August 31, 2023

Stories That Move Us: Abby Gavin

Abby Gavin, a recent graduate of Fishers High School, has been an avid softball player since the age of seven. Her dad, Marc, said Abby tried several different sports growing up. “Soccer wasn’t a fit, neither was basketball, but when Abby stepped on the softball field, everything clicked. It was a natural fit for her,” Marc said.

During a softball game her senior year of high school, Abby’s softball career was thrown a curve ball when she injured her ACL. “I normally play third base, but during this game I was playing first base, so I was a little out of my comfort zone,” Abby said. “After the batter hit, I turned to look at the ball and when I turned back around, she was coming right at me. She hit me and I tried to catch myself from the fall, but on the way down, I heard my knee pop.”

Marc says that as soon as he saw Abby on the ground, he knew it was serious. “When the play happened, I was watching the ball, not Abby,” Marc said. “Another parent told me that Abby was on the ground. Knowing how tough she is, but seeing an emotional response from her and being carried off the field, I knew it was a significant injury.” And while she tried to finish out the game, Abby’s injury kept her on the bench the rest of the weekend.

A friend of their family who works in the orthopedic business recommended Abby visit Central Indiana Orthopedics Walk-In Clinic the following Monday. “He told us hands down CIO was the place to go,” Marc said. Abby saw Dr. Kile Carter, and he recommended she get an MRI. He then referred her to Dr. Nimu Surtani since the MRI results deemed surgery was a possibility. Dr. Surtani explained that Abby’s ACL was detached, not torn, which was unique and she had options in terms of surgical treatment.

Abby could either have a repair, which isn’t very common, or a reconstruction, where Dr. Surtani would take a graft from another part of her body. “Learning that I had injured my ACL was really upsetting, because it can often be career ending, especially at my age,” Abby said. “Dr. Surtani brought us comfort because he explained both options and allowed me to be an active part of the conversation and the decision-making process, giving me links to research and weigh the pros and cons of each option to determine what I felt was the proper treatment plan for me.”

Ultimately, Abby chose to have an ACL repair. Abby says that doing the research ahead of time actually prepared her for recovery and what to expect. After surgery, she had to keep her leg completely straight for two weeks and couldn’t bear any weight. Once she could move her leg, she began physical therapy. “Today, my leg is great,” Abby said. “I’ve been playing this summer and don’t even think about it anymore.”

Marc and his wife, Jen, said that as Abby’s parents, it was scary to watch her go through this journey, but they found comfort in the personalized care she received at Central Indiana Orthopedics along the way. “One thing we appreciated about CIO is everything Abby needed was under one roof,” Marc said. “From being seen in the Walk-In Clinic post-injury to imaging, surgery and physical therapy, we saw all the same friendly faces and everyone knew what was going on with her injury. It felt like a more personal experience than what we’ve had in the past at other places.”

Abby is extremely happy with her outcome and is looking forward to continuing her softball career at IU Southeast where she plans to study medicine. Who knows, maybe this experience will nudge Abby to pursue a career in orthopedics! Regardless, we wish her the best of luck in her softball and academic careers!

Hear Abby’s story and learn more in the video below.