Weekend warriors – free injury assessment can head off surgery

Health Watch

Fitness is a good thing; but as any weekend warrior may tell you, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

“I’ve been doing Crossfit for probably about 8 years,” said Samantha Carter of Green Bay.

Carter is a young mom who’s passion for Crossfit took a toll on her body, leading to not just one injury requiring surgery, but several.  Carter says she says she wants to encourage others to take advantage of Aurora Baycare Medical Center’s free injury assessment sooner rather than later – so any problems can be addressed before it’s too late. In her words, “I was past the point of no return when I finally got help.” Here’s how she made it back to the gym through the comprehensive recovery programs at Aurora Baycare Medical Center

Next to her little boy, Samantha Carter’s other great passion is CrossFit, extreme fitness competitions. 

“It’s a very high intensity sport,” Carter explained. “There’s going to be a lot of olympic lifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, you know, a lot of quick movements, high paced, but it’s fun.”

Even at Carter’s top level of fitness, the fun started getting outweighed.

“Shoulder pain when I was doing snatches and overhead squats,” Carter said. 

Like many competitive athletes, Carter tried to push through.

“I tried to work through the pain,” said Carter.  “I didn’t really know the severity of it.”

Unlike many other high level athletes, Carter had a six month old to care for at the time.  Being laid up after surgery was the last thing she wanted.

 “Just being on my own with a baby was going to be really hard,” Carter recalled.

That’s when Carter heard about the free injury assessments available at Aurora Baycare. 

“They told me there was a free evaluation with the physical therapy team,” Carter explained. “He {physical therapist) did some in-person tests to look at my range of motion and pain management; and he was the one that recommended that I see Dr. Schock.” 

Dr. Harold Schock is an orthopedic surgeon with Aurora Baycare; and from what Carter describes, he had his work cut out for him.

“I had some bone spurs in my shoulder and then my labrum was torn, my rotator cuff and then they also had to repair my bicep,” Carter recalled.

Schock was undeterred, performing all the reconstruction with barely an incision.

“She had an arthroscopic procedure where we went in and kind of corrected her structural defects,” Schock explained.

In some ways, however, that was only the beginning of Carter’s journey.

“She was laid up for about a month or so after that,” Schock said. “She had some physical therapy, worked really hard.”

As you might have guessed, Carter is not one to stay down for long.

“She did a good job kind of getting her life back, got back to crossfit and a little while later was so active she was having problems with her knee,” Schock recalled.

Back to Dr. Schock Carter went for another surgery, this one on her knee.

“She was trying to push through her active day with these loose bodies in her joint,” Schock explained.  “Think of little marbles floating around in your knee.  She just wasn’t able to push through that.”

But Schrock says Carter did push through the following physical therapy, with a drive and dedication he says had a lot to do with her positive outcome.

“Her great attitude and motivation to get back to doing things like cross fit,” Schock said.

Even as a leader in the field of orthopedic surgery, Schock doesn’t take full credit for successful recoveries, like Carters.  He says it’s something he tells every patient up front.”

“Half of good results will be in the operating room and the other half is what they and they’re therapists do after  surgery,” Schock explained.

Schock also emphasized that even with all the advances and technology they have when it comes to treating sports related injuries, the ultimate goal should always be prevention.

“I really encourage people to get a free assessment,” said Schrock. “Sometimes it’s as easy as changing your footwear or stretching.”

Schock says patients can maintain an active lifestyle throughout their lifetimes.  He suggests focusing on three primary areas to minimize your risk for injury:

  • Strengthening the core muscle group
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, and
  • Not smoking

“Our population really is demanding so much more of our bodies and better results from their bodies into their 50s and 60s even 70s,” Schock said.

Carter’s got those three elements covered.  Now, just a couple months after her last surgery, she’s already looking forward to her next competition.

“I actually have a competition coming up in a month here,” Carter said. “That’ll be my first competition since surgery and having a baby, so i’m pretty excited about that.”

That competition is on May 1st, 2021.  Make sure to check back here to see how she did.  We’ll keep you posted on her results.

For more information on free injury assessments, visit:

Free Injury Assessments Green Bay, Wisconsin (WI), Aurora Baycare

Email: healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com

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