After two patellar dislocations and poor recoveries, I had lost the ability to run. It was a huge blow to not be able to go for a jog or even walk up stairs without discomfort. After a few meetings with various doctors, I settled on Dr. Shubin Stein and the team at HSS. Besides being rated the best in ortho surgery in the country, HSS and Dr. Shubin Stein provided a lot of information about the procedures, risks, path to recovery, and all this while keeping in mind my long term goals (to run again…and complete an Ironman!). They decided to involve Dr. Fragomen to help with some of the surgery, and after a fairly quick back and forth we decided to go forward. I had a set of surgeries on my right leg including MPFL (Medial Patellofemoral Ligament) Reconstruction, TTO (tibial tubercle osteotomy), DFO (Distal Femoral Osteotomy), and DTO (Distal Tibial Osteotomy). It was a quick and successful 7 hours of surgery with Dr. Fragomen fixing my leg rotation for better overall alignment, and Dr. Shubin Stein helping fix up my knee. This was just the beginning and as Dr. Shubin Stein mentioned, PT would be critical to preserve range of motion and rebuild strength. With a successful surgery behind me, the road to recovery began. Dr. Shubin Stein and Dr. Fragomen checked up on me multiple times while I was in NYC before I headed home to San Francisco.
I continued my physical therapy in San Francisco very seriously for a full 1.5 years. In my first PT session at HSS post-surgery, I couldn’t even lift my own leg, but by the end of a year I was building strength with leg lifts and squats, and comfortably hiking parts of Crater Lake on a trip to Portland! Dr. Shubin Stein and her team were amazing about checking in on me to see how I was progressing (I’ll never forget sending them my “first steps” without a crutch). About 1.5 years after surgery and lots of physical therapy behind me, I got the go-ahead to start really running and training. With my eyes set on Ironman California (October 2022), I started to ramp up the swim, bike, and run workouts.
I’m proud to say that I am now an Ironman, having completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run in 14 hours and 10 minutes. Easily the hardest race I’ve faced but I know I wouldn’t be here without the amazing work and support from Dr. Shubin Stein, Dr. Fragomen, and the many teams at HSS. My eyes are already set on the next race and I’m truly grateful for the skill and care provided by Dr. Shubin Stein and the HSS team for making this all possible!
I have been dealing with chronic patella dislocations on both my right and left knee for the last 10 years. This reoccurring injury has followed me all the way into my professional career with the American Ballet Theatre for the last 5 years. As a professional ballet dancer my knees became a constant fear while dancing. Finally October of 2020 I had a catastrophic episode walking my dog outside where my left patella dislocated two times within 5 minutes.
After this incident I was tired of dealing with this injury in all aspects of my life. I immediately headed to HSS and was referred to Dr. Beth Shubin Stein. At this point I was devastated and fearful that my career as a dancer could be over. As soon as I met with Dr Shubin Stein I knew she was the surgeon to save my knees and career. She comforted me and I could feel that she knew how terrified I was. But through all the appointments and surgeries I had, she never once said “you will never dance again”.
After two MPFL reconstructions, two Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy’s, and a hardware removal surgery throughout the course of about a year in total, I’m currently up and dancing again. I’m so grateful for everyone at HSS and especially Dr. Shubin Stein for saving my knees and helping me get back on my toes!