1. Name, country, sports activity / history and best achievements?
My name is Amanda Rego and I race the 1500m-5000m for the USA.
In 2014 I ran the 7th fastest mile in US history with a 4:26. I have also run 2:04 for 800m, 8:56 for 3000m and 15:54 for 5000m.
After college, I suffered from hamstring syndrome and took 4 years off from competing on the track. After a successful surgery, I went on to run a new personal best in the 1500m of 4:10 last Spring.
2. Hamstring injury; short history, how it all occurred, what kind of symptoms, treatment modalities before surgery?
I started having high hamstring pain after a hard speed workout on the track. At first I was able to continue to train with the pain, but over time it became much worse. The main symptom was pain near the ischial tuberosity very high up near the bone. It was a deep aching feeling that would start out feeling tight at the beginning of a run, and turn into sharp shooting pain with increased speed or change in direction. I had a great deal of pain sitting, especially driving, and pain would radiate down my leg. I tried massage therapy, physical therapy, active release, PRP injections, however none of these offered relief.
3. Operation in Turku, Finland. How you find us? Experiences about hospital and our treatment here?
I learned about the operation from another professional runner and physical therapist who was familiar with this procedure. He provided me with contact information for Lasse and I began exchanging emails with him. I was amazed at the quick correspondence and was able to send my MRI imaging and schedule surgery shortly after.
I had surgery in January of 2017 and spent the next 5 days in Turku recovering. The hospital itself was state of the art and the staff was very welcoming. The cost of surgery was affordable and I had no problems communicating with the staff in English.
4. Rehabilitation, training and return to track again?
Lasse and his staff provided me with a specific rehabilitation protocol to follow after I returned to the US. I was able to do some cross training workouts in the pool 2 weeks post-op. At 4 weeks I started using the elliptical, and by 10 weeks I was able to start running. I spent several months gradually increasing my training volume and returning to speed work.
My surgery was in January and my first competition back was a 6k cross country race in the Fall. Although I could have run a race sooner than this, my coach and I decided to take a very conservative return to racing. Within less than a year after surgery I was able to do speed workouts, make sharp turns, lift heavy weights and perform plyometric jumping exercises pain free.
5. Future goals / plans considering sports / running?
My goal is to earn a place on Team USA for the Tokyo 2021 Games. I plan to continue running for many years and eventually work up to longer distance races on the track and roads. One day I would also like to give competitive trail running a try, which is something I was very scared to do when my hamstring was injured.
6. Anything else?
I hope my story can help other runners/athletes recognize that there is hope for this condition. The more information that is available, the more patients can benefit from this life changing surgery.