chase naugle mercy health
Sports / Orthopedic

Mercy Stories: Getting Back in the Game

Aug 10 2018

Healing a Lisfranc fracture

For high school athletes, senior year is the culmination of four years of hard work. It’s a time to make memories, celebrate victories and enjoy a final season with teammates. Chase Naugle of North Baltimore started out his senior year of football with high hopes for all of those things, but those hopes quickly went downhill before the team even played its first game of the season.

“It was at a scrimmage on a Friday night. It was an incident with no contact,” Chase said of the injury to his foot. He was instructed to go to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a sprained ankle and cleared to return to practice on Monday.

On Saturday morning, Chase attended a volleyball game where he ran into Mercy Health athletic trainer Mychal Paterson. “He asked me to show him my foot,” Chase said. “He noticed that it was getting worse. That’s when we knew it wasn’t just a sprained ankle.”

Paterson followed up with Chase’s father, Chris, the next day and encouraged the family to get a second opinion on the injury. On Monday, Chase saw Dr. Jason Smith, a sports medicine provider with Mercy Health, who confirmed the injury wasn’t a sprain, but a Lisfranc fracture. Within 48 hours Chase underwent surgery.

What is a Lisfranc fracture?

A Lisfranc fracture is where one or more of the metatarsal bones in the foot are displaced from the tarsus. It’s a rare injury that typically has a negative prognosis. Fortunately for Chase, his results were atypical.

“The first eight weeks were slow, because I couldn’t really do anything,” explained Chase of his post-surgery recovery. “After four weeks, I could walk in a boot and attend physical therapy. I was planning on returning to basketball in late January or early February, but I got cleared December first, which was a relief.”

Although he missed his senior football season, Chase was able to return for basketball, where his team finished with a 17 and 5 record. For Chase’s dad, it was all about the bigger picture.

“One of my fears through this whole process, if he would have kept walking on it, how bad would it have been? If Mychal Paterson wouldn’t have had the experience when he and Chase talked the next day, I think there could have been a much worse outcome,” Chris said of the events. He credits all three Mercy Health care providers’ high standards, attention to detail and proactive approach with helping bring a positive outcome for Chase.

While Chase doesn’t plan on continuing his athletic career past high school, he and his family are happy with the outcome. “I’m just glad I can still be the young kid that I am,” Chase said of his return to normal activity.

What would Chris and Chase recommend to other parents and student athletes? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get a second opinion. Educate yourself and do research. Take time to rehab and take care of your body. It’s the only one you have,” Chris said.

Mercy Health offers a complete line of sports medicine services. Whether you are recovering from an injury or looking for a training program to enhance your skills, we have specialists who can help you make the most of your game. Learn more about sports medicine and orthopedics or find a doctor near you today.

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