One implant, One orthopedist, One Olympic medalist ... all with something in common: THEY'RE COLOMBIAN
As soon as he won the gold medal, Óscar Figueroa dedicated him to Jorge Felipe Ramírez his triumph. (Source: Week Magazine) Óscar Figueroa, the first Colombian man to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games, the 33-year-old Antioquian who has just been crowned champion of 62 kilos of the weightlifting tournament in Rio de Janeiro, is a kind of super human. Not only because he raised 318 kilograms in total, when not even eight months have passed since he underwent surgery for two lumbar herniated discs, but because he "has special genetic and mental conditions." This is the theory of the orthopedist and traumatologist Jorge Felipe Ramírez, who operated twice on Figueroa. And who the athlete mentioned in his speech of thanks. "With two surgeries of this magnitude, the recovery and the results that it has had are not achieved by anyone. What he did is of great people, "said Ramírez, who met Figueroa in 2008, after the Beijing Olympics. "In 2008 journalists were wrong. They said that the injury he had in Beijing, when he was going for the gold medal, had been a tendonitis. And no, it was a herniated disc. It was terrible. The nerve was compressed and paralyzed, "Ramírez explained. Months later Figueroa arrived at his office in Bogotá, on the recommendation of a Cali doctor. Until then, all the medical reports pointed out that he could not continue competing after being operated and his response was always the same: "I want to be an Olympic champion." And the doctor Jorge Felipe Ramírez restored his faith. "I operated it with the technique of which I am a leader and pioneer in Latin America and the world: minimally invasive spinal surgery," said Ramírez. It is a technique that is done with local anesthesia, by an incision of one centimeter and on an outpatient basis. After 20 days I was in Cali raising weights. " Then came the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he raised a total of 317 kilograms and took the silver medal. In 2013 he was crowned world champion in Poland. And in 2015 came "a terrible year for him", in the words of his doctor. "At the end of last year he called me and told me, with all the affection and confidence that we have: 'Doctor, I'm bad'. He came here and I found that he had two lumbar herniated discs. The man could not anymore. When I was going to do any training, your column did not respond. " Dr. Ramirez proposed to operate him with the same technique he used years ago. Figueroa was desperate: "Ready doctor, tomorrow I am there," the weightlifter replied. But it was Christmas Eve and the doctor Jorge Felipe Ramírez was about to travel outside the country. "I'm not going to reach Rio," feared Figueroa. They finally scheduled the operation for January 12 of this year. "Ten days after the operation, the man was already sending me videos of his training." Throughout the year the doctor did several checkups in which the evolution was very positive. Before traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Figueroa even asked him to accompany him. "I can not but have me in my heart at the final moment. When I go to do the last shipment and look ahead, I'll be watching, "the doctor replied. "Oscar's thing is not just about surgery," Ramirez continued. He is a man who genetically has special connotations: muscle, collagen, fiber. And to that is added a training consecrated for 23 years and their mental strength. He is a big man mentally. " Last Monday night, when Óscar Figueroa crying when receiving the gold medal touched the whole country, Dr. Jorge Felipe Ramírez could not contain the tears. From his office in Bogota, he cried of emotion, of happiness, of pride. "I am 65 years old and professionally this is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me." Dr. Ramírez knows closely the story of Figueroa and the violence he suffered as a child. That is why he speaks with so much admiration of the spiritual and mental strength that took Antioquia so far. "Oscar is deeper than we all believe. We have only seen it reached weights, but behind that there is much more. So now that he announced that he is retiring from his sports career through the big door, I dream of seeing him as a leader, transmitting his life lessons, "Dr. Ramírez concluded.