Ortho Team Comes Through for O’Neill Athlete
Shayne Campbell didn’t want to see the doctor.
Early in his senior season as running back and linebacker for O’Neill High School, he heard a pop in his foot. It led to discomfort, and then to pain. The injury cost him some of his trademark speed, but none of his desire to finish what he’d just begun.
When his mom, Brooke Ross, along with Avera Certified Athletic Trainer Brandon Stolze, ATC, recommended Shayne talk to a doctor about it, he feared it’d mean the end of his senior season.
“He wouldn’t even look at Dr. Zimmerman when he came over,” Brooke Ross said. “He was angry with us. But I knew this was serious, and I didn’t want him in pain.”
Brian Jundt, MD, CIC, Avera Medical Group O’Neill, often is on the sidelines. Jundt and Stolze, along with Avera Orthopedics’ Dean Benson, PA-C, counseled Campbell, and encouraged him to talk to Michael Zimmerman, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist physician with Avera Orthopedics in O’Neill.
“I figured I got stepped on, maybe had a bone bruise,” Campbell said. “I didn’t want to miss the season. But it just never got better.”
Ross said Zimmerman’s initial approach made a huge difference.
“He said ‘Look at me, Shayne. I want you to play,’ and I think in doing that, he established trust. It got him to realize they were going to listen,” she said. “It didn’t necessarily mean the end of the season.”
Campbell’s injury was serious. It was a Lisfranc, or midfoot, injury, and in his case it was because ligaments that supported the midfoot were torn. The orthopedic team comprised of Stolze, Jundt, Benson and Zimmerman worked with him to make sure the injury would not worsen. Using a steel plate and tape before games, he finished out his senior season, and met with Zimmerman to surgically repair the midfoot.
“We were able to help him manage it, and avoid further injury,” said Stolze. “We knew that was important to him.”
Zimmerman said he understood Shayne’s passion for football.
“Shayne’s a tough kid, and we were able to make the injury tolerable,” said Zimmerman. “We used a surgical technique that’s newer and that offers a range of benefits. That approach is called the Lisfranc TightRope Fixation, and it allows for a quicker return to activity. In addition, it does not require a second surgery to remove the plates and screws.”
Ross said prior to the appointment with Zimmerman, Shayne was still a little reluctant.
“He told me he wanted to get three opinions, but after that meeting with Dr. Zimmerman, I asked him if he wanted to go see another doctor and he said no,” his mother said. “He really liked how Dr. Zimmerman respected his desire to play.”
While Zimmerman finished working at Avera St. Anthony's in September 2018, Adam Bingham, DPM, now serves as podiatrist at the hospital and offers approaches similar to the ones used to help Shayne.
Support From Many In Small Town
Campbell had support from his younger brother and three sisters, as well as his mother and stepfather, Joe Ross. His father and stepmother, Dan and Suzi Campbell of Broken Bow, Neb., also provided encouragement and were by his side through the entire journey from injury to recovery.
The same-day surgery was straightforward, but then came recovery, which Campbell approached with determination. He was off the foot altogether for about a month, and then was walking with a boot. Eventually he was running. The technique, and Campbell’s hard work, allowed for a quick recovery -- he had surgery in late December and returned to join basketball before the season ended. Campbell is ready to return to track this spring as well.
This summer, he headed to Seward, Neb. to start conditioning work with the Concordia University Bulldogs football program.
“I didn’t want to see Dr. Zimmerman at first, but he understood my desire, and he helped me through. He was always just a phone call away,” Campbell said. “The whole team really helped – Brandon is with us at every game, along with Dean Benson and Dr. Jundt. Thanks to the surgery, I’m back to normal.”
Jundt said many Nebraska communities of comparable size don’t have the same orthopedic resources available in O’Neill, leading athletes to travel to Omaha or elsewhere.
“This is a good example of how care close to home is vital, and as a community we’re blessed to have a great team,” he said. “We have a team that can handle almost any sports-medicine injury.”
Having her son’s treatment just a couple blocks from home really helped, Ross said.
“It’s huge to have this in your hometown – I have had procedures done elsewhere with those three-hour drives. They’re a nightmare,” she said. “For Shayne to be able to sleep in his own bed and be in his own comfort zone was so nice for us. The entire experience was professional. It was excellent.”