March Madness, ortho & imaging

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 - Kevin Ware
Source: Kenny Klein / University of Louisville

True confessions: March Madness has passed me by this year. After all, my alma mater, UConn, is out; and I’m a fair weather fan at best. Yet, like millions of viewers across the country I was glued to the screen March 31 as University of Louisville player Kevin Ware went down during the game and was carried out on a back board.

April 1, I was once again riveted when University of Louisville released the image of a grinning post-op Ware clinging to Louisville’s plaque. In an instant it became one of my favorite hospital photographs, second only to a very similar one captured of my daughter. Like Ware, she was grinning from ear to ear, hugging a stuffed dog delivered by an incredibly thoughtful MR tech at Essentia Health after too many scans and too many orthopedic surgeries for one 12-year girl.

The content of both images is stunning, but I suspect it’s what lies beneath them that hooked me.

Like my daughter, Ware will recover to play another day. Their ability to continue to do what they love results from the prowess of skilled orthopedic surgeons and of the team that plays with them—from radiologists to technologists to nursing staff to physical therapists and everyone else who operates behind the scenes. It's all too easy for star players, patients and bench warmers to forget that teamwork makes for true healing.

As we look ahead to the final days of March Madness, it might serve radiology well to think about their team, how they play together and how to collectively win the game. Enjoy the madness!