- Physician Teams
Spartan races aren’t for the faint of heart. In addition to running a 12-mile course, participants also face obstacles like spear throws and a rope climb. While most people would shy away from an extreme race like that, East Stroudsburg Middle School gym teacher Jennifer Simpson embraces the challenge.
“I’ve always played hard. I grew up with older brothers playing in the woods and when I saw the Spartan race with the obstacles I thought, I have to try this,” says Simpson.
Though always active, Simpson set her sights on doing Spartan races after suffering from a torn ACL four years ago. Orthopedic Surgeon Dan Terpstra, D.O performed her surgery and she says her recovery went so well that she achieved her goal of doing Spartan races. However, last year she ended up back in the care of Dr. Terpstra after an injury during one of the races.
“I wanted to complete a trifecta, which is nine races in the Spartan series. You do three different levels three times each. On my last race I was completing an obstacle and landed wrong. I knew I was hurt, but wanted to finish so I kept going and got my medal,” she says.
That particular race was in South Carolina and after returning home, the first thing she did was call Dr. Terpstra. After an exam and imaging studies, Dr. Terpstra told Simpson that she had a bucket handle meniscus tear, an injury seen most often in football players and that she would once again need surgery.
A bucket handle tear is a larger tear of the meniscus that has the ability to flip into the knee joint and lock the knee. The tear has the ability to cause a catching sensation in the knee. The treatment for this type of tear is arthroscopic surgery to either repair or remove the torn fragment of meniscus in order to prevent further damage to the knee.
Simpson is now over two months post surgery and says her recovery is going well. “I think the key has been just listening to the doctor and physical therapist. If you do everything they ask, you will be in good shape,” says Simpson. Simpson hopes that she is back and running soon and even has her sights set on more Spartan and cycling races. “I’m still going to continue to play hard and Dr. Terpstra assured me that my ACL is stronger than what I was born with. Life is meant to be lived,” says Simpson.