Patient Stories

The freak accident happened in seconds: a glass lampshade shattered, sending a shard into Brittany's right hand and severing the extensor tendons of her index and middle fingers. "I was thinking I should be able to move them! But even though I consciously tried, my fingers remained limp and motionless," recalls the 22-year-old theology student. Everything she took for granted - walking the dog, cooking, texting her boyfriend - was suddenly in jeopardy.

An ambulance took Brittany to Virginia Hospital Center where she was referred to hand surgeon Sarah Pettrone, MD, at OrthoVirginia. A week later, Dr. Pettrone performed an intricate procedure to repair Brittany's lacerated tendons at OrthoVirginia's Outpatient Surgery Center in Herndon.

Then the hard part really began. Brittany spent the next three months working with a certified hand therapist to restore function, motion and strength to her right hand. "Simple exercises were much more challenging than I'd expected and required a lot of patience. Everything seemed to take three times longer!" she says. "It really opened my eyes. Who thinks about their tendons when they move their hands?"

Thanks to Brittany's determination and commitment to her rehabilitation, she regained all of her motion and strength. She's back to her active lifestyle, which includes completing her BA in Biblical Studies at Louisiana Baptist University, teaching online college courses and playing the keyboard. She is grateful to the entire OrthoVirginia staff for easing her fears about first-time surgery and credits Dr. Pettrone's knowledge and skill for a successful outcome that has impacted the rest of her life. She doesn't hesitate to recommend OrthoVirginia to family and friends.

"I love the common joys in life and it was a little sobering to think I might not be able to do these things again," she says. "I owe my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Pettrone and everyone at OrthoVirginia!"