Houston Ballet principal ballerina Lauren Anderson thought that she might never dance again. After tearing her lateral meniscus, a band of tissue in her right knee, her orthopedist, Dr. Kevin Varner, referred her for surgery with Dr. David Lintner to repair the tear - a procedure that required a long, painful recovery. When Lauren began undergoing physical therapy, she could barely walk. Recovery was physically and emotionally taxing. "It hurt, and it hurt inside, in my heart," says Lauren, who has an active lifestyle teaching dance to children in the Houston community since retiring from her 25-year dancing career with the Houston Ballet.
"My knees, ankles and joints have to hold up for teaching," she says, "and my knees are better now than they were before the injury." After facing the possibility that she would never again practice her art, Lauren's treatment has given her strong relationships with her community and the doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals who have taken her care into their hands. Every physical therapy session got easier with time and the encouragement of her care team. "I'd never had a doctor ask me, ‘What are your goals? What do you want to do?' before," Lauren says. "When I think of my doctors, it makes me smile."