By Kati Blocker
Back in September 2017, UCHealth first shared their story about Yosvani Ramos and his devastating injury. This month they follow up with an exciting video featuring Ramos’ journey and a look-back on the original article to reflect on his amazing recovery.
The second Yosvani Ramos hit the ground, he knew something horrible had happened. He could see his heel bone, but not the tendon.
Ramos has been in love with ballet since he was young and started performing as a youth. He won the gold medal at the Paris International Ballet Competition in 1998, and then went on to be a principal dancer for the English National Ballet, The Australian Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet before joining the Colorado Ballet in 2015. But at only 37, he lay on the ground during a “Nutcracker” rehearsal, thinking it was the end.
Six days after his injury, Dr. Joshua Metzl performed a minimally invasive procedure to fix Ramos’ Achilles injury — a technique proven to decrease surgical risk and allow for quicker recovery.
“I have a very small scar and was in a cast for two weeks instead of the usual six,” Ramos said. “Then once I was in a boot, I was able to work that muscle so I didn’t get muscle atrophy, which was a big deal for my recovery. Then I started rehab.”
And that’s when Ramos realized it wasn’t the end.
UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver has a marker-less motion analysis known as Dynamic Athletics Research Institute. It’s essentially an avatar — a system that tracks the patient’s every joint — and by taking them through a battery of tests, evaluates their range of motion and strengths. This allows for a specifically tailored rehab program to bring the patient back to where they want to be.
“My recovery wasn’t about just being able to walk like a normal person,” Ramos said. “I needed to be back on stage.”
Ramos started rehearsing for Colorado Ballet’s “Dracula” in early September 2017 — less than a year after his Achilles injury — and he returned to the stage a month later for its opening.
“Right before the show it was like I’d taken four espressos,” he said. “I hadn’t been on stage for a year. I had so much energy. I’d been dancing for 29 years and had never been offstage for that long. But it was like riding a bicycle, and I felt completely prepared to be on that stage.”
Ramos continued the season, performing in the “Nutcracker” in December 2017, then on to play the part of Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” and starting in October, the prince in Colorado Ballet’s production of “Sleeping Beauty.”