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Perseverance and Grit – Meri’s Comeback Story

Vacation is a time to have fun, relax, and experience the beauty of the world. But for our OPTI friend, Meri, her vacation started off with some fun but unfortunately she ended up bringing home an injury as a souvenir. Check out her Comeback Story below!

What was your injury? How did you injure yourself?

I injured my left knee while skiing in Idaho in March 2020. My injury was three-fold: an ACL tear, meniscus tear, and cartilage damage. I required ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, and microfracture surgery (helps repair cartilage damage). Due to the pandemic, my surgery did not take place until May 2020.

What was the most challenging aspect to your recovery?

There were many challenging aspects to my recovery. Mobility after surgery was extremely difficult due to the microfracture portion of my surgery. This required me to be non-weight bearing for 6 weeks.

Also, I began physical therapy immediately after surgery with another company, and unfortunately my recovery did not progress well. Four months into physical therapy I had an MRI which revealed my meniscus repair had failed. I had a second surgery in September 2020 to remove a portion of my meniscus, scope scar tissue, and remove a cyclops lesion (mass that can occur after ACL reconstruction).

What did you learn from your experience in physical therapy?

I believe what I have learned from physical therapy is that the physical therapist matters. Take the time to find a company and a physical therapist who is the best fit for you. Finding a physical therapist who is truly invested in your recovery, listens/understands your unique journey, and puts 110% into helping you achieve your goals is so important. I personally only realized this after making the switch to Omaha Physical Therapy Institute after my second surgery.

What did you enjoy most about OPTI?

When I look back, what I have enjoyed most about OPTI is the people. When I contacted OPTI, I first spoke with Ally. She listened to my journey, asked insightful questions, discussed my goals, and then paired me with Ashlie, who has been an amazing physical therapist.  Within two weeks of working with Ashlie, my knee pain diminished greatly. After one month, my range of motion, strength, and gait were greatly improved. She explained the reason for each exercise, was extremely supportive at every step, and expressed genuine joy each time I reached a milestone. After 4 months of working with Ashlie, I have exceeded my own goals and I am so amazed by how far I have come in my recovery. I cannot praise Ashlie or the staff at OPTI enough!

What advice would you give someone that is recovering from an injury?

The advice I would give is to listen to your body, be patient, follow the physical therapy program, and find a physical therapist you can connect with. I highly recommend trying OPTI if you are looking for a company with people who will be fully invested in your journey to recovery.

What have you accomplished since coming back from your injury?

My accomplishments so far include biking, elliptical, use of a rowing machine, and strength training with weights!

What are your future plans?

My future plans and goals are to continue building strength in my knee, and to be able to complete a 5-7 mile hike this summer in Colorado.

What activities/hobbies do you enjoy?

Exercise is my hobby, and I hope at then end of my recovery I will be able to get back to running, even if it is only 1-2 miles a few days per week.

If you are injured or experiencing pain and want to get started on your Comeback Journey, give Omaha Physical Therapy Institute a call today!

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