Woman's marathon run comes to a bone-crunching end
Grandma's Marathon was to be a family affair for Shane McKinley, whose husband, father, uncle, aunt and cousin were running the race with her. But around mile 13, a pain began in McKinley's hip so severe that by mile 16 she could only walk. Despi...
Grandma's Marathon was to be a family affair for Shane McKinley, whose husband, father, uncle, aunt and cousin were running the race with her.
But around mile 13, a pain began in McKinley's hip so severe that by mile 16 she could only walk. Despite the pain, she kept going, still hoping to cross the finish line, until just before mile 22.
"Then my left hip ... it crunched," said McKinley, 24, who's stationed at Fort Stewart in Savannah, Ga., as an ordinance officer with the U.S. Army. "It was the grossest sound I've ever heard."
McKinley collapsed and was taken to St. Luke's hospital and diagnosed with a broken and displaced hip. Surgery to install a plate and screws to repair the hip was performed the same day.
McKinley's uncle, Gary Mink, describes her as "tough as nails." Maybe too tough. The pain she was running through -- and the pain McKinley said she had for two weeks leading up to the race -- was likely the development of a stress fracture that led to the break, said her physician, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Zamzow. Early treatment is a partial reason why it's extremely rare for runners to break their hips during a race.
Spanning about 13 years, he said, "this is only the third case I've known of that needed my care, and only the second one that required surgery."
Grandma's medical director, Dr. Steve Harrington, who works in the sports medicine department for SMDC, said he's heard of a similar injury only once in the past 10 years. Both physicians agreed that the danger for McKinley is that she could lose blood flow to the hip, which would require a hip replacement.
But Zamzow said he expects McKinley to make a full recovery. She is expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday.
McKinley said that when she's up for it, she'll begin training for another marathon.
"I want to complete one," she said. "So long as I don't break the other [hip]."