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Arthritis Limits Teen’s Activities

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Orthopedics, Our Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region | 0 comments

Photo of Ryan Martinez, Sutter Honoree

Ryan Martinez is the Sutter Honoree in the 2012 Arthritis Foundation Walk

Toby Johnson Junior High student Ryan Martinez began battling juvenile arthritis two years ago as a pre-teen. Prior to the discovery of his arthritis, he was active and enjoyed sports. He was an “All Star” in five different sports—baseball, basketball, football soccer and golf. But when Ryan was 11 years old he started limping after his games and wasn’t able to sleep at night due to pain that flared up in his hips. His parents, Deanna and Mark Martinez, took Ryan to an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine. Thinking Ryan had a surgical problem in his hips the orthopedic surgeon ordered an MRI for Ryan to see what was wrong. The MRI results showed severe arthritis in both hips. The diagnosis was a shock to Ryan and his family. He had to go on medication and stop playing his much loved energetic sports. In order to remain physically active Ryan must take four oral medications a day and one injection medication every two weeks. During flare-ups he has to add an additional shot and additional steroids. He also sees a rheumatologist every six weeks and has blood drawn ever six weeks as well. Even so he cannot run or jump because the arthritis in his joints causes too much pain. He now is focusing on low-impact sports such as golf, bicycling, walking and fishing.

“JRA has taken an emotional toll on Ryan,” said his father, Mark. “He’s had to adapt from being extremely agile and active to having less mobility and only being able to participate in easygoing sports. We had to encourage him to focus on the things he could do and not focus on what he couldn’t do.”

Still, says his dad, Ryan keeps his chin up and does well in school, with special accommodations for attending physical education classes and in physical education classes. With this disease, his accommodation in PE must be subtle in order to reduce alienation or ridicule.

Ryan is this year’s juvenile arthritis Sutter Health honoree of the Greater Sacramento Valley Arthritis Walk to be held on Saturday, May 5, at the West Steps of the State Capitol. His father, Mark, works at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and is giving information on the walk to fellow employees; mom Deanna teaches in the Elk Grove Unified School District and is getting the word about the walk to family, friends, co-workers and students. “The walk is important to us,” said Mark. “The Arthritis Foundation provided a lot of information and support to us at a time when we felt very lost and when we were very anxious about our son.”

Today Ryan is doing well. He is easing back into soccer but isn’t playing through the whole game, as he understands his physical limits.

Join Ryan and his family in the fight against the nation’s leading cause of disability by taking part in the Sacramento Arthritis Walk on Saturday, May 5th, West Steps California State Capitol. The Arthritis Walk is an annual event held by the Arthritis Foundation to raise funds to fight arthritis and spread the message that regular movement can limit the impact of arthritis.

To learn more and register for the Greater Sacramento Valley Arthritis Walk call 916-368-5599 or visit the website. To join Ryan’s walking team, Ryan’s Rockers, visit the web site and click on Sutter Health, then click on Ryan’s Rockers and fill out the registration form. To learn more about how movement can help prevent and treat arthritis, visit

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Orthopedics, Our Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region | 0 comments

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