February 7, 2023
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Fuchs helps athletes and all patients get back to what they enjoy
Jeffersonville High School athlete Mollie Davis was doing what she loved – diving for a ball in left field, playing softball. When she fell to the ground, her elbow popped out of place. It happened in seconds, but the aftermath would see her struggling to hold a pencil, sleep, or catch a ball at all due to the shooting pains in her arm.
Through the care and guidance of Dr. Christoph Fuchs with Clark Orthopedic Spine and Sports Medicine, Mollie first went through physical therapy and eventually underwent cubital tunnel surgery to correct the trapped nerve in her elbow. She was able to return to softball just in time for her senior season.
“Before our season, I couldn't even catch a ball or squeeze my hand to participate with my team,” Mollie says. “And it caused me so much pain to be out there and not be able to do what I loved. But after my surgery, getting to play my senior season and fulfilling that meant the world to me.”
Later on when Mollie injured her knee (again diving for a ball), which would require another surgery, she knew exactly whom to turn to.
“Dr. Fuchs always looked out for my best interest,” she says. “He looked out for my future of what things would look like post-surgery. Like, I would be out for a while from sports, so that was a factor that he took into play. He really just took care of me as a person and as a patient, and I'm not just another number.”
Dr. Fuchs, a former collegiate tennis player, understands how the needs of athletes can differ from other patients.
“I think when dealing with athletes, you have to understand there’s a more significant time pressure to get back to their sport as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Fuchs, who has worked with athletes of all levels from high school to professional. “A lot of physicians can sometimes fall into the trap of just, ‘Here’s a diagnosis and here’s my treatment,’ as opposed to, ‘Here’s a person who has all these desires and expectations, and being able to play this sport or participate in this activity is a really important part of their life.
“It’s reassuring them, understanding where they’re coming from, their frustrations, their anxieties, their fear of having a surgery, and helping explain to them how it’s going to be recovering from this.”
Though Dr. Fuchs specializes in sports medicine and shoulder replacement, often repairing ACLs and rotator cuffs, he sees patients ranging from young children to 90-year-olds for a wide variety of conditions, including joint replacements and fracture repairs.
“With orthopedics, you can take somebody who's had one of the worst days of their life – they're hurt, they're broken – and you can fix them,” Dr. Fuchs says.
Now that Mollie has healed from her elbow and knee surgeries, she says she’s thankful to have a bright, pain-free future ahead. “With my knee injury, I couldn’t get upstairs at school, which was a really big issue,” she reflects. “Just doing simple things like walking, going to the gym, getting ready in the mornings were really painful with both those injuries. But afterwards, I’m fully functional. I don't have any pain. I feel like my quality of life’s gone up so much. I’m able to do the stuff that I love and pursue things that I want to do now and I don't have to worry about that kind of pain.”
Mollie is now studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University where, like Dr. Fuchs, she wants to help fellow athletes recover from injuries. Dr. Fuchs sees patients in Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Scottsburg and can be reached for an appointment by calling 812.282.8494.