William and Mary Gymnast Shares Her Secret to a Comeback ~ STACIA RUSE
Stacia was introduced to gymnastics at a very young age. At just four years old, she participated in her first “Mommy and Me” class, unaware that gymnastics would play such a large role in her life. Over the years, her love for the sport grew, and so did her skills. She began to excel at competitions and eventually earned a full scholarship to the College of William and Mary.
In high school, Stacia started experiencing pain in her shoulders, which persisted into her college years. “At first it was just a slight annoyance, but by the time I was a freshman in college, the pain became more severe,” explains Stacia. It was later discovered that Stacia had a SLAP tear in each shoulder. “We tried managing the injuries with anti-inflammatories, and having Stacia work with trainers to strengthen her shoulders; but despite that, we couldn’t build up the muscles around her shoulders to compensate for the injuries,” Dr. Alexander Lambert II says.
Stacia was constantly worried about dislocating or otherwise injuring her shoulders, especially during meets. Even simple everyday tasks had the potential to cause pain and injury. Together Stacia and Dr. Lambert decided that surgery would be the best option to stabilize her shoulder.
“Stacia is healthy, strong and had a desire to return to her sport,” Dr. Lambert explains why Stacia was a good candidate for the surgery. “More important, she was in pain and her injuries were keeping her from doing the things she wanted to do.”
As a fellow athlete, her orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Lambert understood how quickly Stacia wanted to return to her active lifestyle. “The cool thing about Dr. Lambert is that he supports his athletes — both in and out of the office — he was always at our meets and he really understands the athlete mindset,” says Stacia.
After Stacia’s shoulders healed, she was able to compete fully in all events, which she had not been able to do for many years. “My shoulders were much more stable, and I no longer had that constant fear and worry that something was going to slip out of place,” Stacia happily explains.
“Stacia is an outstanding example of an athlete, who despite all her injuries and operations, was able to bounce back to full competitive level,” Dr. Lambert explains. “Just 20 years ago, these injuries would have completely sidelined an athlete.”
“I would absolutely recommend Dr. Lambert and his exceptional team to anyone. Dr. Lambert is supportive, and he always took my opinions into consideration,” Stacia says.
Currently, Stacia is a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Although she is no longer a competitive gymnast, she is an avid runner and passionate about health and wellness. “Thanks to the surgeries Dr. Lambert performed, I have the freedom to do anything I want. I don’t have to worry about my injuries limiting me,” Stacia says. “It’s just nice being able to get back into life!”