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Nine-Year-Old Patient Back on the Monkey Bars After Injury

At just nine years old, Lila Williams has already proven herself to be a daredevil. 

She loves playing on the monkey bars at recess, and recently got a pair of roller shoes (shoes with one or more wheels embedded in the heel). 

“She’s an amazing kid,” said her mother, Julia Williams. 

On September 27, 2022, the day after her ninth birthday, Lila spent most of her recess time mastering the craft of jumping to the third, fourth, or even fifth bar on the jungle gym at her school. It was during one of these practice sessions that Lila fell and hurt herself. 

“She was skipping four monkey bars, missed the fifth bar and then dove to the ground,” Julia said. 

A visit to University of Utah Health’s South Jordan Health Center, along with a thorough examination of the injured area, showed that Lila had suffered a distal radius fracture. 

A distal radius fracture occurs when the radius—one of the two long bones in the forearm—breaks very close to the wrist. The radius bone is the most frequently broken bone in the arm, making distal radius fractures quite common. 

Aaron J. Provance, CAQSM, FAAP, MD, took care of Lila at the clinic. A pediatric sports medicine director in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah, Provance specializes in adventure and extreme sports injuries. 

It was really lucky that we got connected with Dr. Provance, because he was so knowledgeable about this type of injury. He stabilized and set Lila’s wrist as best as he could while we were at the clinic, and we were then sent up to Primary Children’s Hospital.
Julia Williams, parent

There, doctors put Lila under anesthesia so Provance could ensure that her wrist was in the best possible position for healing. 

“She is such a brave little girl,” Julia said.

After the procedure, Lila’s arm was wrapped in a soft cast. A week later, Provance put a hard cast on her arm, up past her elbow. 

“We initially had the hard cast removed, but her arm wasn’t healed yet,” Julia said. “It was a really bad break, so we knew the healing process would be longer.” 

For the next two months, Provance examined Lila’s arm each week to track her progress and make sure things were moving in the right direction. 

“We ended up with three different hard casts,” Julia said.

Lila Williams, pediatric sports medicine patient with a pink cast on her broken arm

Lila then graduated to a hand brace that she wore for four weeks. Although the healing process took time, it was worth the wait. 

“Now she’s totally fine,” Julia said. “The arm she injured is still a little bit smaller than her other arm, but we are building that up.”

Beyond the exceptional medical care Lila received, what was more impressive to her family was the personal touch of Provance and his team.

“Our absolute favorite part of this whole experience was working with Dr. Provance,” Julia said. “He has a unique ability to make everyone in the room feel calm and helped, and he was so good at checking up on Lila throughout the entire experience. We haven’t really had anyone go that above and beyond each time we have seen them, and it was just wonderful.”

As for Lila, she is back to living life to its fullest and loving every minute of it. 

“She already wants to try to skip the four monkey bars again,” Julia said. 

Meet Aaron J. Provance, CAQSM, FAAP, MD

View Dr. Provance's Profile