Jennifer participated in the Camp Gladiator games in Austin, which is a boot camp fitness competition, testing ability, strength, speed and endurance. She was running backwards and fell, breaking her fall with her hand and breaking her wrist, too. The athletic trainers at the event recognized the seriousness of the injury and put her arm in a splint and recommended DOC, an orthopedic urgent care with immediate access to orthopedic surgeons.
She was hurt on a Saturday. As soon as she arrived, she was escorted to X-ray. The PA on staff reviewed the images and contacted Dr. Chris Hall, a DOC orthopedic surgeon, who arrived quickly to assess the damage. He said that she had to have surgery. The fractured bone was pushing on the carpel tunnel and could have resulted in hand numbness and other complications. Jennifer was devastated. In addition to having to drop out of the competition, she and her husband were scheduled to leave for a vacation in South Africa with a running group three days later and she was afraid she would have to miss the trip.
Dr. Hall initially secured a surgery date of Thursday, but when Jennifer began to cry over the total disappointment of everything and her “whole world crashing in around her,” Dr. Hall offered to make a few phone calls to try to move the surgery to Sunday or Monday. He said, “ I want you to go on your trip.” Jennifer had surgery on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Dr. Hall placed a metal plate and screws in Jennifer’s wrist to hold the fracture together and released the pressure on the carpal tunnel.
With her arm in a cast, Jennifer left with her husband and friends on Tuesday for Capetown. Although she couldn’t run because of the incision and cast, she was able to hike with her husband. Jennifer was also able to go whale watching and enjoy the wineries along the Garden Route.
Dr. Hall told her that it could take three to four months to heal and possibly up to a year to return to her pre-injury fitness level. Jennifer is not your typical guest. Her surgery was 11 weeks ago and she is back in boot camp, even doing some pushups, and running. Her DOC physical therapist is a former athlete and understands her psyche and need to return to her extreme games. He challenges her and she is the perfect student, doing her PT exercise homework between sessions. She feels like her strength is close to pre-injury now and she’s happy with where she is at with her recovery. In fact, she already has the 2019 Gladiator Games as a goal.
Jennifer is telling others that if they have any orthopedic injury, go to DOC. “It was amazing for me to see an orthopedic surgeon on a Saturday and have surgery on Sunday. Everyone is impressed with my recovery. Dr. Hall is incredible. I felt like I was lucky to find DOC and couldn’t have found a better surgeon. My experience was awesome…as far as a broken arm goes.”