We’d like to introduce Briana, our comeback athlete of the month!
Briana offers her insight as an athlete who has experienced both the recovery process of a concussion and a musculoskeletal injury. She is a level 9/10 gymnast and has been practicing gymnastics for 11 years! She is currently a junior at Arizona Connections Academy. In August of 2016, she rolled her ankle while practicing sprint routines in the gym. “I heard a pop and felt instant pain in my ankle – it wasn’t swollen so we weren’t initially concerned,” Brianna said. She later discovered that she had in fact torn her anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and needed surgery.
Briana describes how this injury differed from her concussion, “Contrary to a concussion, my performance in the classroom was not affected by my ankle injury. Aside from taking a few days off, I was still able to complete my work.” With the help of Dr. Mo and her physical therapist, she was able to focus on getting stronger throughout her recovery process, “The balance drills, mobility, and conditioning helped immensely.”
Although she describes that recovery was frustrating, she is glad she took the proper time and steps to return to gymnastics. She describes that she was confident upon returning to her sport and not afraid of re-injury because she followed the appropriate protocol.
She offers the following advice to fellow student athletes recovering from a musculoskeletal injury, “Stay positive and consistent – keep your goal in mind and listen to your physician and physical therapist. Do the prescribed exercises and you will back to your sport in no time.”
Interview & story by Iraseman Fonseca Gonzalez