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Vanessa Molnar

Manhattan, NY
  • Vanessa Molnar in the photo 1

In September 2021 I celebrated my 40th birthday with a small group of close friends in Scottsdale, AZ. On the second day there, I caught the edge of a cement walkway with my right foot and fell. It hurt like hell but I thought it was a bad sprain because I could walk on it. Surely you can’t WALK on a broken ankle, right? Wrong. It did get better with each day that passed, so I enjoyed the rest of my vacation. When I returned to NYC, I decided to get it checked out because I’m an avid long distance runner. I was itching to return to running after my vacation. But to my utter shock, I learned that I had broken it.

I had a terrible experience with another surgeon that I found myself through an app, so my coach told me to go to HSS. I called them and the next day I saw Dr. Levine. He was a godsend. He spent almost 45 minutes explaining to me how an ankle works, what happened during my injury, and how he would fix it to get me back to my ‘old self’. I was in a daze, never having broken anything in my life before. The only thing on my mind was whether I would be able to run long distances again. He assured me that I would given my age & current health. I knew that I may not be as fast as I once was, and that it would be a challenge, but knowing I could one day run again gave me the strength that I needed to push forward.

The surgery was a dream experience - Dr. Levine, Lauren, and all the HSS staff were wonderful and, for intensive ORIF surgery, I felt like I had won the lottery while under their care. The healing process was seamless and the scar healed to the point where it’s now just a faint line. I could not have asked for a better 6 week recovery.

I did PT a few times a week to learn how to walk and strengthen my muscles again, following the instructions to a T. I had one goal in mind - to run a marathon again. I monitored my progress and pushed myself in a healthy, safe way to get faster and stronger, under the guidance of my PT and running coach. A few days ago, I finished the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon. It was not a PR for time, but it was a PR for me. I had zero pain, swelling, or adverse effects at any point during my training or the race itself. Now that I know my ankle is as strong as it ever was, I can focus on speed work and building up my endurance to continue running the long distances that I love.

I am beyond thrilled to share this story and recommend Dr. Levine, his team, and HSS for being the best provider to get you the care you need to get you back to your healthy, active self!