The Road to Recovery: From Severe Injury to a Golf Championship

In the news
Before surgery

Conor McGovern is low-handicap golfer. But one evening last April, he was playing a friendly game of paddle tennis when he collided with his opponent, fell down and suffered three fractures to his ankle.

Knowing of ONS by reputation, he made an appointment with foot and ankle specialist Dr. Michael Clain. The surgeon saw Conor the following morning and determined that due to the extent of the injury, surgery would need to be performed on his ankle as soon as possible. Fortunately it could be performed on an outpatient basis so he would not need to stay overnight in the hospital.

He had surgery on April 2, and despite his positive attitude, Conor was anxious. His concerns were soon alleviated by the smoothness of the experience at the surgery center, the Stamford ASC. According to Conor everything moved like clockwork. Everyone answered his questions and moved him through the process with as little stress as possible. Because of the nature of the injury Dr. Clain performed an arthroscopic evaluation which is not routine, in addition to fixing the fractured bones to achieve an optimal result. He secured the bones using a steal plate and

After surgery

12 screws. Afterward, the doctor explained what he had done but he warned his patient that it would be several months of committed rehab work to recover from an injury like this.

From the beginning, Conor’s chief concern was his ability to return to playing golf. He had very specific goals. He wanted to play in a tournament in July, and also had his eye on his club championship during Labor Day weekend. As he healed, he was able to maintain an aggressive physical therapy program guided by his therapist DPT Tom Hobson. He regularly reminded Tom of his July goal and they worked hard to get him there. He made it through the tournament successfully, feeling like his hard work in physical therapy had paid off.

Next, his sights were set on qualifying for the Met Open at Hudson National in August. He succeeded! Feeling fully recovered, he next entered his club championship. Not only was he able to play all 72 holes, but he won the tournament!

Conor recently reflected on his ordeal. “After suffering my first major injury, I was very nervous about how I would recover, and if I’d ever be back to my full self again. Thanks to Dr. Clain and ONS physical therapy team, I was able to start playing golf just three months after my injury”, he said. “Not only was I playing again but was back playing at a highly competitive level. Qualifying for my first Met Open and winning my first club championship, I proved to myself that I was really back on my game! Thank you Dr. Clain and team!!”