Lariah Stewart is a track star who competes in individual and relay sprints. For years, she battled a recurring knee injury. She always pushed through the pain, rehabilitated on her own and got back on the track.
Last summer, the injury reoccurred, but would not heal on its own. She and her family turned to Michael Priola, D.O., and the pediatric sports medicine clinic at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities.
“Children and teens who suffer sports-related injuries should be fully examined,” Dr. Priola says. “Sometimes, there are underlying problems that predispose children to injuries, so taking a step back and evaluating the whole patient before zeroing in on the acute injury can be important.”
In Lariah’s case, her hip and femur were malrotated, causing the patellar tendon not to sit securely in the socket. She underwent a femoral derotation osteotomy and patellar tendon reconstruction surgery and participated in three months of aggressive rehabilitation followed by intense agility training.
Therapy and rehabilitation are essential parts of pediatric sports medicine care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities. After a child undergoes surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon collaborates with occupational therapists, physical therapists and the patient’s family to craft personalized therapy plans and goals.
“Collaborating with patients and their families enables us to set patient-specific goals,” said Rebecca Rouse, DPT, pediatric physical therapist. “We don’t use cookie-cutter exercise plans or therapy regimens. We won’t approach therapy for patients who want to return to playing soccer the same way we would for those who want to return to another sport or to everyday activities.”
Thanks to the customized care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Twin Cities, Lariah was back on the track in less than a year, consistently placing in the top five of every race she ran.