Your Healthy Family: Local dancer travels long road back from ha - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Local dancer travels long road back from hamstring tear


Toni Freehling is the owner and creative director of Revolution Dance Studio in Colorado Springs.  Toni has stared down a career ending injury and fought her way back to the lifestyle and activity she loves through hard work and commitment combined with quality health care.  Toni has long known the many injuries that come with the territory as a dancer. http://www.koaa.com/story/36416571/your-healthy-family-the-many-injuries-dancers-face   

Toni clearly remembers the immediate moments after tearing her hamstring doing the splits.  “I got up and walked to get some ice right away, and I felt my hamstring recoiled down my leg and that's when I thought ‘you know this maybe this is maybe a little more than just a strain’.”

First thing the very next day Toni was in Dr. Michael Huang’s office.  Dr. Huang is a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, located on the UCHealth Memorial North Campus.

Dr. Huang also clearly remembers initially examining Toni.  “Basically her her leg was out in front of her which puts the hamstring on stretch and she felt the classic pop or ripping sensation.   Basically what happened was her tendon pulled off the bone were attached to it,”

Dr. Huang says cases like Toni’s typically present two treatment options.  Toni says, "Dr. Huang said surgery would be required if I wanted to continue with my lifestyle.  If I had a job where maybe I just sat at a desk then I could maybe live with it without surgery."

Dr. Huang explains, “We do a surgery where we go in and find the edge of the tendon, and find the bone where it belongs.  We basically reattach it with devices called suture anchors.  The surgery can be done through a small incision and an outpatient surgery but it's a really long recovery process."

That’s when the difficult task of balancing patients and hard work began for Toni who says, “It was about 6 weeks of physical therapy after surgery.  I was on crutches for 6 weeks and then I was on one crutch for a while.  It was a slow process and my recovery took about a year.  The key for me was slow and steady, and staying committed to a full recovery.”

The commitment and hard work paid off and Toni who says she now feels in increased amount of appreciation for her craft.  “It’s a complete sense of gratitude.  I live to dance, dance is my life  so I just don't know what I would have done if I couldn't keep doing it, that wasn't an option for me.  I was going to get back on my feet somehow, someway, and fortunately Dr. Huang was huge in making it happen for me.”

Dr. Huang also says anytime you’re injured, a good doctor will always present you with all  treatment options available to them, that will best suit you and your lifestyle.

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