UI Sports Medicine clinic helps CrossFit hopeful achieve her dreams
UI Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping athletes of all ages get back to doing what they love.
For years, Deidre Franzen has been active in CrossFit, the high-intensity strength and conditioning training program that has become popular with athletes and workout enthusiasts. She even set a goal of one day qualifying for the CrossFit Games, a yearly competitive event that only selects 38 of the best teams from around the world.
So, when Deidre’s shoulder wasn’t getting better after an injury, she worried about her future and if she would be able to compete the following season.
That’s when Deidre scheduled an appointment with University of Iowa Sports Medicine, a comprehensive orthopedic care clinic for competitive and recreational athletes of all ages, including athletes like Deidre.
Championship care for all types of athletes
At UI Sports Medicine, patients are evaluated by the same team physicians who take care of all UI athletes and have the expertise to get all types of athletes—from little leaguers to the pros—back in the game as soon as possible.
Deidre met with Brian Wolf, MD, director of UI Sports Medicine and head team physician for UI Athletics. Wolf identified Deidre’s injury as a tear in her shoulder labrum, a thick piece of tissue attached to the shoulder socket that keeps the ball of the joint in place. Deidre’s labral tear needed to be repaired.
"After my initial conversations with Dr. Wolf about what my MRI revealed and my future aspirations of returning to CrossFit, I knew I was in the right hands, and I would make a full return to doing what I love,” Deidre says. “I was thankful to be able to get started on my healing journey."
Within a week of her appointment, Deidre underwent arthroscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a small camera into the shoulder to aid in the repair of tears and removal of damaged tissue.
A short journey to full recovery
After a successful surgery, Deidre needed six to eight weeks to heal. She was careful not to put too much stress on the joint—something that could delay her recovery. Having to learn how to gently rebuild muscle in her shoulder without reinjuring herself, she relied on the expertise of Joel Lee, MPT, a physical therapist at UI Sports Medicine, to guide her through to a full and speedy recovery.
"Joel was wonderful to work with for my physical therapy, he kept me progressing through all the big and small milestones,” Deidre says. “With his help I was able to safely regain my strength and mobility and return to competition."
New and improved
These days, Deidre is doing better than ever. Not only is she back to her competitive training, but her improved strength has helped her set new personal records and even achieve her dream of qualifying for the CrossFit Games.
"I wasn't sure how my return to training would look, or how long it would take me to get back to where I was before my injury, but I have been thoroughly pleased and relieved with exactly how well it has gone,” she says. “In fact, I just competed in the semifinals and qualified to compete with my team!”
Diedre remains grateful for the specialized care she received at UI Sports Medicine.
“Last year, I was at the CrossFit Games as a spectator, in my immobilizer, and this year I'll be competing—a huge thank-you to the UI Health Care team that made this all possible!" she says.