my story and thank you HSS for giving me back my hopes and dreams that feel more attainable then ever before as you took me in broken and guided me out more mended that I though I would ever be. Dr. Peter Fabricant was my surgeon, but now he will always be my hero.