Getting Back in the Game

bball hoop gym


Jamie Winkler is your typical high school junior, who loves playing multiple sports including volleyball, basketball and track. She’s been honored as Nebraska Crossing Outlets’ Player of the Week and serves as Class President. But a few months ago, Jamie was in a whole different world.

“I was at a basketball game, and went up for a lay-up,” said Jamie. “When I landed, my knee just gave out.”

Jamie had to have an ACL reconstruction for the non-contact injury. When the ACL is ruptured, return to play can be difficult and sometimes impossible.

“I don’t think I cried because of the pain, but because I realized I wouldn’t be doing anything for six months,” said Jamie. “That was a long time to be sitting around watching all my friends play.”

After the surgery, Jamie was ready to get back to her regular activities. She was anxious to get back on the court and watching her friends play wasn’t satisfying. Recovery seemed like a slow process, and Jamie worked hard in the physical therapy clinic, even breaking the leg press record! But it wasn’t just her efforts in the physical therapy clinic that paid off.

“We knew how much she wanted to get back in the game, simply by seeing the determination in her face,” said Ashley Conlin, Jamie’s physical therapist. “She worked so hard on her own and was in the weight room constantly to improve and pass the benchmarks we set for her.”

“Coordination and communication between Jamie, her physical therapists and Dr. Arnold was key to her recovery,” says Jamie’s dad, John Winkler. “The mental part was huge. It’s one thing for her dad to be telling her it will be ok, but another for her to hear it from the medical professionals.”

Today, Jamie is helping lead the Louisville Girls Basketball team on their first run to the state championships. She still uses the skills she learned during her time in physical therapy on the court and encourages her teammates to be safe when they’re playing or practicing. Ashley goes to games when she can, and cheers on the team.

“There were a lot of things we didn’t even realize she was doing wrong until we came here,” said John. “To have Ashley care so much and want to see Jamie excel again really means a lot. We’d recommend that anyone with sports injury go to see Dr. Arnold and the team at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital.”

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Getting Back in the Game

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