Back On Track
Sarah Bednar is a wonderful young woman with a future that is almost limitless in potential. A gifted scholar - she graduated 11th in her class at PHS last year - and the captain of the track team who twice represented her school at the Western Mass. championship level, Sarah knows her way around hard work and relentless effort. But despite her considerable talents, there wasn't much she could do last year about one moment of bad luck in an otherwise charmed life.
She was skiing back to the lodge after her final run on the very last day of practice with the PHS ski team. "I fell," she said, still sounding surprised that the mishap took place at all. "It wasn't even a bad fall." But it was bad enough to tear her ACL - a serious injury of the knee - and to sideline the outstanding athlete at the very peak of her high school career. Repairing the damage and becoming a competitor once again became her next challenge.
She was devastated when Dr. Kevin Mitts of Berkshire Orthopaedics told her the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in her knee was torn. "Up to that point, I was still in denial. But when Dr. Mitts said I had a torn ACL, I knew it was over," she said of her final track season at PHS. While she loved gymnastics and skiing, competing in track was her passion. "I also knew that I had a long recovery ahead of me."
The ACL connects the thigh bone to the leg bone. Injury to the ACL is one of the most common knee ligament injuries. Dr. Mitts ordered a program of physical therapy prior to surgery to strengthen her leg muscles and prepare her best for recovery.
"I was scared. I never had surgery before," Sarah said. "But I trusted Dr. Mitts 100 percent, and on the day of my surgery, everyone at the hospital kept me completely at ease."
Using arthroscopic surgery, Dr. Mitts repaired the torn ACL and Sarah left BMC the following day. "I was actually in rehab the day after surgery," Sarah said. "Dr. Mitts wanted me to start putting pressure and weight on my leg as soon as possible. I recovered quickly, but I was determined to get better."
Sarah is now a student at Providence College. "The surgery was a complete success," she said. "I'm still a little timid when it comes to real active sports, but I'm running again. And that's what really matters to me."