It has been a month of drama around here. While I know that injuries are just part of sports, it still stinks when it happens.
My older daughter has been a gymnast since she was a baby (she is now 13), having grown up in the gym while I was coaching. It actually amazes me that she has not had a major injury in all these years. She did have a scary fall off the bars when she was 7 or 8, but she wasn’t hurt. Two weeks ago she was tumbling and second guessed herself for a split second. That split second was enough to put her in a precarious position and she came down hands first from a forward tumbling pass.
She said she heard her arm break, yet some how she just walked off the floor and collapsed near some mats. Most of the gym didn’t even know something had happened. Her teammates and coaches got her arm elevated and on ice, but when I walked in the gym I took one look at her elbow and the very obvious swelling and said let’s go, it’s off to the Emergency Room for you.
I went back into x-ray with her and stood behind the glass with one of the x-ray techs. The new radiology technology is amazing. They took a picture and slid the films into a think that looked like a giant CD player and the x-ray immediately came up on the monitor in front of us. It was so obvious from that first slide that her arm was broken. She ended up with a displaced medial fracture in her humerus bone (she says its not funny though) and they soft casted her right there in the ER.
The next day we headed an hour south to the orthopedic office that specializes in pediatric sports injuries. If your athlete is ever injured – look for a doctor that deals with kids who are athletes on a daily basis – it makes all the difference in the world. The orthopedic doctor took a look at her films and determined that surgery was needed immediately to pin the piece of bone that had broken completely off back onto its rightful place. She broke the arm Monday, we saw the specialist Tuesday and were in surgery Thursday morning. Crazy!
The surgery went very well and she was able to go home that afternoon. She will be in the cast a few more weeks, but since she did not do any soft tissue (muscle, ligament or tendon) damage, they expect the arm to be stronger after the cast comes off than it was before.
The most difficult part of the injury has not been the injury itself rather the fact that she has not been in the gym. The weekend after she broke her arm was the team’s first competition of the season. She didn’t seem to be overly concerned until we walked into the meet to support her friends and then it hit her. That was the very first meet ever that she had not competed in since she was 6. And that was the hardest thing for her to handle. I just wonder if it will be a motivating factor once she is given the all clear to return to training.
We went back to the doctor this week to follow up on the surgery and the cast will stay on until December 13. But at least she has been cleared to go back in the gym and do conditioning – which makes her happy. Gymnasts are a little crazy that way!