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Last year at my dd's level 10 state meet she "crunched" her wrist on vault. She should have said something to her coaches at the time but didn't and continued on to compete in her last two events. I took her for an x-ray the following day and it was negative. Her coach, who is also a Dr. of Physical Therapy, told her it was probably just an overuse injury. She ended up qualifying to Nationals and just came to grips that she would have to live with the pain. She continued to train through the summer and fall months. The pain started getting worse in February of this year and when she complained to her coaches about this they basically ignored her and said she would have to deal with it. One coach even insisted that she still do press handstand holds which were excruciating painful for her to do. (I did not know this was happening until much later) When my dd showed me that she had lost mobility in her wrist I knew that something was wrong and I scheduled an orthopedic appointment. (Her coach told her she had arthritis and that again she would have to live with it) Turns out she did have an old fracture of her scaphiod which apparently was still not healed. Apparently this type of fracture does not show up on an x-ray for several weeks after the injury. Shouldn't gymnastic coaches know this? Especially one who is a Dr.? She will be getting an MRI next week to see if this fracture is healing correctly and to also see if she has a TFCC injury. I am mad at myself for not trusting my instincts on this. She was hurting and expressing that to her coaches and they did nothing but ignore it and tell me that she was getting an attitude and complaining alot. HELLO.........she had a broken wrist for over a year and the coaches that she is suppossed to trust and take care of her ignored it. I think anyone would start getting an attitude with that type of treatment.
Feb 4, 2008
Region IV
Vent away. I think you've earned the right.

A doctorate in physical therapy isn't the same as an MD or a DO. PTs work with the injured who have been referred by a physician, but may not do diagnosing on their own. Even so, I would think a PT would know a follow-up was needed when the pain didn't abate after a reasonable amount of time. At the very least, you'd think he'd have suggested a visit to the ortho. I hope you have expressed your anger to the coach and gym owner. They need to hear it. If nothing else, it might convince them to be more careful in the future.

Please try not to be too angry with yourself. Gymnasts work with pain all the time. My dd1 had lots of pain after a bad fall. MRIs and x-rays showed no damage, so we let her continue in the sport. She just knew she had to deal with pain, and did so for 2.5 years. All of us parents, at some point, accept that there is a certain amout of pain in upper level gymnasts. Other parents would know to take their kid for medical attention right away. We don't because of this acceptance of a very difficult training regime. How could you have known this pain was beyond that threshold? Gymnasts also "suck it up." They don't always tell mom when it hurts. How can step in when your own daughter keeps you out of the loop? You might have stepped in sooner had your daugher told you about the hand stands.

Let me know what the MRI shows.

And just curious. . . with nationals this weekend, is she sitting out this year?


That is terrible and inexcusable. Your dd is a level 10 gymnast that qualified for nationals - her coaches should know her well enough by that point to know whether her pain is real or not. I understand when coaches sometimes blow off new team members who cries about something at every single practice - but this is a totally different story. I would be livid. It is so difficult with these girls because they have such a high tolerance for pain and can work through things most people can not. Back in December by dd fractured her elbow and before we took her for xrays my dh did not think it could be broken because of her pain tolerance. The night it happened she was still vaulting on it - just icing it in between turns. Even her coaches were shocked that she actually broke it - now of course if she says something hurts they take it serious. I hope your dd's wrist heals quickly and I hope her coaches apologize and kiss her butt for the way they treated her.


Proud Parent
Feb 10, 2007
VEnt away!! I would!! i would be so mad!! Hopefully this will heal so she wont have to keep up with this pain!!

Deleted member 1703

Just thought that I would let you know that your post prompted me to take my 11 year old daughter to the doctors yesterday afternoon.

She landed badly on her foot after doing a BHS on the floor beam last week and had been complaining about her foot being sore - still managed to do a competition on Sunday on it but has been saying it was sore all the time.

It is really hard to know exactly HOW sore it is and what kind of pain it is and whether it needs medical treatment or not. Anyway, getting an appointment with a doctor here is challenging to say the least (you have to phone by a certain time each day to see if there are any appointments etc - oh, the joys of the National Health System!!)

The good news is that there is no break/crack - probably (they don't say anything exacting) just a pulled tendon between some of the very little bones in the foot. They are very reluctant to xray here so, I guess, it has to be hanging off before you would actually have a scan or an xray.

Nobody wants to be in the position that you found yourself in, Littlerock, but it could probably happen to any of us as most of the gymnasts seem to have such a high pain threshold (most people would not want to fall off a beam and get back on it - would they?)

Anyway, bless your DD and I do pray that she recovers the use of her arm completely. I think we are all more aware after reading your story!



