The smell of fresh-cut grass, excitement at the pep rallies, and teammates running onto the football field to play under the bright lights — all are tell-tale signs that the boys of fall have returned.
In his first game of the season, Zane, a Belle Fourche High School junior guard, sustained a devastating knee injury. “I tore my ACL, MCL, PCL (knee ligaments), meniscus, and fractured my kneecap,” said Zane. “I thought my leg snapped in half, so I didn’t look down. I was really scared.”
Ray Jensen, D.O., a sports medicine-trained orthopedic surgeon, was taking in the game with his family and left the stands to evaluate Zane on the sidelines. “Zane was hit from the outside. He separated three-fourths of the ligaments that connect his upper thigh and shin bones,” explained Dr. Jensen. “This type of injury traditionally is only treated at major centers because of the severity. I thought the chance of seeing this type of injury in Spearfish was pretty rare.”
For a young athlete, the news of a season-ending injury can be disheartening, but Zane, with Dr. Jensen’s help and guidance, chose to focus on developing a plan of action and to move forward. The trusting relationship that developed between patient and surgeon on the sidelines has led to a successful knee reconstruction, putting the teen on the road to recovery over the next 12-18 months.
“This is the first major injury I’ve ever had. I was surprised how bad it hurt, but I knew I was in the right hands,” said Zane. “The recovery has been painful, but Dr. Jensen has always been there through the whole thing. I was very glad Dr. Jensen was at that game.”