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Suha Qasem

New York, NY
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I am a 36-year-old female national competitive bodybuilder, world record power-lifter, national certified personal trainer, exercise physiologist MS, and completing fourth-year medical school. I sustained a distal tendon rupture of the right triceps from a blunt trauma known as FOOSH, or fall on outstretched hand, on July 30, 2015. On occurrence, my right arm became ecchymotic, inflamed and persistently painful in and around the elbow junction. For THREE WEEKS post- injury, I consulted many specialty physicians and was diagnosed as simple triceps tendon strain of the right upper extremity. I continued my usual daily cardiovascular training routine 45 minutes on stair master or stationary bike with some discomfort and with atrophy of the tendon, weakness and pain in my right upper extremity became limiting. I returned to a specialist for further evaluation. With the aid of an MRI finally, nearly FIVE WEEKS post-injury, the diagnosis of complete triceps tendon rupture was made. Once the diagnosis was made, definitive treatment to salvage the atrophied muscle was sought from an expert, Dr. Samuel Taylor, on repair of this rare injury with only ONE WEEK to spare. I did my research on Google and I found Dr. Taylor to operate on my triceps, since I never had any surgery in the past.

I could not ask for better choice than Dr. Taylor and his staff. I called the office and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Taylor, and I have felt the trust in him as soon as he examined my arm. The surgery for my right distal triceps tendon rupture was on September 10, 2015 with great success. I am blessed to find such an amazing and compassionate surgeon. My right arm was placed in a full arm cast for 10 days. After the removal of the cast, my right arm was placed in a brace locked in at 60 degrees for 8 weeks. I started PT at HSS, where we met once a week. My right arm's range of motion had been improving consistently, and my activity range is returning to normal with mild discomfort, which is expected.

I saw Dr. Taylor on Dec 4, 2015 for the 11 weeks post-op visit, and he informed me that I can start PT with resistant training to improve triceps strength. Living a lifestyle as a professional bodybuilder athlete and a world class power-lifter for approximately 20 years, it's hard to pull back from training. The competitive nature of athletes, and the determination is the fire that keeps burning to challenge myself for a speedy recovery. Being compliant with my surgeon's orders and my PT specialist, I am committed to get back to 100% strength and range of motion. Overall, I am satisfied with the recovery of my right triceps, and I have the fortitude that I will be in a competitive shape within a year.


Satisfied with the recovery from my right triceps procedure, I had the fortitude in the power of my convictions and trust in my surgeon’s and physical therapist's promise that the use of my right upper extremity will get back to 100%... I did resume competition within a year. I was fortunate to be ‘BACK IN THE GAME’ and right on target, as promised. One year later, I have won the 2016 NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix Championship in Women Physique Open, Masters over 35, and Overall Champion!

With the superior care from HSS throughout my re-attachment surgery performed by Dr. Sam Taylor, and HSS Rehabilitation TLC – Tender Loving Care --, I was able to continue training and strengthening my arm to a competitive state comparable to one prior to the injury to my right tendon. This has allowed me to continue my physical activity and resistance training to achieve the conditioning, which qualified me to an elite level competition NPC National Championship scheduled for November 18, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

Of course, without the rigorous recovery rehabilitation routine none of this would be possible. I was compliant with both my surgeon’s orders and my PT specialist. My weight training routine of four times per week was altered to a new regime, developed by me truly, where I focused on stretching, range of motion exercises, utilizing resistance bands to optimize a Total Body Workout, along with usage of the Speed Bag. The entire regimen maximized Maintenance of Muscle Mass Symmetry and ensured the safety of my post-procedure Right Arm. One Year Later: I am Still ‘Back in the Game’ of Life! With more to come… Thank You HSS!!!