First Time Marathon Runner Credits Minimally Invasive Treatment from Swedish Hospital for Helping Her Cross the Finish Line


First Marathon Runner Sports Medicine Patient Story

As North Side resident Karen was approaching her first ever marathon at age 63, she felt that nothing could slow her down until a painful leg injury forced her to stop running just weeks before the race. She nearly had to give up her dream, but thankfully she sought the opinion of a Endeavor Health Medical Group Sports Medicine physician who provided an option to get her back on the road just in time.

In August, 2019 Karen was training with CARA (Chicago Area Runner’s Association) for the October Chicago marathon. “We were running 16 miles one Saturday and as I started to run with my group I felt discomfort in my left upper leg,” she said. “I pushed myself to the six mile mark and I had to drop out due to the severe pain.”

After being examined by a physical therapist it was determined that Karen had a hamstring injury. She then began doing physical therapy to try to get back to running but was unable to do a planned 20 mile practice run prior to the marathon. “With just three weeks before the race I felt so disappointed and was close to giving up on my goal,” said Karen. “I could do a lot of things without pain but as soon as I started running the pain made it impossible to continue.”

A coworker suggested Karen visit Dr. Denis Williams, who expressed confidence that he could help Karen achieve her dream to run the marathon. “After assessing my injury and discussing options, he introduced me to Dr. Igor Prus, Sports Medicine, who did an ultrasound in his office and was able to pinpoint exactly where my injury was,” said Karen.  

First Marathon Runner Sports Medicine Patient Story

The ultrasound showed the injury was right at the hamstring tendon. Once the injury was accurately diagnosed, Dr. Prus suggested a steroid injection guided by ultrasound. “The accuracy of diagnosis and the precision of an injection is increased with the use of our in-office ultrasound machine which enables us to guide the steroid injection precisely to the affected area,” said Dr. Prus.

That was welcome news for Karen who decided on that option. “I decided to try it and based on my results Dr. Prus guided the injection exactly where I needed it.” said Karen who was soon able to run without pain for the first time in weeks. “Karen was so enthusiastic about running the full marathon and we did everything possible to get her well and back in training so she could complete this important goal,” added Dr. Prus.

With a week to go before the marathon Karen ran 10 miles and felt great. “I now had the confidence to run the Chicago Marathon and ultimately ran the whole race without pain,” said Karen, who finished in a better time than she expected.

She is grateful for the doctors’ expertise, the effective treatment provided and their support. “It was like they wanted me to be able to run almost as much as I wanted to,” Karen said. “Dr. Prus even called me the day after the race to see how it went and if I was doing well. I just feel so grateful.”

Prus, Igor 250x250 finalIgor Prus, M.D., is a board-certified sports medicine physician with Endeavor Health Medical Group. His specialties include diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasonography, ultrasound guided injections, regenerative medicine and physical rehabilitation. He speaks English, Ukrainian, Russian and basic medical Spanish. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Prus, call 773-907-7750.

By Bill Ligas | Published September 1, 2020

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