Page 33

Leading Medicine Magazine, Vol 7, No 1 - 2013

and generally encouraged me to think ahead. “You will run again,” my daughter texted from college. My longtime running friends sent cards and promised to see me on the trails soon. The encouragement got me through six long weeks in a cast. The minute it came off, Varner referred me to Matt Holland, manager of physical therapy and occupational therapy at the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine. “The physical therapy part is as important as the surgery,” Varner told me. Holland and his crew were not sickened by the purplish blob that was now my ankle. They massaged it and worked it; they taught me exercises and slowly eased me into a routine I could do on my own. The rehab center itself was a place of inspiration, where I watched others of all ages and abilities work hard and improve. Holland encouraged me to work on my own in a swimming pool, where treading water — sometimes for hours at a time — helped me regain mobility. He urged steady and steadfast repetition with stretch bands to move the ankle, calf, toes and foot. Twice a week, all summer, Holland and his team iced my ankle and patiently watched and encouraged me as I progressed from picking up marbles with my toes to pedaling a stationary bicycle. After 18 rehab sessions, I was discharged to continue recovery on my own. A follow-up with Varner in September showed the heel was mended and the screws were firmly in place and would not bother me. He told me I could start running, a quarter mile at a time, with no more than a 10 percent build-up per week. My training log for the week of September 6–12, 2010, reads “21st Recovery Week — 1st Week Return to Running.” LOVING EVERY STEP On January 15, 2012, I lined up to run my 13th Houston Marathon and my 62nd race of 26.2 miles or more. Four hours, 25 minutes and three seconds later, I crossed the finish line — a little teary-eyed and emotional because it was a long time coming. My ankle felt great. In fact, since the surgery, running has been a lot more fun and virtually pain-free. I enjoy every run. Every step is a victory. In October, my 21-year-old daughter ran her first marathon in Portland, Oregon. And I was on the finish line with her. n To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a specialist, visit methodistorthopedics.com. Leading Medicine • Volume 7, Number 1 Foot & Ankle Care The ability to stand and move upright on two legs is central to human experience. The complex network of bones, tendons and tissue in the foot and ankle, as well as throughout the lower extremities, supports form and movement. But the stress of that support can also contribute to injury. Methodist specializes in the treatment of conditions and injuries of the foot, ankle and leg, including tibial fractures, sports-related injuries and trauma to the lower extremities. While our physicians treat professional teams and artists like the Houston Dynamo and Houston Ballet, their focus is treating patients of all ages and professions with the finest orthopedic care possible. Common conditions treated include, but are not limited to: • Achilles tendon rupture • Achilles tendon tendonitis • Ankle arthritis • Ankle injury and instability • Bunions • Cavus (high arch) foot • Deformities • Flat feet • Foot drop • Fractures • Hammertoes • Morton’s neuroma • Plantar fasciitis • Post-stroke ankle reconstruction • Rheumatoid arthritis • Tarsal tunnel syndrome To request a referral or to schedule an appointment, call 713-441-BONE (2663). n Dr. Kevin Varner i n a d d i t i o n 27


Leading Medicine Magazine, Vol 7, No 1 - 2013
To see the actual publication please follow the link above