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Leah Thorvilson

2012 Olympic Trials Women's Marathon Qualifier

  • Ashley says:

    Hi Leah. I actually have a quick question for you. I am a marathoner too, and have recently had a lot of pain in … Well both hamstrings. After attempting to recover from my last marathon (march 16th) I know now that I have done some serious damage. I just got results from MRI that indicate partial bilateral tears in both R and L hamstrings but the report also says “ischial avulsion injury ” in the right. My chiropractor (who ordered the MRI after lost of failed therapy like ART, etc) says 6- 8 weeks off- no running at all – which like you I thought was unimaginable. But the more I am reading about “avulsion injuries” the more concerned I am that I might need more aggressive treatment than just rest. How did you know you needed surgery?
    Thanks in advance for your insight and advice.

    April 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    • LeahThorvilson says:

      Hey Ashley, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I am certainly not a doctor, and I don’t know the severity of your tears, so it is hard to say if I think you need surgery. The reason the doctors decided I needed surgery was that my hamstring was almost completely torn off the bone at the attaching tendon, and there was 3 centimeters of retraction. 3 centimeters may seem like a small measurement, but getting those fibers to reach out and love each other again without assistance would have taken an eternity. (I like to illustrate this by wiggling my fingers on opposing hands, reaching towards one another like they want to connect but don’t know how…. “heyyyy guyyyysss”…} I did not have any bony avulsions, which to my understnading is the muscle/tendon beginning to pull at/fracture the bone where it attaches, the ischium being your “sit bone”. My tear may have been more severe, which could have been the indicator for surgery, but the bone was not affected. Studies that I read showed the likelihood of re-injury to be much higher without surgical repair, in the case of a complete tear of the muscle/tendon…. not sure in the case of a partial tear. I will say this…. 6-8 weeks is the time that I will have been off from EVERYTHING. No swimming, no biking, no eliptical, no walking without crutches. I get to ditch the crutches Monday and then I begin physical therapy and whatever physical activity the doctors approve. Complete recovery and return to running at pre-injury level is expected to be around 6 months at best. I do NOT say this to be negative, I just want you to have realistic expectations on the amount of time off with or without surgery. Surgical repair for me was not a quick fix, but rather the fix that offered the greatest percentage chance of a complete recovery and return to a high level of competition. I hope this has been even remotely helpful…. my best advice is to consult with a few orthopedic doctors/surgeons to discuss what your options are, and the specific instructions around recovery involved in each option. Good luck!!

      April 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm
  • Becky W says:

    OMG I love this. I am on crutches for a stress fracture in my foot and will be for the next few weeks. I LOVE how you’ve “dressed up” your crutches. I’m gonna have to do the same. Love the Euro Trip reference (may not originally be from Euro Trip, but that’s the only time I’ve heard it)!
    I actually have a scooter – which I HATE, but its easier at work than the crutches. I need to find a way to decorate it – it already has a basket for my alcohol, er work papers!

    Good luck. Get well soon, but enjoy the time – I’m trying to as well – without gaining too much weight!

    April 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm
  • Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com says:

    Holy crap that sling looks awful! But your crutches rock… Loving the recovery drink koozie! Glad to hear things are progressing so well and you are in the homestretch of your 10k- that’s a great analogy by the way :)

    April 24, 2013 at 2:07 am
  • Heather (Where's the Beach) says:

    ” Probably the best silver lining to this whole process is the quality time I have spent with my friends.” Always important to find those positives. They’re what gets us through!

    April 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

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