D1 Blog

The Comeback

October 25, 2013

In the winter of 2012 Ariana fell while skiing and knew immediately that she had done some damage to her right knee.

“Pop goes the weasle!” She laughed as she described it to me in a recent phone conversation. At the Vail ER there was an inundation of similar injuries, of course. ‘Twas the season of abundance in the form of broken skiers and boarders. She was in common company, and in the hands of staff who had seen it all before. She was in and out quick and on her way back to Colorado Springs.

At Colorado College where Ari was attending her junior year, she was referred to Front Range Orthopaedics partner Dr. Pak by a very satisfied patient of his. Ariana was lucky to get in to see Dr. Pak right away, and he prescribed some pre-habilitation. That is how we came to welcome Ari into the D1 therapy family.

Ariana is a refreshingly bright girl, both in brains and in character. Understandably though, she came to us not feeling quite like herself.  She is an active person by nature but was having a hard time dealing with her temporary inability to do the things that fueled her. She was a proud member of the Colorado College soccer team but could not play. She couldn’t ski, couldn’t walk normally, nor could she drive her manual transmission. She worried about her ability to get around campus and to work.

Of her first visit with clinic director Sarah Sacks, Ari says, “I remember going into the private evaluation room with Sarah and crying. I felt unable to live my life. Sarah told me about her own numerous surgeries, how she was very discouraged for awhile, but that she did finally get back to normal. It was really great for me to hear that. I needed a little encouragement.”

Ariana pre-habbed with us for a month before her surgery in April. She underwent an orthoscopic autographic ACL MCL full repair. Reflecting on her perspective during the recovery she says, “Every time we clicked back the dial on my brace it felt really awesome because it indicated I was regaining control and stability. When I was able to balance on a single leg again I realized I had turned a corner.”

After two months of post operative rehabilitation, Ari had full flexion and extension in her knee. Then she left us for the summer, as she had a two month internship in Washington DC.“When I got back to Colorado Springs in August I wasn’t feeling strong enough. Dr. Pak prescribed more physical therapy to aid in my return to soccer. We worked on strength and stability. I left feeling awesome and was able to play without discomfort. I was also a little more knowledgeable about how to take care of my knee.”

Ariana headed into her senior year ready to play. She had a full and rewarding final season as a Lady Tiger. Upon graduation she entered a Teach For America program which has relocated her to Memphis. She currently teaches world history to sixth graders.

“Ariana utilized all ours services from pre-hab, to post surgery rehab, to return to sport training,” notes Sarah. “She kept us on our toes. We had to remind her every weekend to be careful  not to retear her ACL, by engaging in one of her countless shenanigans. Sumo wrestling, for example, was right up her alley.”

I asked Ariana for a picture of her to compliment this story and she responded with, “Can it be of me in my sumo suit?” That’s Ari in a nutshell. She’s a completely quirky and goofy delight. She’s able to find pleasure in everything. We loved having her around. Not only was she an inspiration to other patients during their healing, but the ambition with which she took on her life made her an inspiration to all of us here at D1.

sumo ari

Category: CO - Colorado Springs