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Gymnasts and competitive cheerleaders experience more injuries than other athletes. Learn how 16-year-old River City Gymnastics athlete Emma Grace recovered after a devastating knee injury with the help of Arkansas Children's Saturday Sports Injury Clinic. Below is her story, as told by her mother Dani.
"Emma Grace had broken her right ankle in July of 2016. She was just getting back to routine after being released for full activity. She began having left knee pain with swelling and light bruising. We limited activity but it continued. We had heard about the Saturday Sports Injury Clinic on the radio. We weren't sure if it was for just football injuries but knew we needed to have her seen soon because competition season was approaching.
We went in on Saturday, Nov. 19 and she was seen by Dr. Sachleben. At first, he thought she might have just sprained her knee or that it was just sore from overcompensating with her left side since she was just getting over the right ankle break. Dr. Sachleben put her on limited activity for two weeks. We went back for a follow-up visit. She was still having the same swelling and pain. Dr. Sachleben decided to do an MRI where they found a stress fracture in her knee joint. She was devastated, but Dr. Sachleben explained exactly what the injury was and what the treatment was - no gymnastics. She was out for the season.
We were disappointed, but Dr. Sachleben was so patient with Emma Grace as she sat there and cried. He explained that if she didn't allow the knee to heal she'd be out for good. She needed to let the knee heal completely, he told us, and this would improve her chances of using the knee in all kinds of activities throughout her life.
Dr. Sachleben finally released Emma Grace to full activity a little at a time on Jan. 31. It has taken her months to get back in routine but she's doing great! She's excited for competition season this year.
Our experience at the ACH Sports Injury Clinic was great. Dr. Sachleben was awesome. We will be seeing him again for any other injuries, though we all hope no more occur!"