Professional Ironman triathlete, Mary Beth Ellis has been competing in triathlons for almost ten years. Finishing fifth in the 2012 Ironman World Championships, Ellis was considered a strong contender for the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. With only a month left of training, Ellis took a crash on her bike that shattered her hopes of winning the 2013 Ironman World Championship title.
With a broken collarbone, Ellis returned home to Boulder, Colorado with hopes to find a doctor who could help her reach a full recovery in time for the 2014 triathlon season. Ellis discovered Colorado shoulder specialist Dr. Peter Millett at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. After an evaluation, Dr. Millett believed that Ellis could in fact compete in the 2013 Ironman World Championships. On the evening of September 12, one month away from the competition, Ellis was taken into surgery to repair her comminuted distal clavicle fracture (collarbone break).
Through the use of a specially designed plate and a minimally invasive technique, Dr. Millett used an innovative treatment technique that would allow for a quicker recovery. Dr. Millett and his team at The Steadman Clinic put Ellis on a rigorous physical therapy plan that will hopefully get her to the start line on October 12. “Thanks to Dr. Millett and the Howard Head Physical Therapy team – and much to my amazement – I was biking and running immediately and swimming in less than a week,” said Ellis. Ellis is continuing to work towards the goal of competing in the 2013 Ironman World Championship.
Dr. Millett has been able to develop innovative surgical techniques through vital research conducted at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. Ellis was so impressed by the advanced surgical techniques that enable athletes to continue competing in the sports they love that she has started a fundraiser for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.
To learn more about Ellis’ story or to learn how to donate, please click here.