Ballerina shoes

A Summit Health and CityMD Grateful Patient Story: Heidi’s Connected Care Journey

More than 18 months of consistent pain and discomfort has finally ended for Heidi. Today she has returned to doing what she loves — teaching dance to children at her studio in Brooklyn. Heidi credits the team at Summit Health and CityMD for following her throughout her entire injury from urgently needing an evaluation to specialized surgical care and recovery.

In the summer of 2021, Heidi, a former professional dancer, noticed some discomfort in her hip. The pain wasn’t terrible, but she knew something wasn’t right. Dancers put unique demands on their hips, achieving extreme ranges of motion that can strain the joints and damage the supporting tissue around them. To manage the pain, Heidi tried taking steroid shots and attending physical therapy, but she could not find any relief.

“It became hard for me to sit or stand comfortably. I also had trouble sleeping,” said Heidi who has danced professionally for 15 years sharing her talents all over the world. The pain was hindering every aspect of her life — she needed to be able to sit on the floor, move quickly with young children, and of course, dance.

After struggling for over a year, Heidi visited a CityMD urgent care center. “I explained what was going on and how long it had been happening,” Heidi said. “The staff and doctors took the time to really understand my concerns and help me in a kind and patient manner.”

As part of CityMD and Summit Health’s connected care model, Heidi was referred immediately to a specialist on the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine team. Three days after her visit to CityMD she had an appointment with an orthopedist and within two months she was scheduled to have surgery.

“The orthopedics team at Summit Health listened to my concerns and looked at all my former records concerning my issue. They explained how the hip works and exactly what was going on in my body,” Heidi said.

When hips are damaged by arthritis, a fracture, or other conditions, common activities such as walking or getting in and out of a chair may be painful and difficult. Your hip may be stiff, and it may be hard to put on your socks and shoes.

For more than a year, Heidi had been dealing with bone-on-bone hip osteoarthritis. She had tried activity modification, medications, as well as injections — but her symptoms progressed to the point that it was affecting her daily activity.

She had reached the point where surgery was the only option to relieve her pain. Heidi was nervous about having major surgery, but the orthopedics team helped her feel more comfortable.

On August 31, Heidi arrived at the hospital for what she hoped would be the solution to a year and a half’s worth of pain. “Thanks to the orthopedics team, and some serious physical therapy, I was able to return to teaching in about eight weeks,” Heidi said.

Soon after, she was able to walk into the Summit Health office without the assistance of a cane. During her visit, she was welcomed with cheers of support from the office staff.

Today, Heidi is moving through her dance classes and with her students without crutches and is finally pain-free. She can teach comfortably and continues to improve her mobility and is able to dance once again.

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