Stories about: Performing Artist Athlete Program

Helping Olympian Aimee Buchanan get back on her skates

Aimee Buchanan, who had surgery to remove a bursa, performs a Biellmann spin at the 2018 winter Olympics

Like many young athletes, Aimee Buchanan dreamed of going to the Olympics. But unlike most athletes, she skated her way to success, overcoming multiple injuries along the way. A dual American-Israeli citizen, Aimee competed for Israel’s figure skating team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She placed 10th in the women’s short program team event and ultimately helped her team finish ahead of both South Korea and France.

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What parents of musicians should know about upper extremity injuries

Andrea Bauer Thriving lead image nerve injuries upper extremity musicians

When it comes to orthopedic injuries, sports are usually talked about as high-risk activities, but it’s not often we consider the risk that musicians take when playing an instrument for hours every day.

Musicians can get overuse injuries the same way that athletes do, and are at risk for neck and back injuries, as well as shoulder strain. In particular, nerve injuries in the upper extremities are quite common amongst string instrument musicians, as they tend to hold their instruments in abnormal positions for long periods of time.

While parents may not think that their kid playing an instrument could come with potential injury hazards, these conditions can leave a child or young adult in pain and unable to play. Andrea Bauer, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program at Boston Children’s Hospital details how these injuries occur and what parents should look out for.

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‘Going for it’ with a congenital hand difference

Ashley Murphy Thriving lead image gymnastics

“People ask me if it’s harder to do certain things, and I always tell them, ‘I don’t know, this is all I’ve ever had.’” Despite being born with symbrachydactyly — a condition in which the middle three fingers of her left hand never fully developed — 12-year-old Ashley makes most things look easy. She runs cross-country, plays basketball and even competes on the uneven bars in gymnastics, all with a hand that sets her apart from most kids her age.

“We talk a lot about how everyone has differences,” says her mom, Juli. “I told her when she was little that her hand won’t ever be the same as others, but we can adjust and make compensations so she can do the things she wants to do.” And what does Ashley want to do? The answer to that seems to be almost everything.

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A fine balance: Dance health at every age

dance healthWhen Amelia Maguire, now 17, started dancing at age 3, she coveted the cute costumes. She adored her teacher and seeing her dance friends, says her father Mark. But sometime between the toddler and teen years, Amelia fell in love with dance.

Like many young and enthusiastic athletes, Amelia embraced her sport with a passion “She was doing splits all of the time,” recalls her mother Jeanne. “I didn’t realize I should have said hold up — you’re doing too much.”

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