OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Andrew

December 01, 2017

Meet Andrew – a dedicated javelin thrower that placed seventh in this year’s USA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, CA. When he’s not training or competing, Andrew enjoys hunting and coaching younger athletes the sport of throwing. Prior to competing at nationals, Andrew had an injury that impacted his ability to train and compete. Andrew turned to OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute and Dr. Laura Dunne for help in hopes of still qualifying for nationals.

After coming off a four-year hiatus from throwing competitively, Andrew had goals of qualifying for nationals early in the season and then training rigorously to be in peak shape for his fourth appearance at the USA Track & Field Championships. However, his plans changed when a nagging groin injury began to have a significant impact on not only his training, but also his daily routines. Having been injured before, Andrew was upset but had faith that he would bounce back. “Injuries are a big part of the life of an athlete. Since my high school years, I have been a patient at OAA and I have always received the best guidance and expertise,” Andrew shared.
Andrew sought out care from Dr. Laura Dunne, who suspected that he had a high adductor strain. “Dr. Dunne informed me that she had a lot of experience with this particular injury because of all the treatment she provides to ice hockey players that commonly suffer from this injury. She recommended that I stop all lower body and lateral movements for six weeks, including throwing, and referred me to physical therapy.  With this news my window to qualify for the National championships was getting smaller. I now had one and only meet to qualify for nationals,” Andrew recalled.

Dr. Dunne is a primary care sports medicine physician at the Sports Medicine Institute at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. She routinely helps athletes of all calibers, including weekend warriors, avid runners, and Paralympic hockey players on Team USA. In her free time, Dr. Dunne enjoys playing soccer, running, promoting healthier lifestyles, and providing injury prevention tips.

When Andrew’s one and only chance to qualify finally came, he competed against other elite javelin throwers that were all hoping for a spot at nationals. Reflecting back on the day of the meet, Andrew shared, “This was the first real test of my groin injury. I was able to complete all six throws, qualified for nationals, and hit the tenth ranked throw in the country. I was ecstatic and had hope for a chance at a good performance in Sacramento.”

Andrew made the trip to Sacramento and found himself ranked tenth among competitors from all over the country. Looking back at his season and his time at nationals, Andrew shared, “This season was such a blessing. With the minimal training this year due to my injury, the goal was to qualify for nationals and make the final, which consists of the top eight throwers. I was able to put together my best throw ever at a national event and finished in seventh place behind two Olympians and four former USA Track & Field Champions. I set goals this year and I hit all of them. I look forward to having a full year of training and competing again next year! If it wasn't for the grace of God, the support of my family, the guidance of my coach, and the amazing staff and care at OAA, this season would not have come to fruition.”
As for his experiences at OAA, Andrew shared, “The quick service and professional courtesy at OAA has always kept me coming back. Dr. Dunne immediately made me feel confident about my recovery. I was very grateful that she quickly explained that with the right physical therapy and rest, I would be able to compete.” The physicians and staff at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists has helped patients and athletes of all skill levels get back to their sports or activities of choice. Whether you are a weekend warrior, a high school athlete, or a nationally ranked javelin thrower like Andrew, OAA’s physicians want to see you back in action as quickly and as safely as possible. Good luck next season Andrew! 

Do you or a loved one have a similar story?  Share your story with us, and you could be next month's patient ambassador!