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Ankle Fracture Stalls Marathon Goals


Patient Spotlight: Shannon W.

Spine & Sport Physical Therapy Patient ShannonShannon had originally signed up to run a half marathon in April of 2019, but in January, she fell and suffered an ankle injury. After visiting with her orthopedic surgeon, she knew completing  the half marathon in just a few short months was no longer an option. But, through her own personal motivation and the help of her physical therapist, she was able to overcome her injury and complete her first marathon – and beat her goal!

While enjoying time in the mountains, Shannon slipped and suffered a bimalleolar ankle fracture. Within just a few short days, she underwent surgery, leaving her with two large plates and 14 screws in her right ankle. For the active individual and a mother of four, the doctor’s suggestion for year-long recovery was devastating news.

Following her surgery, Shannon found Spine & Sport as her home for rehab. She had been to physical therapy in her college years for the same ankle, so she knew what to expect. However, this time her experience was a bit different than her previous experience.

“Spine & Sport Physical Therapy is different because of the people. Everyone knew me, and was invested in my personal goals for my recovery.”

Although unable to complete her half marathon in April, she set her sights on a new goal – completing  a half marathon the following February (2020).

She put in all of the hard work and was dedicated to improving. She stayed physically active although injured by adjusting some of her normal routine. Shannon lifted weights – from a seated  position. She found herself in the pool – jogging. She pushed herself through the discomfort, did the exercises she was prescribed, and made her recovery her priority. After all, she had a half marathon to complete.

“When I originally asked when I would be able to run for the first time, they told me August. By June I was taking my first hobbling running steps. It wasn’t pretty, but I was out there. There was discomfort, but I pushed through it. I went a little further each time. By August, l could run a distance of three miles.”

Fast forward a few months and Shannon did it! She completed her half marathon one year and one month after her fall. With a goal to complete the half marathon in under 2 hours and 30 minutes, she did just that! She finished in 2:26.

“Through this process I found a determination in myself I didn’t know I had. My next half marathon is in October and I am signing up for a marathon next year. I have also set a new goal to run a 50 mile race before I tum 50 years old.

I am very lucky with Spine & Sport, especially Melissa. I told her my goal of completing a half marathon – and although perhaps skeptical – she did everything she could to help me achieve my personal goal. She didn’t tell me l couldn’t, or shouldn’t. She just supported me in my goal in the best way possible.”