Emma’s Summit Story

One Patient’s Experience Returning to a Healthy and Active Lifestyle.

With the help from Dr. Skendzel, hear how Emma, a triathlete and patient of Summit Orthopedics got back to doing what she loves most.

Emma: I’m Emma Adriaens. I’m a biomedical engineer by trade, a project manager within the medical device field. I’m a triathlete first and foremost, and I’ve been racing in triathlons since 2005. I was on an 18-mile run, and I felt this huge ka-thud – like something happened within my hip. Something had flipped. Something went terribly wrong, and the pain was just excruciating, like doubled over. I’m like two miles from my house at this point, and I’m like hobbling back. It continuously got worse. Couldn’t really walk on my own. Couldn’t run, couldn’t bike, couldn’t even swim ’cause it was just painful just to move my legs. I went from being self-sufficient to relying on everyone, which is not a comfortable feeling. Originally, I went to another orthopedic surgeon, and they basically told me that this was all in my head, this wasn’t – there was nothing in my MRI scans, and I needed to come back in three months if things were painful still. And so luckily on my triathlon team, I had a good friend that’s also a physician, Dr. Scolfield. So he looked at my stuff, and he took my MRI scans and then basically consulted with other physicians within Summit. And so that’s how I landed with Dr. Skendzel.

Dr. Skendzel: The fact that she was a triathlete, I knew that the bar was set very high for her. And so, one of the very first conversations that we had, in addition to just talking about her hip and how we were going to fix it and the rehab, was really setting her goals. And I would say, for Emma, it was very clear from the beginning that her goal was going to be to get back in triathlons or bust. I evaluated Emma in clinic. We were suspicious that she had what’s called FAIR hip impingement: basically, where she has extra bone on the socket side and the ball side of her hip. And as a result of extra bone, being an active athlete, those bones pinch together. And the labrum, which is a soft ring of cartilage around the socket, can get caught in the middle. And over time, as that labrum gets pinched, it can cause a tear, which doesn’t heal on its own. And that can cause the persistent pain that led her to come in and see me. Our team of therapists, of trainers, and myself worked very closely with her in the months after her surgery to make sure that she met that goal.

Emma: To Dr. Skendzel specifically, what I’d like to say: “Look what we did, we were able to do this together.” Because of him, I’m able to live my life the way I want to live my life. And so I’m so thankful, and like words cannot describe how appreciative I am that he chose this path for himself. And because of him, my life and my family’s life is just so much better for it. We’re able to travel and do race-cations together still because of this surgery. So without him, I would not be back to myself, the way I want to live my life. I wouldn’t be me without him.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise

From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.

Start your journey to stronger, healthier athletic condition. Find your sports medicine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a sports medicine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and

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  • Jack Skendzel, M.D.

    “An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”

    More about this expert

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