Bowman Dahlke

Trussville, AL

My name is Bowman Dahlke. I'm 13 years old and I live with my family in Trussville, Alabama. I'm a huge sports fan and I really enjoy playing baseball and football. I play middle infield on my baseball team and wide receiver and defensive back on my football team.

The Alabama Crimson Tide is my favorite college team (ROLLI TIDE!) and the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins are my favorite NFL teams. My favorite player is Noah Ibinoghene who played at Hewitt-Trussville High School. I wear #9 because that is Noah's number!

When I was 12 years old, I had a I had a had really bad knee injury playing football. On September 20, 2022 our 6th grade Trussville football team was playing on the road in Chelsea. I was lined up at wide receiver, and I took a jet sweep handoff to the right side. When I cut back to go left, the defender grabbed me and attempted to make a horse collar tackle. When I planted my foot to go left, he pulled me back to the right and my cleat go stuck in the ground. I immediately felt a pop in my right knee and I knew I was done for the game.

When I felt the pop, I was immediately in a lot of pain. My dad and coaches attended to me on the field and were able to get me to the sideline. After the initial injury, I really didn't have any pain - my knee just felt weak and unstable. When we got home, I showered and elevated and iced my leg before going to bed.

That same night my dad, who is a retired high school football coach, called Mitch Bibb, the head athletic trainer for Hewitt Trussville Schools. My dad explained what happened to Mr. Bibb who recommended we definitely see a sports medicine doctor the next day. Within a few minutes, Mr. Bibb called my dad back to let him know he had an appointment set up for us the next morning with Dr. Daniel Smith at Andrews Sports Medicine's Trussville clinic.

We arrived at the Trussville clinic early the next morning and they took an x-ray of my knee and we were put in an exam room.  When Dr. Smith came into the room we explained how the injury happened and he examined my knee. Dr. Smith had a feeling I had possibly torn some ligaments in my knee and ordered an MRI. 

Dr. Smith called my dad the next day to let him know the MRI showed that I had a complete tear of my ACL and I would need to have surgery to have it repaired. Dr. Smith recommended we have a surgical consult with Dr. Marc Rothermich, who also serves as Hewitt Trussville Schools team physician and orthopaedic surgeon. 

A few days later, we went to see Dr. Rothermich at the same Trussville clinic. Dr. Rothermich showed us pictures of my ACL tear and the surgery, rehab, and everything I would have to do to be able to play sports again. I was bummed.

While we were talking  my surgery, my dad asked Dr. Rothermich if I needed to have the surgery immediately, or if I could wait a bit since I was not in any pain. My dad let him know my sister was getting married the following weekend and if there would be any disadvantages or risks to schedule my surgery after my sister's wedding. Dr. Rothermich said that was fine and understood that it would be best I wasn't try to get around in a big, knee brace on my sister's big day!

I had my surgery the week after my sister's wedding. The day of the surgery I was nervous, but when Dr. Rothermich visited with me before my surgery. He let me know everything was going to go great, and that I would be playing sports again soon.

 I woke up from surgery a little dizzy, but I didn't have any pain. A few days later I started going to physical therapy with ATI Physical Therapy in Trussville. I had PT sessions  2 to 3 days every week for 5 months. All of the people at ATI - Chris, Courtney, Courtney and Justin - we're great. 

During the next few months, I'd go see Dr. Rothermich every few weeks and he always said I was doing great. It was hard not playing sports, but I would still go to the games to support and hang out with my teammates. 

Four months after my surgery I did my first BioDex test. I did my second Biodex test at 5 months and I passed. Because I passed, Dr. Rothermich said I was fully released and could start playing sports again. 

The very next day, I played in my first baseball game and it was awesome. I wore a knee brace during the game. I was DH and had a chance to play one inning in the field. I continued to play baseball that spring and summer. The next football season, I started at DB and our team finished the season at 8-0. 

Tearing my ACL wasn't fun and I missed playing sports. I am thankful to Dr. Rothermich and Dr. Smith for helping me achieve Victory Over Injury!

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Marcus A. Rothermich, MD
Marcus A. Rothermich, MD, MBA View Bio