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Get Back In The Game

Jacob Fridakis

Briarcliff Manor, NY

Torn Meniscus

Marvin Vettori Photo.png

Making the varsity soccer team as the only freshman during the fall of 2015 was one of my proudest accomplishments. I would go on to contribute to my team during that season but on a rainy night in October 2015, my life would change. After that game, I came home with severe right groin pain. Originally, I just thought it was a sprain and even a local doctor diagnosed me with a sprain but as the pain continued, I knew something was wrong but my focus shifted away from my hip and to another part of my body.


When I went to my local doctor, they noticed swelling on my left knee and sent me to get a MRI which determined that I had a slight tear in the meniscus in my left knee. My first visit to HSS was to see Dr. Marx for my knee. It was decided that surgery was needed to fix the tear and the hope was that the groin pain in my hip was a result from compensation when walking due to the tear. Just before my surgery, I went to visit Dr. Moley for the groin pain just to make sure we were making the right decision assuming the knee was the cause of the hip pain. Dr. Moley examined me and found a discrepancy in my hip x-ray but said that if the knee surgery didn’t relieve the hip pain then come back to him. On November 1, 2015, I had my first surgery at HSS with Dr. Marx.


The surgery went well and the tear turned out to be miniature and not a major problem. At this point, I was on a high, ecstatic that my tear was tiny and now repaired and excited to be able to participate in winter track. I remember the first day back in school, I rushed into my school’s athletic director’s office hoping to get myself on the winter track team. A few weeks post-op, I began to run again. Immediately, I felt it, the pain in my hip returned. After being on such a high following the knee surgery, the return of the hip pain hit me hard. I went back to Dr. Moley at HSS and he diagnosed me with Femoroacetabular Impingement, or FAI, and that I would need to see a specialist. Feeling very upset and disappointed, I was referred to Dr. Kelly by Dr. Moley. After one visit with Dr. Kelly, we determined that surgery was required. Finding out that I would need another surgery was very upsetting especially when I realized that I was going to be missing another sport season especially one where I had high expectations. The year prior, I had the fastest 100 meter and 200 meter by an 8th grader in my school’s division and one of the fastest in New York State. On February 22, I underwent my second surgery at HSS, but my first with Dr. Kelly. The surgery went well and my goal of playing soccer in the fall was highly obtainable.


Over the next few months, I would attend physical therapy 2-3 times per week rehabilitating my hip. In April of 2016 my nightmare would continue, my other hip started hurting. Hoping that I wouldn’t have FAI or any other disorder in my “newly” hurting hip, I mentioned it to Dr. Kelly at one of my post-op follow up appointments. Dr. Kelly ordered a bunch of tests and diagnosed me with FAI in my right hip but this time, we were going to explore all other alternative treatment methods. I was saddened at the potential of needing additional surgery in my right hip but motivated to explore all other alternative treatment methods. Over the next 3 months I would try everything from active release therapy to cortisone shots but by June, nothing was working. After speaking with Dr. Kelly, we decided that surgery would be needed. On July 19th, I underwent my third surgery at HSS, my second with Dr. Kelly. The surgery went well and I returned to PT with extra motivation to finally put all my injuries in the past.


Throughout the rest of 2016, I would go to PT weekly rehabilitating my hips. After many grueling months of PT and rehabilitation, I finally received my full sports clearance on January 17th, 2017 and on March 26th, I would finally play in my first soccer game almost a year and a half after the raining October night. This experience has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal in my life but I taught me many things about myself. I cannot thank the HSS staff, Dr. Kelly, Dr. Moley, Dr. Marx, my fantastic physiotherapist Matt Marucci and the staff at New Castle PT for helping me along this journey either physical repairing me, helping me with my rehabilitation, or providing support. Today I am participating in track daily as well as preparing for soccer season in the fall. After everything I’ve been through, I am proud to say that I’m finally back in the game.

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