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Published on May 16, 2017

ACL Reconstruction Restores Maddie's Competitive Edge

Maddie - high school track star, soccer player

Maddie - Nothing is Routine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Story

One minute you’re a track state champ playing soccer to keep your legs fresh in the off season, the next minute you’re lying on the ground clinching your knee. Something popped, it doesn’t feel right. A flood of thoughts race through your mind, “what happened to my knee!” - “why can’t I put any pressure on my leg?” - “will I race track ever again?” This was Maddie. She was a soccer player at West High, and most of all, a two-time defending State AA champion in the 100- and 200-meter dash. Track is her passion.

A soccer game injury on Saturday, September 17, 2016, left her track hopes and dreams in question. Maddie had torn her ACL and Miniscus and pulled her MCL, which is called a triple triad of the knee.

Her mom, Rebecca, had heard about the great orthopedic surgeons at Billings Clinic so she called and got Maddie in for an MRI the Monday after the fateful game. Just eleven days after the injury, Maddie had ACL reconstruction surgery with Dr. Guy Schmidt, orthopedic surgeon and his  Physician Assistant, Elie Soueidi.

The first three weeks after surgery were tough for this track star as she was on crutches for all non-weight bearing activities. Physical therapy was a welcome change as she met with Billings Clinic Physical Therapist, Adam Leachman, before and after school. Adam even met Maddie at the West High track to work on specified movements that would help her get back to running. While at Billings Clinic Rehabilitation Services at Granite West, Maddie worked on the Alter G, anti-gravity treadmill, which allowed her to rehabilitate with less pain and to heal faster.

“I really needed to keep up with what the physical therapists and doctors told me to do; otherwise, I would never have gotten back to where I am now,” Maddie said. In January Maddie started jogging and doing squats, working out on her own in the early mornings and evenings.

In March, barely six months after the injury, she started working out with her track team. She made her triumphant return to competition at the Billings West Quad Invitational on April 6th, where she took first place in the 4-1 meter relay with a time of 1 minute, 0.54 seconds.

“It was a lot to take in,” she said. “When I was setting up for my first race after the injury I almost teared up, but I contained myself. I was so happy I was back, but didn’t want to cry because people might think I was in pain.”

Maddie, is in great spirits, and pain free. “Everything happens for a reason.” Maddie says. “Hard work pays off in the end.”

Maddie’s care and treatment was anything but routine. Today, Maddie is continuing to compete and excel in all her track events.

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