Bryce Fields // Athletic Training
Athletics are a big part of Bryce Fields’ life – football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. And summer? Well, it’s back to basketball or a pick up game.
This summer was no different. Bryce joined a Centerville basketball league and played in tournaments. Union County athletic trainer Jennifer Detweiler was watching a game in Williamsburg when Bryce jumped for a block and landed with pain in his knee. “When I came back down, I heard a loud pop,” he said. “I thought it was nothing at first, but my teammates helped me off the court, and Jenn was waiting for me when I got back to the bench.”
Jennifer helped him with ice, but it didn’t help. She knew he needed to be seen by a physician and sent him to Reid Orthopedics. The next few weeks, Bryce worked with Jennifer and the physicians to find a solution – ice, rest, stretching, X-rays. Nothing indicated a serious issue, but nothing seemed to work.
Finally, Bryce passed all his motion tests and began football practices, wearing a brace. It wasn’t long before his play came to a screeching halt. “It was the Thursday before our scrimmage. As I planted to take off, my knee locked up and I couldn’t move,” Bryce said. This time, there was no pop – just pain. “Jenn said I needed an MRI.”
They went to see orthopedic physician Dr. Gregory Woods. “He looked at my knee and knew the meniscus was torn even before the MRI,” Bryce said. “We knew Dr. Woods would be aggressive and help get him back on the field,” Amy added.
Dr. Woods’ prediction was confirmed on a Friday, and surgery to repair the meniscus was scheduled for the following Monday. Bryce wanted to play the first game of the season that night, and Dr. Woods agreed, since there was no risk of further injury. Bryce played the whole game, with a torn meniscus and Jenn watching him from the sidelines.
Jennifer works with the coaches and players, making sure the athletes are safe. She used to just tell them when an athlete should sit out of practice or a game, but some players wanted to play so badly, they would sometimes sneak onto the field, she said. “Now I take their helmets and keep them in my office until they are cleared.”
After surgery Monday, Bryce and his family were immediately relieved. He could bend his knee as soon as he woke from surgery. “I didn’t think it would ever feel the same,” he said. He only missed a day and a half of school and was walking right away. They asked about therapy, and Dr. Woods assured them Jennifer would know exactly what he needed and would handle it for them.
“It doesn’t pull Bryce out of school and it doesn’t pull me out of work,” Amy said, thankful she didn’t have to drive Bryce back and forth to Richmond for rehabilitation. “It is very nice to have her. I just text her whenever I have a question. She is good.”
Bryce was back in the game – exactly where he wanted to be – a week and a half later.
Reid provides full-time athletic trainers to 12 area high schools at no cost to the school or the athletes. This program exists to keep kids safe and to quickly respond after an injury.