NEWS | June 5, 2020

Davis teen suffers ski injury, has successful surgery during COVID-19

Sports took her to New Hampshire, but an ACL injury brought her back to UC Davis Health

(SACRAMENTO)

Davis local Audrey Adamchak is the outdoorsy type. Having been recruited to row at Dartmouth University, she was determined to take advantage of all the university and surrounding landscape had to offer.

Audrey Adamchak is all smiles after her ACL surgery at UC Davis Health. Audrey Adamchak is all smiles after her ACL surgery at UC Davis Health.

“I love hiking, climbing, kayaking,” Adamchak said. “Dartmouth is in the middle of the woods. There’s so much to do.”

She could have never imagined that her love of the outdoors – this time, skiing – would lead to injury and then surgery at UC Davis Health.

It was early March when the active 19-year-old took to the slopes.

“It was really icy and shady that day,” Adamchak said. “I didn’t see the bump, caught air and landed wrong. There went my ACL.”

Adamchak, already scheduled to return home for spring break, headed back to Davis. Her mom had interviewed orthopaedic surgeons and chose James Van den Bogaerde, a US Ski Team physician and team physician for the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team. He was ready to operate, but the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was now in full swing.

“I was a little concerned about coronavirus, but more stressed out about just getting the surgery,” Adamchak said. “I wasn’t looking forward to the rehab and being back on crutches. I was actually OK if we put it off.”

However, Van den Bogaerde didn’t think she should wait, despite the pandemic and Adamchak’s reluctance.

"I knew how much Ms. Adamchak wanted to get back to her active lifestyle, so I felt proceeding with surgery was in her best interest,” said Van den Bogaerde. “We have COVID-19 precautions in place at UC Davis Medical Center, so I told Ms. Adamchak she could safely get her knee repaired sooner rather than later."

Adamchak took his advice.

“When the surgery was scheduled, I was scared, but ready to get it over with,” said Adamchak.

The knee reconstruction was a success and Adamchak says she’s surprised just how good she feels and how fast she’s healing.

“I thought it’d be a lot worse,” Adamchak said. “I’m not hurting like I thought I would. They told me I’d be back on skis in six to nine months and able to do everything I love. I got such good care at UC Davis Health. I’m really happy I didn’t wait.”

UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; the region's only Level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit medicalcenter.ucdavis.edu.