Whether you’re a fan, a player, or both, once the love of sport gets ahold of you, it never lets go. Long after your prime playing days are in the rearview mirror, there is always that inner athlete that hungers to continue that competitive spirit. You could certainly count Jerald Hutnik as one of those athletes. He is a lover of soccer and had been playing at a high level since high school. Jerald was a highly sought-after D1 soccer player, who later played professionally overseas, as well as for the U.S. NATO teams. Throughout all his competitions and even today, Jerald has always considered himself lucky that he had never sustained an injury from playing soccer. As a goalie, you use both your hands AND feet…a position that over time, could see some wear and tear on your joints and muscles. After playing for years, that was something that Jerald was prepared for. What he didn’t see coming was a pair of injuries that put him on the path to see Dr. James Hughey.
Jerald is the type of athlete who will give his all, even if his body has other plans. That mindset was in play one day when, while playing in an Adult Premiere League, he hyper-extended and tore the biceps in his left arm, attempting to block a kick. Jerald had his arm repaired by Dr. Hughey and was able to return to play. A little more than a year later, Jerald found himself back on the playing field. Feeling strong and confident at goalie, Jerald was back and “Game Ready.” Unfortunately, in the middle of a game while attempting to throw a ball in to play, he injured his right arm in the exact same way he did his left.
Jerald found himself in a very familiar spot, after having seen Dr. Hughey once before for the same injury. “I had worked with his staff the first time, and they were all so polite and friendly. They remembered me and my case. I wasn’t just another number,” says Hutnik. “Dr. Hughey was right on point with my diagnosis. There was no guessing. He told me everything I needed to know, before I needed to know it. Doc was very knowledgeable, friendly and had a great bedside manner, which is very important to me.” Jerald explains how both surgeries and recoveries went very well, with no problems at all. “These guys are quality pros. They treat you right and you’re going to have great service. When you have folks who are knowledgeable and friendly, you’ll have a great experience.”
Jerald has made a 100% recovery from his injuries, and although he isn’t playing as much as before, he gets much enjoyment from being the head soccer coach for two club teams and a local school.
Dr. James Hughey is an orthopaedic surgeon and a member of The Orthopaedic Center Sports Medicine Team. Before joining TOC, Dr. Hughey completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Andrews Research and Orthopedic Institute in Gulf Breeze, FL, where he served as team physician for area high schools and served as assistant team physician for Pensacola’s Cincinnati Reds AA baseball team.