Jameson Lang dreams of playing Lacrosse at the national and even international level. As a high school student, he sees the sport as a potential pathway to paying for college, and his short-term goals include trying out for Team USA. When persistent pain and swelling in his wrist limited his ability to practice and play, it became a serious concern. He and his family reached out to Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). Dr. Theresa Wyrick, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at ACH, quickly identified the issue — Jameson was born with a condition causing one of the forearm bones, the ulna, to be longer than the other. As Jameson’s body grew, the ulna started pressing into other wrist bones, causing irritation, swelling and pain, diagnosed as ulnar impaction.
When taping the wrist and other conservative strategies to reduce the pain didn’t work, Dr. Wyrick considered the least invasive surgical options. The orthopedic team at ACH specializes in procedures that can either shorten or lengthen bones, even when those bones haven’t reached maturity. In Jameson’s case, Dr. Wyrick’s team decided on a procedure to slow the growth of his ulna, allowing the other long bone in the forearm, the radius, to catch up in length.
“The hand is very detailed, very complex, very intricate,” Dr. Wyrick said. “Tendons, bones, ligaments, nerves— add to that they’re in smaller patients.” The pediatric teams at ACH specialize in adapting treatments and surgeries to the specific needs of younger patients, whose bodies are still developing. Jameson’s procedure included a wrist arthroscopy to repair a torn ligament, and it went smoothly. He was in and out of the hospital the same day and back on the lacrosse field two months later.
The first surgery was successful, which gave them the confidence to repeat it when the same issue flared up on the other wrist.
“Dr. Wyrick gave me a sense of security that I will be able to play again,” Jameson said. His lacrosse highlight reel from 2022 is a testament that his dreams are still alive and well.
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