The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

Eager to Cast Away Crutches

­­­It’s getting crowded in the elevator these days.

Senior basketball player Aaron Porter, senior hockey player Anthony Johnson and senior Irish dancer Cara Sutherland are three of a surprisingly high number of people restricted to walking in a boot or on crutches due to injury. Porter doesn’t know why. “It seems like every day I see a new person in a boot or on crutches,” he said.

Sutherland suggested that stress fractures may result from a calcium deficiency, but doesn’t believe it contributed greatly to her own stress fracture.

Nurse Paula Damm controls elevator keys but doesn’t know how many are being used. “I have no idea. I’ve given out a lot of keys and haven’t gotten them all back,” she said.

“Walking on crutches is literally the most annoying thing ever!” said Porter, who broke his tibia just under the left knee at an open gym Sept. 21. “It made almost everything I did very difficult and I’d get ridiculously tired just trying to get from one class to the next.”

Sutherland suffered a stress fracture in the second metatarsal of her right foot when she landed a jump at a competition. She wore a walking boot for about a month. “Walking is so difficult! The boot adds five pounds. I got winded going up a flight of stairs,” she said.

Johnson tore two ligaments and broke a bone in his left foot during a hockey game Aug. 28 at Gilmour. He’s used crutches since. “Well, it’s not very fun,” he said. “It’s exhausting, and my armpits always hurt. Other than that,” he added sarcastically, “it’s great.”

Johnson has been sidelined for 10 weeks, and can’t play again until at least mid-December. However, he said he can work out three times a week.

“I’ve been swimming and I’m able to do upper body workouts,” he said. “I’m just trying my best to stay in shape for the hockey season.”

 But because he can’t walk, Johnson still can’t exercise his legs. “I haven’t even tried,” he said.

Porter, however, was completely unable to exercise while he was injured. He was much weaker and slower when he was allowed back onto the court about six weeks later. “My left leg is way skinnier than my right leg now,” he said. “At first it was impossible to run, but now it’s easier. But I still can’t run full speed.”

All are confident they will make full recoveries.

“I am not worried about my strength or speed [right now]; I will be 100 percent when I am ready to return,” Johnson said.

But how far is he from 100 percent? “Pretty far, because I still am not allowed to walk.”

A version of this article appeared in print on 21 November 2011, on page 14 of The Shakerite.

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