Hannah Young // Northeastern Athletics
Hannah Young was at volleyball practice last year. It was not just any practice. The JV team was scrimmaging the varsity team, and Hannah was going to give it her all. She went for the set just as another player backed into her. They both went down…the other player falling on Hannah’s kneecap.
“She just got up and said, ‘That hurt!’” said coach Jerry Middleton. “No one thought it was serious, but the next day it started swelling.”
Hannah headed to their Reid athletic trainer for advice. “She first thought it could be a bruised bursa, but it should have healed in three or four days, and it did not,” Hannah said. The trainer knew it was time for her to see Reid orthopedic physician Dr. Gameshan Ramachandran (Dr. Rama). The MRI showed cracked cartilage under the kneecap, which would take three to four weeks to heal.
Hannah wore an immobilizer from her hip to mid-calf to allow the cartilage to heal. She worked with her trainer to heat or ice every day. “I still felt all the pain I was feeling before,” she said. “Her knee was swollen the entire time,” said her mother, Kim Shepherd. Dr. Rama decided to do surgery. He drained the fluid and blood that had built up behind her kneecap and scraped the bone to keep it from rubbing.
“I was on crutches for a week and then did physical therapy with my trainer,” Hannah said. The Reid trainer helped her with stretches and strengthening exercises and worked on her range of motion. Because she was at the school, Hannah didn’t have to miss class. “She made it a lot more fun than working with anyone else,” Hannah said.
“Having a Reid athletic trainer has been a lifesaver, and Dr. Rama is wonderful,” said Kim.
“The athletic training program is a big benefit,” Jerry said. “When you’re involved in an activity you could get seriously hurt, you need someone that knows what they are doing.” The trainer works with players, taping and stretching to prevent injuries, and providing therapy after an injury occurs. “It’s good to have the communication back and forth between the coaches and trainer,” Jerry added.
She missed volleyball season, but Hannah was back in competition when track season arrived. “This year, I’m playing like I was before this even happened,” she said. “I’m back to normal.”