Life is full of the unexpected - car crashes, ATV rollovers, falling from a height or simply tripping over a rug. Sometimes, life changes course with a traumatic injury.
No one plans to get injured. Yet, with any life activity, there is the risk of injury – no matter your age or your capability. And if a severe injury occurs, it might not be life threatening, but it could be life changing.
As an adult, we are more apt to understand that with time, we can recover, but for a child or young adult, any traumatic injury can feel like the end of the world. David Potter, MD, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Sanford Health, has seen injuries of all kinds in patients of all ages.
“Patients are often having the worst day of their life when I meet them,” Dr. Potter explains. “But I am able to work with them and help get them as close to the way they were prior to the injury.”
Treating orthopedic trauma
Orthopedic trauma happens without warning and is often associated with high energy accidents and forces. From hips and legs to hands, arms and more, orthopedic trauma surgeons provide the latest surgical treatments to get a patient back to the activities he or she loves.
Regardless of the injury and the severity, an orthopedic trauma surgeon is the expert in trauma care. For some, that means the bones are fixed and rehabilitated; for others, it means replacement. And while many injuries may be in the same location or the same type of fracture, each injury is unique and different.
“No fracture is ever the same. No patient ever experiences their injury the same, and this variance allows me to always think outside the box and really problem solve to find the best solution to meet my patient’s specific needs,” Dr. Potter explains.
“At a place like Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, I have a complete team of specialists and subspecialists that I can work with for the betterment of the patient.” Dr. Potter adds, “As a trauma surgeon, it is reassuring knowing that just down the hall, I have surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, strength trainers and so much more, all there to provide expert care from injury to recovery.”
More than simply treating an injury, an orthopedic trauma surgeon partners with patients and their families at every moment to provide comfort and reassurance. This varies for patients depending on their age, but the physician ensures the patient feels safe, all questions have been answered and every resource available is provided.
“I’m an avid outdoorsman. I love to hunt, fish, downhill snow skiing. I’ve played multiple sports growing up and varsity college soccer. These activities really afford me the opportunity to relate to my patients. Each patient’s definition of ‘life’ is different, whether the person is a farmer, someone that works at a grocery store, volunteers at school or is home taking care of kids. My goal as a surgeon is to restore each person back to what they call ‘life.’
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