Our team first met Matt after a lacrosse-related knee injury in which he tore his ACL and had a severe meniscus injury called a “bucket-handle” tear. Through a staged pair of surgeries, his meniscus was repaired and his ACL reconstructed with a full return to sports at the highest level. Repairing the meniscus, when possible, is aessential to protect the cartilage over time and minimize the risk of arthritis. The menisci also play a role in knee stability and help to support the ACL. These considerations are particularly important in our younger elite athletes under 20 – but remain relevant in patients up to 50. Matt’s success came from his incredible focus on physical therapy and the discipline he showed in following the protocols.
Unfortunately, in a subsequent lacrosse game of his sophomore year of high school, Matt took a helmet to the right clavicle and badly fractured the bone. Dr. Rudzki performed surgery within the week and inserted a low-profile contoured titanium plate and screws to stabilize the fracture. He wore a sling for 6 weeks and did physical therapy followed by a return to sport protocol that Rudzki developed over the past 10 years through his work with ice hockey players from the NHL to the youth Instructional level. Rudzki has been doing research and lecturing internationally on clavicle fractures for over 10 years and has a special interest in complex cases that also involve combined ligament injuries.
Matt’s hard work on and off the field and his collaboration with the Patient/Surgeon/Physical Therapist model paid off – he was able to fully participate over the next two high school and club lacrosse seasons, won numerous awards, and was recruited to play for the University of Michigan, where he continues to play today. It’s an honor and a privilege to care for all of our athletes with a focus on providing the best possible care. To us, this means not only getting them back on the field for the short-term but also talking with them and their families about the mid-term and long-term implications of their injuries and how best to address these factors. Using this approach for over 15 years has allowed us to build long-term relationships with patients, families, teams and schools throughout our region and at a national level.