Livininthegym - She made Nationals in 06 and 07 but had too many falls at Regionals this year to qualify which is now totally understandable. I think she was relieved that she didn't make it either. Her coaches were really pushing her hard to do four floor passes and upgrading her vault for Nationals, the two events that were really hurting her. Thanks for listening it really helped to get this out. I will let you know results of the MRI.
Feb 22, 2007
Sorry to hear of your troubles, but try not to beat yourself up too much. As parents we try to make the best decisions with the information we have at the time. I think taking her for the xray was an excellent decision; you had no way of knowing that the injury would show up later. Don't look back- take comfort in knowing that you are doing the best for your daughter and things are now moving in the right direction. Good Luck!:):)
Mar 7, 2007
Oh wow, that is so not right. I don't have a dd in such high gymnastics, but when you do, you would think the coaches know your child really well and know when she is in real pain.

I hope you are going to talk to these coaches, if you haven't already and sort out what damage they could have done to your dd.

Hope your dd will be fine again and be able to do gymnastics again, without pain.
Before you get too upset at the coach, let me tell you my dd's story...

My dd worked through pain as a level 8, and it turns out she was not telling her coach how much pain she was in. Dd told *me* she told the coach, but when we had a meeting with dd, coach, and me, it was clear that dd was not expressing herself well. Turned out she was afraid coach wouldn't let her work out if he knew how much pain dd was really in. She ended up with just soft tissue damage, but was in a boot for a month.

After this happened, we met with the coach to figure out a better way of dealing with the pain- dd needs to be a better communicator. I think my dd could have avoided a month in a boot if she had told coach (or mom) more about the pain. I think a lot of kids don't realize that ignoring pain is going to make them miss more gymnastics in the long run.

If I were you, I would take a pro-active approach with the coach- how can we avoid this same problem in the future? What could dd & I have done to avoid this situation?

Good luck to your dd- I hope she heals quickly.


Update - venting

dd is scheduled for surgery on the 23rd. Apparently the bone is colapsed and they will need to open it back up, take a bone graph from her arm, and place a pin in. She will be in a cast for 6 - 10 weeks. I am numb right now becasue the only response we received from the coaches was that "gee we didn't realize it was that bad". I know it is all water over the bridge at this time but I think they should have a least apologized or something for not listening to her. Am I being too sensitive and does this happen all the time in the gymnastics world?
Sep 13, 2007
way out West
dd is scheduled for surgery on the 23rd. Apparently the bone is colapsed and they will need to open it back up, take a bone graph from her arm, and place a pin in. She will be in a cast for 6 - 10 weeks. I am numb right now becasue the only response we received from the coaches was that "gee we didn't realize it was that bad". I know it is all water over the bridge at this time but I think they should have a least apologized or something for not listening to her. Am I being too sensitive and does this happen all the time in the gymnastics world?

While I understand your frustration, that may be as much as the coaches can say. No coach is ever going to say "I'm sorry I'm negligent, now feel free to sue me..." I'm sure they feel horrible.

I do need to thank you for your original post. I read it a while back and it came to mind when one of my athletes complained about pain in her wrist which had been on and off for three weeks.

I decided to make her mother take her to get an MRI and it turns out that she has displaced and torn cartilage in her wrist and requires surgery. She will be off her arm for three months minimum. She doesn't remember exactly how she did it, but at least we know what the injury is and it is being taken care of.

So I thank you for your post, and hope your daugher's surgery is successful.
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I don't think your overreacting at all. Your a mother before a gym parent. It's your maternal instant and right to be mad as heck. Just think of what your poor child had to go through every time she told a coach she was hurt. I can understand a coach not wanting to be sued but coaches are suppose to be someone a child can turn to when there is something wrong. I can just imagine all the times she complained about it and all the times someone thought she was a whinnier! The least you should get is a true heartfelt apology from her coach, that is not to much to ask. We try to teach our children to apologize when they have done wrong and if her coach can't give you a real apology when they mess up then I would be concerned about what kind of people are influencing our kids!
I hope the surgery goes well for her!
Feb 4, 2008
Region IV
FWIW, I don't think you're being too sensitive. Whether they say anything or not, the coaches ignored complaints of pain. The very least they should do is apologize; although the gym, fearing a lawsuit, may not allow that. And really, the gym ought to be nervous. This is a serious injury. The athlete complained of pain, and the coaches did nothing.

Does this happen all the time in the gymnastics world? I don't know because I've only been exposed to one piece of it. If I had to guess, though, I imagine that the higher the level, the more likely you are to find this kind of thing because the stakes are higher. Level 4 is fun, but it's no great claim to fame for a gym to say they trained the level 4 state champion. Now, a national champion? A high number of NCAA full ride athletes? You can see how a gym might be tempted to push.


First off - I will be thinking of you and praying for your dd that the surgery goes well and that she heals fast.

Second - you have every right to be furious. I'm sure they did not intend to let her make an injury get worse, but they need to take any complaint of ongoing pain seriously. Unfortunately sometimes the mindset is, 'if it is injured really bad, they won't be able to do anything on it - so it must not be that bad'. As parents of these crazy determined gymnasts - we know that isn't true. Hopefully this will open their eyes in the future - as it did for lannamavity. I doubt you will get an apology from them because of the liability issues - but I have a feeling they must be feeling pretty miserable about it.

Again - good luck with the surgery. (((hugs)))
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