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  • Patient: Joey
  • Category: Sports Medicine

“ Throughout my career I’ve seen plenty of doctors and surgeons, and this guy was one of the best I’ve seen.”

Procedure: Closed reduction, right wrist (February 2018)

Scholar athlete Joey Hobert and his dad, former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, have both sustained more than their share of broken bones playing football. Billy Joe says he has had way too many injuries to list. In the past year, Joey has had two broken collarbones in the past year alone and most recently a fractured wrist.

Joey, 16, was playing wide receiver in an off season club game when he jumped up to catch a pass, only to have the player covering him land on his wrist when they came down. Joey and Billy Joe headed off to the nearby urgent care, which promptly sent Joey to Hoag Orthopedic Institute due to his injury severity.

“When I saw the X-ray, I thought to myself, what a train wreck. It looked like he was going to need a reduction and probably surgery. It looked like glass had shattered inside his wrist,” recalls Billy Joe.

“Reduction” of an injury is performed to restore alignment after a fracture, so the bones heal properly. However, because it can be briefly but intensely painful, the reduction is typically done under a short-acting anesthetic.

“I was pretty nervous when I heard my wrist had to be reduced, but once I was asleep the surgeon did a good job putting things back in place, so I learned I could trust him,” says Joey, who went home with a splint. The next day, Joey and his dad went back to his hand surgeon, who still needed to repair the splintered wrist.

““Throughout my career I’ve seen plenty of doctors and surgeons, and this guy was one of the best I’ve seen,” says Billy Joe. “I had heard a lot of good things about him, and he was phenomenal. He was calm and confident. He told us he would probably have to cut the wrist open – there was a slight chance he wouldn’t have to – but Joey wouldn’t leave the facility until his wrist was perfect. That was very reassuring to us.

“The doctor came out of surgery showing two thumbs up. I became choked up when I saw the X-rays and how everything lined up again. It was so impressive. He was able to do the repair using pins, without cutting the wrist open, which means a much faster recovery.

Joey left in a cast. When the cast comes off after five and a half weeks, the pins will be removed as well, and rehab will begin to regain wrist strength and flexibility.

“I’m not going to rush it, like I did when I broke my collarbone, which caused me to take longer to heal,” says Joey. The San Juan Hills sophomore hopes to eventually play college football, and possibly even make it to the professional level.

“I tried to get him interested in baseball, golf and other sports, but he only wants to play football,” says Billy Joe. “It’s such a unique sport in which you bleed, cry and sweat together. It teaches bonding and camaraderie, and the importance of knowing your own role in life. Boys become young men.

“The broken bones don’t bother me; it’s part of the game and you can recover from those. What does bother me are the concussions, because head injuries are what have caused my friends and me the most trouble. I’m a strong proponent for re-teaching and coaching how the game is supposed to be played, with no-head hitting, blocking and tackling, and brains left out of contact areas.”

Joey looks forward to returning to varsity football practice at San Juan Hills High School in July, without any wrist problems. He declares, “I’m going to be 100 percent healthy.”