One runner’s journey from injury through recovery
Dr. Adnan Cutuk practices orthopaedic sports medicine and shoulder surgery, but his practice isn't limited to high school, college and professional athletes — many of his patients fall into another category.
"The weekend warriors," Cutuk said. "The people like me who love to play sports and are not necessarily competitive, but don't want to give it up."
Dan Story is one of those people. Story, a runner, tripped during a jog in August 2011, breaking his leg and tearing three ligaments and his hamstring.
Story's injury was so severe, he was rushed to the emergency room. There, he was treated by Dr. John Watson and Dr. Cutuk.
"Even when I was riding the morphine-induced state, Dr. Cutuk was able to explain everything to me in a way that made sense," Story said. "He didn't lie to me. He told me it would be a long recovery, but that we would get me back to my former state."
Story had two surgeries over the next two days to fix the bone, reattach most of the ligaments and stabilize his knee. He spent five days in the hospital.
"Dr. Cutuk and his team took care of my health needs, but they were also conversational, and remembered details of my life," Story said. "Anytime I had a question, I would call his nurse, Melody Swehla, and within mere hours I would have a call back and an answer to my question."
His recovery was slow, but with physical therapy Story was able to get around on his own. Still, however, he was unable to run.
So in April 2013, Story had another surgery to reconstruct the final ligaments and restore full function to his knee. Within weeks, he was walking again.
Story continued to check in with Cutuk and Swehla regularly. Last February, Story had his final appointment. Two weeks later, Story went on his first run since the injury. He now considers himself recovered.
"It was a bittersweet appointment when Cutuk told me it was the last time I needed to come into SLUCare," Story said. "He told me good luck, shook my hand and said I would probably be able to ice skate by next winter."