When a high school athlete has designed their identity around a sport and the potential of a future in collegiate athletics, suffering an ACL tear can feel like the body’s ultimate betrayal. An ACL tear is a traumatic and painful injury that can leave an athlete on the sidelines for up to a year, seriously delaying any progress they might have been making in their sport. But multiple ACL tears, one right after the other, can be devastating for a promising high school athlete not only physically, but emotionally as well.
Julia Marino is always thinking about her story, and it would be hard not too, given how much of an adventure her life has been so far. “Being adopted out of Paraguay to have a normal life in America would’ve been enough of a story itself,” she says. “But I’ve had the chance to live a life beyond what anybody could even dream of.”
As an Olympic skier, Julia has been competing at the top of her sport for almost a decade. In 2014, she reached the pinnacle of snow sports at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But how she got there – and where she plans on going now – was heavily influenced by a devastating knee injury just a few years before the Olympics.
As the year comes to a close, we look back on some of the most popular stories — from basic tips to second chances to ground-breaking surgeries. Thank you to the many families and patients who kindly contributed to the success of Thriving in 2016. As always, you inspire us. Happy New Year! …
At the beginning of the historically snowy Boston 2015 winter, I took a ski trip to the Green Mountains with some friends. On the morning of our first day, I lost control and, while tumbling to a halt, I heard two pops: One was my right ski-binding opening and the other was my left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupturing.
As a doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I found myself exploring treatment options, even before I got the MRI scan to confirm the ACL tear.
I was particularly troubled to hear about the high risk of early-onset osteoarthritis in the injured knee with the current standard surgery.
After following the research, I was encouraged to learn Dr. Martha Murray and her team at Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine had just started recruiting for a first-in-humans safety trial testing a promising new ACL-repair method.
I called Dr. Murray’s research coordinator and sent my MRI results to find out if I was eligible to participate in the trial. Within a few hours, they returned my call. I was eager to learn more. …