• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Getting back on her bike again

November 4, 2018

When chronic hip pain drove Brenda Brault to seek medical care, the long-distance runner and triathlete assumed her high-level athletic pursuits were over. Rather than limiting her abilities, however, surgery allowed Brenda's training to keep moving forward.chronic hip pain patient Brenda Brault riding her bicycle

For more than 30 years, Brenda Brault lived with pain. Beginning in high school, when discomfort from a congenital hip malformation first began to bother her, the pain was never far away. But Brenda, who lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin, didn't let it stop her from ambitious athletic endeavors, including marathons, triathlons and biking competitions.

As the years passed, however, Brenda's pain increased to the point she no longer could ignore it. It sidelined her from competitions and prevented her from exercising. The pain also took a toll on her mental toughness.

In December 2017, Brenda reached out to Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Bruce Levy, M.D., in Sports Medicine. After meeting with Dr. Levy and discussing her treatment options, surgery was recommended. Brenda underwent an outpatient hip arthroscopy that corrected her hip malformation without compromising her athletic pursuits.

In August, the 52-year-old completed the biking portion of the Chicago Triathlon, where she and her teammates took home trophies for second place overall. More remarkable was that Brenda beat her time on the bike from when she completed in the same event 14 years earlier.

"What's amazing about Brenda is she's a really high-level athlete. She's incredibly dedicated to rehab, and she followed the plan to a T," Dr. Levy says. "She worked extremely hard at her conditioning and muscle-building. And it was quite impressive that she was able to get back to the nationally competitive stage.” Read the rest of Brenda's story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.