Knee injury did not keep Brian from becoming a professional hockey player

Patient of: R. Stephen Lucie, MD

Brian Ferlin was at the top of his game before high school playing football, basketball, Lacrosse and hockey.
But what he calls “a freak accident” that injured his knee in the eighth grade, changed his future forever and as it turned out for the better.

Brian, who is now 23 and plays in the National Hockey League, recently recalled that rainy day in the eighth grade and the surgery that followed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Lucie of Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute and Baptist Health.

He was at Lacrosse practice for Bolles and the field was wet. He was running and went to cut back in the other direction and his left knee gave out. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that was pulled off with a piece of bone. It took about a year until he was back to full speed going through about eight months of physical therapy after school at JOI.

Dr. Lucie said he was able to repair Brian’s ACL in a less invasive way rather than do a reconstruction, which was unusual. It was also unusual to treat a hockey player in Jacksonville.
“He was back skating a straight line in five months and released to full hockey in six months. He was very determined,” Dr. Lucie said. “We have periodically followed his career and we were all very excited to see he actually made it to the NHL.”

The injury was a turning point for Brian’s future in sports. Before the injury he knew he wanted to focus on one sport in high school, but wasn’t sure yet what that would be. He remembers Dr. Lucie advising that hockey would be the best on his knees since hockey is more of a gliding motion and less pounding on the joints than football, lacrosse and basketball. Hockey was also Brian’s favorite sport so it worked out well.

He started playing hockey when he was four years old in a rink in Jacksonville.
“I love that it is fast pace and there is a lot of energy and back and forth,” Brian said.

When he got older, he played for various travel teams. He went on at age 17 to play for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League and then in college for Cornell University.
“I’m really thankful Dr. Lucie was able to fix me up and I was able to play hockey again and keep doing what I love to do. I’ve had no problems at all. It’s literally like brand new,” Brian said.

– Brian Ferlin

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