Medical Breakthroughs: Local olympic hopeful overcomes knee injury

Medical Breakthroughs

When athletes are injured, it can not only be a major setback in their career, but an emotional hurdle to face as well.
News 10 spoke to an Olympic Games hopeful about how physical therapy is getting her back in the gym.

Hailey Deguelle sprained her knee two months before the trampoline and tumbling national competition.

That didn’t stop the 14 year old from taking home second place, but now she’s in pain and focused on healing.

“I felt a small pop but I didn’t really know what it was,” she said. “It didn’t hurt so I just kept jumping for practice like it didn’t ever happen.”

Jeff Mentel, owner of Scott Physical Therapy, said injuries to the knee are the most common. Deguelle tore her patella ligament doing black flips on a trampoline, he said.

Mentel says the old “rice” method of rest, ice, compression and elevation isn’t the end all be all of treatments for sports-related injuries anymore.

New research suggests active therapy is better for healing.

“You start to move these joints and get the muscles activated,” Mentel said. “Helps to bring nutrients and waste materials back and forth to get them where we need to go.”

Hailey is in physical therapy three days a week getting her strength back, doing cardio, training abs and completing leg workouts.

She says she hopes to not only be ready for the season to start back up in December but to hopefully make it on the national team – and compete in the Olympics.

“You just have to keep your hopes up and remember you really love the sport,” she said. “You might not be able to do anything now but you will be able to get back to it again.”

“Most of us have played sports in our past lives and so you can relate a lot to it,” said Mentel. “I don’t know of many athletes who have not had an injury of one kind or another. it’s always phenomenal and very rewarding.”

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