Timothy’s story: ‘Great’ quadriceps surgery
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
After Timothy Fuerst tore a quadriceps muscle, he had three goals on his road to recovery.
He wanted to walk across the stage to receive his college diploma.
He wanted to get down on a knee to propose to his girlfriend.
He wanted to pass the physical agility tests necessary to pursue a law enforcement career.
Thanks to Dr. Harold J. Schock, a BayCare Clinic orthopedic surgeon, he accomplished all three goals.
“Everything went great,” Fuerst says. “It feels great. It’s great to be able to work out again.”
Fuerst, now 23, tore a quadriceps – one of the four large muscles at the front of the thigh, above the knee – while playing baseball in July 2015. He took two hard steps toward a runner on a pickoff play and heard a pop in his right leg.
He knew immediately that something was wrong, but he didn’t see a doctor right away.
“There was a dip in the muscle in the leg. I’d never seen anything like that before,” says Fuerst, who’s from Sturgeon Bay. “When I’d go work out, it would feel like I was re-tearing the muscle.”
Four months later, it hadn’t improved. Fuerst’s girlfriend, Alyssa Laughlin, shooed him to the doctor.
Fuerst consulted with Schock at Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic in Green Bay. An MRI showed something not often seen.
“The quadriceps muscle pulled away from itself. It tore in the middle. Each end of the tear pulled farther and farther apart. It’s a pretty rare injury, a pretty unusual injury,” Schock says. “Most quadriceps tear from the kneecap. Those are easier to repair.”
Schock, who is fellowship trained in sports medicine, often works with athletes. Law enforcement officers have similar fitness needs.
“We talked about the physical agility test requirements, trying to do explosive types of activity. He has to have a body that’s like an athlete,” Schock says.
That was a wake-up call for Fuerst, then a senior studying criminal justice and police science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
“It put my career in perspective. Surgery was a way to fix it and make it so I could pursue it,” he says.
In early February 2016, Schock performed an innovative surgery to repair the tear.
“We took the two ends of the muscle and brought them together using a variety of cadaver tissues,” Schock says. “We used a hamstring tendon, kind of weaved it through the muscle on both sides. We tied the hamstring tendons together, then we took a piece of an Achilles tendon and sort of weaved it over the top.”
Four months of rehabilitation followed for Fuerst.
“He did a really nice job of recovering,” Schock says of his patient. “The mentality and the approach he took really helped. He kept the big picture in mind all the way through.”
Fuerst was walking by the end of April, just in time to stroll across the stage at graduation a couple of weeks later.
In late July, he proposed to Laughlin.
“I got down on one knee, and I didn’t have to think twice about that,” he says.
Fuerst has passed two physical agility tests and entered the Law Enforcement Academy at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in January.
“Being a police officer is my goal. Without Doc Schock’s help and the surgery to fix my leg, I wouldn’t be able to continue chasing my dream,” Fuerst says.
Dr. Harold J. Schock sees patients in Green Bay, Kaukauna and Oconto. Call 877-884-8796 or request an appointment online.
Harold J. Schock, MD, is a Board Certified orthopaedic surgeon at BayCare Clinic Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine and is fellowship-trained in Sports Medicine. While an undergraduate, he played ice hockey for the University of Michigan and won a national championship in 1996. After one year of professional hockey, he returned to medical school, but has been actively involved with the care of athletes at all levels since his playing days. Learn more here.