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Saving a Torn Meniscus: Advanced Repair Saves Sports Career

Dr. Detterline Saves Soccer Career with Advanced Meniscus Repair

Dr. Detterline speaking with coachSept. 8, 2009 — Last summer, Calvert Hall varsity soccer player Elliott  Crompton aggressively jumped up for a header during a scrimmage and, as he came back down, “something weird happened” in his knee. “No big deal,” he thought and kept playing. But the next day, he called his mom at work to say, “I can’t move.” He was seated at his computer with his knee locked.

His mother rushed home and somehow got Elliott over to see Calvert’s sports trainer Chris Zinn. After getting Zinn’s assessment, Elliott and his mom decided to make an appointment with orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Alvin Detterline, also the team’s physician.

The diagnosis was a pretty common sports injury – a tear to his lateral meniscus, the outer cartilage cushioning the knee.

With Detterline’s guidance, Elliott made a very important decision; he chose treatment with a lengthier recovery but the best possible result. Instead of removing the meniscus, Detterline performed an intricate operation. In the hands of an expert, this gave Elliott’s knee many playing years.

“There are a fair amount of athletes who don’t want to take the time to recover,” said Detterline, who trained at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center with Dr. Frank Noyes, a world pioneer in the field. “But in our practice, we see patients in their 20s with arthritis due to injuries for which the meniscus was removed.”

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